In response to the whole LeFou thing, I am happy for Lefou on a Watsonian level. Like good for him for being gay. I’m not acting like it’s him in particular being gay which is the problem and it’s not because he’s not the usual traditionally handsome gay dude and I’m some fetishising fangirl who needs someone hot to crush on (I’m bi, dudes, I’m here for the rep). It’s not that there aren’t gay people like him out there who end up falling for the misogynistic straight dude, cause yeah, there are.
The issue is that this is the first gay character in a Disney movie. The first. How bad is that when you think about the fact it’s 2017?
You can’t just jump in with your first tiny tea-spoonful of representation being the comic relief who will probably pine miserably for the arsehole straight dude and be horribly mistreated by him (as well as being laughed at by the audience). You can’t just do that.
That is something you get to do, as straight writers (and let’s not pretend most of the creators involved in this aren’t straight or catering to straight audiences), once you’ve actually given positive representation. First you give kids watching that movie a positive gay role model that they can look up to, who isn’t laughed at. Give them a gay hero. I assure you they will be watching. I remember every little bit of LGBT rep I saw when I was a kid, and most of it was horrible and seriously impacted my self-esteem and the way I thought about myself.
So it’s no good acting like people not liking this gay LeFou thing are pretending gay guys like him don’t exist, it’s that THIS SHOULD NOT BE THE LANDMARK FIRST CANONICALLY GAY DISNEY CHARACTER IN THE YEAR 2017.
Straight (white cis) kids get to see themselves as the heroes in everything they watch, and that’s actually great because all kids should be able to see themselves as heroes, but you’re gonna offer this measly, offensive, cowardly representation instead of a proper hero for LGBT kids? With a minor character. Who gets abused by Gaston. Who is the comic relief. Who is not there to empathise with but literally to laugh at.
It doesn’t even matter if he ends up happy in the end (he had better) because homophobes/casual viewers will still get to view him as the comic relief and even be valid in that because that is what he is in the original film.
It’s a mess, my dudes. A mess.