Disney and the Missing “Gay Moment”

I’d been looking forward to the remake of “Beauty and the Beast” for a while. Belle was always my favorite Disney “princess”—I, too, was a tomboyish bookworm in a small town. And what can I say about Emma Watson? She’s a few years younger than me and I still look up to her as a role model.

“Beauty and the Beast” is all about people’s inner character, to not judge based on the superficial or shallow. So what better film to really touch on the importance of inclusivity?

Several weeks before the film’s release, the director of the Disney film, Bill Condon, made a comment about “Beauty and the Beast” featuring an “exclusively gay moment”.

The response, as you might have seen, was chaos on all sides. Proponents lauded Disney for their representation while simultaneously several theaters threatened to not even screen the film.

Problem is—there really is no exclusively gay moment. The moment they are referring to is (spoiler alert) Josh Gad as LeFou dancing with another man for .025 seconds during a ballroom scene where the characters all switch partners.

To me, this seems like having an all-male movie, and in the background of a scene you can just see a woman over by the window there. Be amazed at the inclusivity.

I loved the movie, but the fact that anyone could mistake this moment as “exclusively gay” is beyond me. Had Condon never made that statement, no one would have ever known. Two men dancing together does not make them gay, and the fact that there was such outrage over such a minor moment is baffling.

What this past month did for me was really highlight how much farther we need to go to bring LGBTQ stories and people out of the shadows. I have yet to see Moonlight, but am now bumping it toward the top of my list.

What movies or other media would you recommend for those seeking out LGBTQ stories?


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