It is no secret that we all turn to social media to express or cosign opinions that align with our views. On social media, we feel as if we have a voice and somebody is there listening to us. Many LGBTQ+ people have come forward and used social media as a tool to educate others about what it means to be LGBTQ+ and discuss their experiences. In our increasingly “woke” society, many films and TV shows have adapted storylines about queer people, including productions targeted towards children.
Recently, “Moana” directors have hinted at the possibility of an LGBTQ Disney princess. A Twitter user commented on the "Seventeen" magazine article saying, “In no way am I homophobic, but I really think y’all are forcing this LGBT sh*t in everybody’s lifestyle.” This tweet received more than 200,000 likes. When you say “I’m not homophobic, but…” you’re most likely going to follow up with a comment of opposition to the LGBT+ community.
Saying that the LGBT community is being forced down everyone’s throats is a false statement. Every single person reading this article can easily name five films with a heterosexual love story off the top of their head. Most families will assume you are heterosexual and looking for a person of the opposite gender. A heterosexual couple can hold hands and kiss each other in public without anyone batting an eye. These are just a few of the privileges that heterosexual people are afforded. Heterosexuality is so normalized in society that people don’t even think about how many films, television shows, and advertisements feature a heterosexual couple.
Featuring an LGBT protagonist in a film increases representation for the community. Because LGBTQ+ people and relationships are featured so little in mainstream media, LGBTQ children may think they aren’t normal or widely accepted in society because they are barely represented. Watching an LGBTQ Disney princess will give children a model to look to when they feel alienated.
And if you’re a person who opposes this, here’s a simple solution: don’t watch it. Children are not going to be confused or influenced to be homosexual because of an animated character. Many LGBT adults grew up watching heterosexual couples all of their lives, and yet, they are still LGBT. We need to destigmatize the LGBTQ community and allow them to look to characters and know that they belong in society.