A few days ago, I stumbled across the #giveelsaagirlfriend campaign. Yesterday, I found out #givecaptainamericaaboyfriend was a thing. Like most of the angry tweeters, I thought the campaigns were well-intentioned but wrong. (Actually, most of the angry tweeters wouldn’t grant that it’s well-intentioned, but whatever.) I think it’s wrong not because it promotes “the gay agenda” but because it undermines it.
Last time I checked, being gay was a part of who you are. That’s why the gay rights movement is gaining traction: people are getting the hint that being gay isn’t a choice. It’s a reality. It’s an identity. It’s not something you can add on or take away, no matter how noisy the twittersphere gets.
How does giving Elsa a girlfriend affirm her identity? Elsa, the one and only princess who hasn’t ended up in a romantic relationship (singles represent!)? Elsa, the girl who learned that a sister can show the truest love?
How does giving Captain America a boyfriend affirm his identity, when his love interests have been women, saving America, and staying loyal to his friends in a totally bro way? (Maybe he appears gay in his latest movies, and that’s where the hype’s coming from? I’m still catching up with the culture after four years of undergrad.)
If Disney wants to affirm that sexual orientation is a fixed thing, giving Captain America a boyfriend or Elsa a girlfriend is the last thing Disney ought to do. Tacking on a new sexual orientation to an already established character won’t be saying anything substantial except that Disney capitalizes on the LGBT+ movement. I think that’s giving the wrong message about personhood, and gay persons in particular.
Where do you stand on #giveelsaagirlfriend and #givecaptainamericaaboyfriend? I’d love to hear your thoughts!