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Disney Exemplifies The Livelihood of Homophobia in 2017

When I think of Disney, I normally associate it to magic, fun and imagination. I feel like it’s almost every young boy or girl’s dream to go to Disney World at least once in their life, and it normally ends up being the type of experience you never forget. Behind the magic, The Walt Disney Company is a globally accredited mass media and entertainment company with enterprises such as television, radio, theme parks, and films.

Recently, the Disney company aired their first same-sex kiss in a children’s cartoon in their show Star vs. The Forces of Evil. The scene featuring said kiss includes the main characters attending a concert in which a romantic song comes on, inspiring some light action in the fictional audience. Of course, when news of this broke, many took to Twitter to voice their frustrations towards Disney for openly showcasing a same-sex kiss on a kid’s show. Many cited that media companies were forcing the “gay agenda” onto children and that exposing these actions to kids would create confusion.

https://twitter.com/exact__lee/status/837417677132038144

Here’s the thing, regardless of it’s “just your opinion” or not, constantly repeating these messages allows homophobia to persist and it pushes forward an anti-gay agenda. If two men or two women being in a romantic relationship in the media is considered forceful, then what exactly does it mean when it’s a straight couple? Honestly, it seems that straight people just have an annoyingly obnoxious obsession with the LGBTQ+ community and they’re just so concerned with everything in gay culture. By stating that homosexuality should not be flaunted, we continue to advance the impression that homosexuals should keep these emotions and feelings hidden instead of expressing themselves as who they truly are. In reference to this, it is well known that the term ‘hiding in the closet’ describes those who have not yet disclosed their sexuality to others. Many decide to “stay in the closet” due to the feeling of embarrassment, shame and anxiety often associated with openly coming out as homosexual. In fact, according to The Trevor Project, who aim to prevent suicide amongst LGBTQ+ youth,

suicide is 4x greater for LGBT youth than that of straight youth. On top of this, a whopping 40% of transgender adults have admitted to having made a suicide attempt, 92% of this group having attempted it before the age of 25.

When faced with these facts, one would hope that parents are consciously trying to teach their children about the many people they’re going to encounter throughout their lives. One would hope that they’d teach them to respect others regardless of their religious beliefs, skin tones, sexuality, age, or gender. With this in mind, if a media company such as Disney decides they want to help end the stigma surrounding the LGBTQ+ community by normalizing this community in media, then these parents should supportive of this notion. If you believe your children are going to end up confused when seeing a same-sex couple on the television, at that point, it becomes your job as their parent to educate them on what they’re seeing. I can almost fully guarantee that unless your child was born gay, your child is not going to magically become gay just because they’re exposed to homosexuality in the media.

Spreading homosexuality or discrimination towards any group just continues to implement hatred into our society. Therefore, instead of following the outdated, homophobic words of the Old Testament that preach the idea of an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth, we should just learn to “love thy neighbor.”

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Fatima Alvarenga
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Fatima is an undergraduate student in Ottawa, Canada. Currently enrolled in communications and media studies, she aims to work for a major media company upon graduating. She adores KimYe and considers herself a stan! Find her on Twitter: @sealnationn

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