Disney and the “Gay Agenda”

Bill Condon, director of the live-action remake of Beauty and the Beast, recently announced that Gaston’s inept sidekick, LeFou, would be having a “gay moment” in the upcoming film. Naturally, people are out in force to either support or condemn Disney’s decision to feature LeFou as a gay character. Now for those who don’t know, I’m gay, so this touches a little close to home for me. I was also raised watching the animated Disney movies, and Beauty and the Beast is one of the best. However, I can’t help but wonder what the huge deal is for people who reject the decision and are “banning Disney” from their homes now.  Some argue Disney is pushing an agenda and the resulting “gay moment” will indoctrinate children, but I just have to come out ans say it: that’s a load of horse crap.

I would like to first mention all of this backlash is in response to just the words, “gay moment.” The film hasn’t been seen by anyone but the creators and critics; how can anybody form an opinion about the film’s gay moment without having seen it? Light your torches and grab your pitchforks everyone, we’re going on a witch hunt without even knowing who the witch is. It’s ludicrous to completely ban a wonderful story because of a single scene that, supposedly, is very short and rather inconsequential. You haven’t even heard what the scene is yet and you’re already ready to ridicule everyone involved and the entire company because of something you heard? That’s lunacy. It’s shallow, it’s narrow-minded, and frankly it’s not very gracious is it? Rather than use it as a conversation starter or seeing the movie as a big picture, you’re choosing to see the speck in another’s eye while ignoring the log in your own. Shameful.

Secondly, LeFou has always been kinda gay! Granted, I haven’t seen the animated movie in years, but my recollection is he’s always been kind of gay. He is always praising Gaston, following him around, doing anything Gaston asks. While not explicitly out in the animated version, it’s no stretch of the imagination to assume LeFou is gay. The subtext points that way with a big ol’ finger and nobody had a problem with it in 1991. Maybe they did actually, but I wasn’t around back then so I really don’t know how it was received. Either way, it’s not like this minor plot point is completely contrived.

Also, what in the name of hell is the “Gay Agenda?” Equal representation? Having a single character in the entire Disney pantheon being gay? You think this is shoving an agenda down anyone’s throat? I know you seem to think homosexuality is the worst thing a person can possibly be, but let’s just be honest here: you’re desperate. Seeing a “gay moment” that hasn’t been seen yet will NOT make your child gay, it will NOT teach your kid being gay is okay, it will NOT do anything! You make these arguments that this will influence your child, but then turn around and watch other movies full of sin. Let’s face it, every single movie in the world has sin and normalizes it; that’s what makes movies interesting. Nobody wants to watch a movie devoid of sin. The number of movies that feature people killing, stealing, pre-marital sex, swearing, and other sins is just about every movie ever, but now you want to draw the line at a “gay moment?” Tell me again how homosexuality is no worse than any other sin. The only agenda being pushed here is your anti-homosexuality agenda. Nobody lobbied for LeFou to be gay, nobody is going to all of a sudden turn gay or think homosexuality is okay because of this movie. It is your responsibility as a parent to teach your kids the difference between right and wrong, and that never includes completely shielding your kid from wrong. The logic is archaic and shown to be completely ineffective. I realize it’s well within your right to see the movie or not to see the movie, but choosing not to see the movie because of a single scene is closed-minded and rather homophobic of you.

What is homosexuality? I know most of you know nothing about it because most of you don’t experience it. I know you preach that it’s a sin, but no worse than the rest, and yet you treat it as if it’s a disease that shouldn’t be touched. You have the benefit of growing up in the majority. You never had to feel afraid of other people rejecting you for your sexuality alone. You get to look at someone you’re romantically interested in and safely assume they’ll be straight. You don’t know what it’s like to be told you’re unclean because of your biology (and don’t feed me the “sin is in my biology” crap. You know what I mean). I personally deal with this every single day whenever I see a handsome man walk by and the feeling the yearning followed by the shame of not being “normal.” Having a gay character is important to me because I’m not being systematically excluded. The notion that people will choose not to see a movie because it features someone who is like me breaks my heart. I get your stance; I hold a similar point of view. You don’t want to reinforce sin or condone it; I get that. But it’s impossible not to. You need to forgive as you have been forgiven. You need to not exclude “otherness” to maintain your own fragile worldview. If you are really worried about this movie harming your children, it’s not because of the movie, it’s because you’re being a lousy parent.

Seriously, we need to move past these petty grievances and we especially need to stop pretending their righteous. They’re not righteous, they’re bigoted and narrow-minded. If you want to further alienate the LGBT community, you’re doing a fantastic job. But if you want to be compassionate and Christ-like, I’d suggest you seriously reconsider your motivations and actions.

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