Disney’s “First Openly Gay Character”

Today my mother and sister took me out to see Beauty and the Beast. It’s not my usual type of movie, but going out beats sitting in front of the keyboard staring at the textual wall that is the final chapter of Pull (which you can read here). I actually ended up loving the film, and would highly recommend it! However, the main reason I wanted to see it was my interest in the conflict surrounding LeFou.

The amount of articles that came out about Disney’s new “gay character” LeFou after the film was released completely overwhelmed me. Many articles sang its praises while many others deplored such a “immoral” act in a children’s tale. None of them, however, mentioned exactly what LeFou did to make him so irrefutably homosexual.

I was beyond disappointed when I saw the film and realized what exactly made LeFou’s sexuality so important: nothing The amount of controversy that arose out of the topic is humorous to me now, when I realize that it is founded on essentially nothing.

In my opinion, the only evidence that LeFou is gay is some possible subtext, effeminate behavior (which, although stereotypical, is no real evidence of his sexuality at all), and about two seconds of him dancing with another man at the end of the film. I probably wouldn’t have even thought of LeFou’s sexuality at all if such a big deal wasn’t being made out of it. Sure, with the right lens, LeFou’s hero-worship of Gaston could be seen as a crush. I wouldn’t put it past that though.

Heading into the film, I was expecting some extra song about LeFou pining after Gaston or a scene where he openly admits to another character that he has romantic feelings for his friend. In my opinion, an honest conversation would have been a much more positive portrayal (mostly because it would have been an actual portrayal of homosexuality).

Sure, it’s better than nothing, but I still don’t see what all the hubbub was about. It may be a long way from the gay romances we’re used to on this blog, but I would still highly recommend Beauty and the Beast!


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