Disney shocked fans worldwide this week by revealing that Lefou has a hard-on for Gaston in the live action Beauty & The Beast adaptation. While many decided to weigh in on the 'morality' of depicting homosexuality in a children's film, the Disney Channel subtly aired their first ever gay kiss right under our noses, and only a few people noticed.
The show in question is Star vs. the Forces of Evil, which follows a girl called Star Butterfly as she struggles to balance daily school life with evil space villains. In this week's episode of Star vs. the Forces of Evil, our titular hero attends a concert with a male friend that she secretly has the hots for. As the surprisingly apt song 'Just Friends' begins to play, Star's friend Marco leans in for a kiss with another girl. Soon, the rest of the audience join in and begin a mass PG-friendly make-out session.
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As the camera pans around the teenage love-fest, a number of gay and #lesbian couples can be seen kissing alongside the more typical straight pairings on display. The point is neither labored or sensationalized. Each couple, whether they're #gay or straight, young or old, are all presented equally, normalizing what many perceive to be abnormal or somehow 'wrong'.
It may have taken Disney a few decades to catch up to real life, but #LGBT representation has become more and more prioritized by the Magic Kingdom in the last few years. The TV show Good Luck Charlie recently depicted a lesbian couple onscreen, and #Frozen proved that love is an open door by featuring same-sex parents in the sauna that Kristoff visits.
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Often, those who strive to raise LGBT visibility in the media focus on the depiction of lead characters, but it's heartening to see a children's show portray same-sex love in a more subtle capacity too. There are those who will lament including such acts in a cartoon for kids, but nothing explicit was shown here and those critics should also consider that heterosexual love is often the key focal point of such storylines. By normalizing romance of all kinds in shows like Star vs. the Forces of Evil, children can see that love is love, regardless of which genders are involved.
Should LGBT characters appear in Disney cartoons?
(Poll Image Credit: Disney)