As the mega-popular Disney movie Frozen is undergoing the creation of the it’s new sequel, fans across the country ecstatic about the possibilities of the newest princess movie. The movie resonates strongly among children and even adults, particularly those of the LGBT community because of the movies metaphor of ‘coming out of the closet’. This has led to many people calling for the latest Disney sequel to feature LGBT representation with a potential girlfriend for the ice queen, Elsa.
Disney has been a leading front in the movement for LGBT representation in mainstream children’s media. The TV channel introduced the lesbian couple, Susan and Cheryl, on the popular kid’s show Charming Charlie and threatened to stop shooting films at a Georgia movie studio if an anti-LGBT bill were to pass. The company has not backed down to the opposition from conservative groups that oppose Disney’s openly pro-LGBT stance. Despite this, Disney has still had no representation of openly LGBT characters within their well-known princess movies.
Frozen was immensely popular in American culture with it’s ever popular merchandise breaking record sales and the movie even became the top movie of 2013 with over a billion dollars in box office revenue! With Frozen having such a large platform, it’s sequel is likely to reach a mass number making potential LGBT representation widespread. Introducing a lesbian relationship to such a large audience would help to normalize queer relationships to larger society, particularly among children. Young queer children would finally have a positive role model to look up to that they can relate to and understand that it’s okay to be who they are. For others the movie would help them to better understand their queer friends and normalize children that come from families with LGBT members. Children need to grow up with a true understanding of the world that represents the diversity of the different sexualities and genders rather than the false narrative of a strictly-heterosexual and cisgender one.
As fans set twitter abuzz with the ideas for the possible couple, many are brainstorming their ideas for the potential princess suitor. Many fans are hoping that Elsa’s potential girlfriend is a woman of color. LGBT people already face little representation in the media, but LGBT people of color get virtually no mainstream representation. An interracial lesbian couple could normalize to children the concept that love shows no boundaries in gender or race. It would allow for young queer and interracial children to have a positive couple to identify with that resonates strongly with their identity. It’s important for children to see characters that represent themselves in TV so they do not feel excluded from society and have positive role models that they can see themselves in.
Critics of the #GiveElsaAGirlfriend movement claim that the possible sequel would be inappropriate for young children. Many opponents claim that children are too young to understand LGBT characters because the topic of sexuality at a young age is a taboo. Though, children often understand their sexuality at an early age starting with their first crush and will grow up with friends that have families with LGBT members. It is important that children are exposed to LGBT representation at an early age so they can be understanding of this and not alienate others. Others state that a lesbian relationship isn’t right for a princess movie because it goes against the tradition of the movies. In reality, the notion of princess movies has changed a lot within the past century to depict a more positive message of equality. Disney princess movies have gone from those like Sleeping Beauty, which features the common rhetoric of a helpless princess and a heroic prince, to Brave with the fiery, feminist princess Merida. Plus, if a princess can marry a beast with no opposition why are people opposed to a princess being with another girl?
Representation is extremely important in the mainstream media to normalize those who are repressed within society. The platform of a movie with as huge of a following as Frozen 2 could potentially reach millions of youth with the message of equality and inclusion. Disney could have a great impact on children who feel excluded from society or want to better understand their LGBT friends and family. Hopefully, Disney resonates with the #GiveElsaAGirlfriend message and does the right thing by displaying the couple in the latest sequel.