Homophobia in Animation: Queer-Coded Disney Characters

Disney has almost no outwardly queer characters, and the queer-coded characters it does have are almost always villains.

Let's be honest: Disney hasn't given us a lot to work with in terms of LGBTQ+ representation.

Troublingly, many of the Disney characters that display queer characteristics are also portrayed as villains. While this isn't a positive thing overall, many queer folks have combed through Disney movies, triumphantly reclaiming the franchise's many glittering, flamboyant, queer-coded characters.

In that spirit, here's a list of all the (potentially) LGBTQ+ icons ever featured in Disney films (with a few Pixar Animations, because who really understands the difference?) Let's hope that Disney (and other animation studios) learn from their past mistakes and create complex characters who display different facets of queerness and gender, not just stereotypical and harmful versions of them. Until that day... we'll take what we can get?

1. Le Fou — Beauty and the Beast

When the director of the 2017 live-action Beauty and the Beast remake announced that the character Le Fou would be portrayed as gay, an uproar ensued. (It was even boycotted in one Alabama drive-in). Though many people looked forward to the moment, it turned out to be an incredibly brief sequence wherein Gaston's loyal sidekick dances with a man in the final ball scene. That's all we were given from Disney's first openly gay character, sadly.

Still, even in the original film, Le Fou appears to have a kind of slavishly devotional love for Gaston, and in hindsight he was heavily queer-coded.

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