LGBTQ+ characters are on the rise in Disney productions. The Beauty and the Beast live-action remake even announced that it would feature a gay character before the movie’s release! Though there was a lot of backlash (SMH), there was also a lot of support (as there should be). In multiple interviews the creators have all said they stand by their decision and even predicted that they expect Disney to feature a lot more LGBT characters in upcoming projects. Times are a’changin’, people!
LeFou may have been the first Disney-film character who was openly gay, but he definitely isn’t the first member of the LGBTQ community that Disney ever created. We decided to take a look back at some earlier movies (mostly animations) that most likely featured a gay character (or two!!) in the gallery below:
LeFou in Beauty and the Beast
When it was announced that LeFou was going to be gay in the live-action remake of Beauty and the Beast, there was major backlash. While the character never specifically says he likes boys during the film, director Bill Condon confirmed it in multiple interviews. He explained, "By representing same-sex attraction in this short but explicitly gay scene, the studio is sending out a message that this is normal and natural."
After realizing that some people were (disgustingly) disgusted that the new film featured a member of the LGBTQ community, Bill spoke out again and said the whole situation was blown out of proportion. He stands by his decision to make LeFou gay and we stand by him, too!
Oaken in Frozen
When fans started to question this Frozen character's sexuality after seeing a picture of him and what looked like his husband and children displayed in a shop during a film, no one really would confirm or deny the claims.
Jennifer Lee, the writer and co-director of the film, responded to the controversy by saying, "We know what we made, but at the same time I feel like once we hand the film over, it belongs to the world. So I don't like to say anything, and just let the fans talk. I think it's up to them."
That said, a TON of people already made up their mind — Oaken is a member of the LGBTQ community and we love it!
Couple in Finding Dory
When Finding Dory was released, fans noticed two women walking around with a baby in a stroller, making them assume they were Disney's first lesbian couple. Co-director Andrew Stanton pulled a Frozen move and gave a vague AF answer about this possibility.
"They can be what ever you want them to be," he said. "There is no right or wrong answer."
Bucky and Pronk Oryx-Antlerson in Zootopia
While Bucky and Pronk Oryx-Antlerson's relationship is never specifically mentioned during the movie, the credits reveal that their last names are joined, proving that Judy Hopps' neighbors are, in fact, a couple.
Ursula in The Little Mermaid
The Little Mermaid's villain was modeled after a famous drag queen named Divine, a gay man who was SUPER popular among the LGBT community. It was confirmed that the creators of the movie wanted Ursula to have the look and personality of the performer and the film's composer, Alan Menken, revealed he wanted Harvey Fierstein to play the sea witch in a live-action version.
While drag queens are not always gay, they are definitely LGBTQ allies and since Ursula was mimicked after a gay man, people assume that Ursula falls under the umbrella, too.
Pleakley in Lilo & Stitch
In the beloved children's movie Lilo & Stitch, there was a cross-dressing alien named Pleakley who caught the attention of many viewers. Although it was never blatantly stated, fans speculated that the character may have been a part of the LGBTQ community.