ATP Vantage Point
The entertainment industry has been working hard over the last several years to make same-sex relationships a part of the normal American landscape. Disney is also part of that movement.
Let’s look at a list of several Disney productions that include LGBTQ characters.
- The Princess Diaries 2 (2004)
- Gravity Falls (2012-2016)
- Frozen (2013)
- Good Luck Charlie (2014)
- Star Vs. The Forces of Evil (2015-2019)
- The Lodges (2016)
- Zootopia (2016)
- Beauty and the Beast (2017)
- High School Musical (2019)
- DuckTales (2017-2021)
- Star Wars Resistance (2018-2020)
- Andi Mack (2019)
- Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (2019)
- Onward (2020)
- Out (2020)
- Jungle Cruise (2021)
- Eternals (2021)
- Cruella (2021)
- Raven’s Home (2022)
What makes “Lightyear” uniquely different is that it includes the first Disney-produced animated same-sex kiss.
In leaked footage of the Disney Zoom meeting, Burke argued that the company has only featured a “handful” of queer leads in their programming. Her goal: normalizing more gay lead characters by just incorporating their lifestyles into the script as opposed to making the story gay-specific.
Arguably, this concept may seem relatively benign. Disney is not necessarily pushing to make more “gay” storylines. Instead, they want to have more gay couples written into the story in a matter-of-fact way.
This is, in our estimation, quite concerning. What Burke is saying is that she wants to normalize gay lifestyles to a point where gay characters are just simply a part of the natural landscape.
Shockingly, Disney executive producer Latoya Raveneau also proudly admitted to having a “not-at-all-secret gay agenda” in leaked footage of the same meeting. “I was just, wherever I could, adding queerness,” Raveneau boasted. “If you see anything queer in the show — no one would stop me, and no one was trying to stop me.”
The inclusion of LGBTQ characters in TV, film and other media has become a common occurrence, and most Americans are, quite frankly, becoming habituated.
When it comes to education, Florida has taken a bold step in an attempt to remove sexuality teachings from the early grammar school years. It’s not unreasonable. During these formative years, children are like sponges, easily sopping up whatever set of beliefs and ethics adults want to teach them, and sometimes those ideas are inconsistent with the morals and beliefs of parents.
The bill prevents educators from teaching children about gender and sexual orientation at an early age. It affirms that parents are the ones to teach their young children about these issues and prevents educators with agendas from pushing their own ideas on other people’s kids.
The state of Florida already bans sex education before fifth grade. Some argue that by forbidding discussions on LGBTQ issues, children who have their own sexual identity and gender issues are left without guidance.
This safety-net narrative is disingenuous. Once again, the idea is that teachers who are charged with educating children about reading, writing and arithmetic should also be available to coach kids through sexual and gender identity issues. They aren’t therapists. That’s not their job.
The bill puts control back on the parents. Schools must notify parents if their child receives mental health assistance and it empowers parents to lodge complaints if they disagree with the content their children are being taught in school. We believe this is how it should be, and we commend Florida for taking this courageous step.
Disney and Pixar are not part of the public education system. Therefore they can choose to feature any number of LGBTQIA+ characters they wish. It is up to parents to decide if they want their children to learn about these progressive issues via entertainment.
If parents choose to allow their young kids to watch films and TV with gay characters, perhaps they can use them as an opportunity to discuss these issues. However parents decide to address (or not address) it, thanks to HR1557, the power is back in their hands.