OPINION: LGBTQA+ Inclusion in Entertainment


Gay: a word that for many years was considered a taboo for television and movies. Over the years, many directors have incorporated it into their work, and in the last few years, it has become something less of a big deal and more of a norm. There are tons of people who still unfortunately don’t agree or believe it should be involved in entertainment. Disney has tested the waters of LGBTQA+ characters with a lesbian couple in their show “Good Luck Charlie”. After the episode aired, there were mixed reactions from its viewers .

Now it’s been a couple of years, and with the live action Beauty and the Beast movie on the horizon, there was an announcement of a gay character. LeFou, the newly-announced gay character, is Gaston’s minion of sorts. There’s also been talks of LeFou wanting to be with Gaston, but at the same time wanting to kill him. Some are overjoyed by this while others, like Russian lawmaker Vitaly V. Milonov,wants to ban it, and others do not see an issue.  

I think it is cool that Disney is trying to include LGBTQA+ characters in their movies that are targeted to children. I firmly believe that if this concept is introduced to children at younger ages, then they will be able to understand it better. Without exposure, they might be very confused if they see two people of the same sex holding hands in public, but with exposure, they could be less confused, especially in the format of a light-hearted children’s musical that will help with their perception.

Disney, among other production companies, should incorporate LGBTQA+ characters more often, but not everyone in movies has to be LGBTQA+ or straight; there should be diversity in all casting decisions. This format of entertainment is a great way to introduce new topics to kids as well as the word. No matter what the topic is, entertainment is more times then not the best way to introduce new ideas historically. It was in the last 100 years that racial diversity was introduced, after all. Hopefully within the next few years or so, more people will be okay with LGBTQA+ characters than not.