Disney has announced that it’s upcoming film, Onward, will feature it’s ‘first’ openly gay character, Officer Spectre. And, as an openly gay man, I’m just thrilled to bits that this is, what, the fifth time Disney’s pulled this stunt?
Officer Spectre is, if you couldn’t guess, yet another blink-and-you’ll-miss-it LGBT+ character Disney from the House of Mouse. The lesbian in question is confirmed to appear in one whole scene where she complains about her girlfriend’s daughter being troublesome.
She joins the extended cast of prestigious, cinematic Disney LGBT+ characters:
Background kissing couple in Star Wars: Rise of the Skywalker
Guy at Captain America’s counseling group in Avengers: Endgame
Two women with pram in Finding Dory who Disney assures us are lesbians
Le Fou in the live action Beauty and the Beast remake, who briefly dances with guys
Oaken from Frozen, who may have a husband in his sauna
Truly, we live in a time.
Look. Disney. We get it. You want the praise without any of the associated risk; your films are big, and they reach a lot of audiences that aren’t too fond of them pesky gays. Russia, for example, considered banning Beauty and the Beast for it’s much-ado-about-nothing scenes, so if it can’t be something that’s able to be re-dubbed or easily edited out, why bother?
But Disney, why are you bothering at all? You might get praise from some morons, but we’re not stupid. When you hype it up to the media, do you honestly think LGBT+ people are thankful that you made Cop #3 have a girlfriend? Please. We know you just want to bank off us: You’ll sell pride stuff at your parks, you’ll have it in some of your TV shows, but a gay character that matters to the plot of a blockbuster? No, that’s too far.
Just put us in your films, or don’t. You can’t have it both ways. Have one of the main cast in one of your main movies be queer, and none of this ‘if you squint at them in this lighting, maybe they’re gay’ nonsense. Commit. Yeah, you might annoy a foreign country or two, but that’s the price of integrity. And something tells me that you could help social change in those places if you tried – you think somewhere is really going to risk banning Avenger’s 3 because you gave Thor a boyfriend? You might instead change some people’s minds about LGBT+ people, which is something you’re supposedly for.
At the end of the day, it’s 2020, not 2002. You can’t keep taking baby steps on this issue any more. It’s time to choose whether or not you’re going to walk.