There has been much media coverage recently about mainstream blockbusters having gay characters. Whilst it is important to acknowledge the introduction of gay characters and scenes in films, I really wish we were in an age where it didn’t have to be big news.
If you have a news app or listen to the radio, you can’t have missed the recent stories about two blockbuster films including gay characters. A Disney film has its first ‘gay moment’ in the remake of ‘Beauty and the Beast’ and yellow Power Ranger, Trini, has girlfriend problems in the new Power Rangers movie. In ‘Beauty and the Beast’, LeFou is said to be confused about his sexual orientation and is seen winking at Gaston before later dancing with another man. This brief moment in the film has caused a great amount of media attention and Disney has been metaphorically patted on the back for this step forward.
The inclusion of these characters is better than nothing but it is a far cry from where we should be. We deserve more than fleeting glances and comments in minor sub plots. LGBT characters in mainstream films should be more than just an after thought: moments are not enough. A minor gay character in a Disney film should not be a revelation in 2017: characters that represent all members of our communities should be the norm. I wish that the plots of LeFou and Trini weren’t newsworthy but they are a step forward. Here is the hoping that we see a gay prince or princess in a Disney film soon. Imagine the media circus that will accompany that!