By: Hagan Zoellers
Snow White, Ariel and, most recently, Elsa. Disney princesses have long been the model of true love for young American girls and boys.
Unless, of course, you are not a heterosexual child.
The problem with what the Disney princess series has created is inherent in the genders of the characters it displays. The stories are actually quite deep and intricate, but they are metaphorical enough to be only superficially understood by a toddler.
When making a children’s movie, it is extremely important to remember that most children do not yet possess the cognitive faculty to look at a movie and think about how it may apply to their life. If in every princess movie they see a male and a female falling in love, eventually it becomes ingrained that love is a thing that originates only between a male and a female.
My issue with the Disney princess movies is just that: they are princess movies.
A young gay child who has no exposure to the idea of romantic love other than the movies he has watched is slowly taught that true love exists between a male and a female.
For me this was an extension of growing up in conservative Eastern Kentucky where all children are taught to aspire to the day they can get married and have a family.
For children of today, even ones living in more gay-friendly cultures, this definition of love is a subtle reminder that real relationships happen between men and women.
I, an 18 year old male, was trying to enjoy Disney’s newest–and also awesome, despite its heteronormative character choice–princess movie, Frozen, yet I was plagued with a question.
Why must I always go through mental gymnastics to apply these beautiful fairy tales to my life?
Why must I figure out which character I relate to, and then dismantle the gender Disney has assigned them to understand what this movie actually means to me?
As a musician, why do I have to change pronouns in love songs to actually feel something when singing them? If we live in such a progressive, accepting society, why does our art not reflect that?
I need a gay Disney prince so that I can look at the screen and see something I have been through.
I need a gay Disney prince so that the next generation of children is raised to see homosexuality not as merely a viable option best avoided, but as a real way people are and that they themselves may be.
I can hear the good ol’ boys now: “Well, if you show ‘em all this gay stuff, they’re gonna turn gay!” To which I can only respond: “So?”
Is there something so inherently wrong with the love and affection I feel that it must be muted and avoided by others? Is my love unnatural? Are my feelings alien?
This is, of course, rhetorical.
Through great struggle and internal conflict, I have come to realize that all love is equal. No one should have to struggle, as I and millions of others have, to come to this realization. It is innate.
The heteronormativity we are exposed to as children buries it.
I need a gay Disney prince to come, shovel in hand, and begin to chip away at this mountain of hate we have allowed our society to build.
I need a gay Disney prince to remind children that love is natural, no matter who it is towards.
I need a gay Disney prince.
Photo Courtesy of Google Images