Let’s Talk About It: Queer Identity and Disney

So after spending a day on the internet on Tuesday, I’ve noticed that two hashtags have come into popularity: #giveelsaagirlfriend and #givecaptainamericaaboyfriend. I find both topics interesting, and since Disney owns Marvel I can consolidate these topics into one article rather than writing two (thank you Disney and your lovely way of taking over media). While I find these topics interesting, I at first wondered why these topics arose, what the pros and cons are, and if either of these propositions are feasible. It’s so much fun.

Before I get into this touchy subject, let me first say that I’m a straight Black male, so some may read this and take my words with a grain of salt, and that’s fine. Some may believe that I’m trying to spit on what you believe, and while that’s not as okay as the previous, it’s still fine. Though I may not fully understand the world of queer identity, I’m hoping to discuss this subject on neutral ground and do it justice. The last thing I plan on doing is mansplaining the topic or going all nerd rage or America rage (I will give examples of this and guess which character I’ll be talking about when I do it), cause there’s no reason to nerd rage on this topic or America rage–-there’s nothing to rage about, at least for sensible people. As for mansplaining, fuck that. People who mansplain are assholes.

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Somewhere a guy is actually doing this and wondering why he only sees shit. 

So let’s get to it, starting with #giveelsaagirlfriend. It’s simple. It’s completely fine to give Elsa a girlfriend. In the movie Frozen she’s shown as having common sense, and not believing in falling in love so quickly. Disney made her, probably because of all the criticism their previous movies had received because their princesses went through love-at-first-sight syndrome (though they kind of still fell into that trap with Anna). Now, although Elsa would make sense having a girlfriend, I feel as though the problem is how they’ll portray it and for what reasons Disney is doing it. If Disney is trying to make more progressions and go, “Oh look at us, aren’t we progressive? One of our characters is queer!” then there are problems. Give Elsa a girlfriend because you feel as though her character would have one, and apparently the fans feel as though it would make sense. And if there’s anyone that knows the character, it’s obsessive overthinking fans.

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And here we return to the question of ice problems and sexual activity.

The other problem is how Disney would portray Elsa as a lesbian (I was about to write this article as if these things were set in stone and not a topic up in the air with zero confirmation). If they continue to portray her as cold and kind of quick wit distant and have that play into her sexuality, we have problems. Ideally you shouldn’t set a personality with a sexuality, just as you shouldn’t make all of your gay male characters sassy and feminine because they’re gay, you shouldn’t make–you know the end of the sentence (if you finished it with, “bologna sandwiches taste like crap because bologna is a shitty meat”, then you’re only kind of right). So giving Elsa a girlfriend shouldn’t be hard. It’s not exactly pandering. It sort of makes sense, especially since the debut of Frozen, people have suggested she should have a girlfriend. Just don’t have her fall in love at first sight.

Random additional comment: I want a version of the Little Mermaid where Ariel is a guy and Prince Eric is a girl just so I can hear the line, “Daddy I love her.”

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Now let’s go to the hashtag that had problems. Surprise surprise. It’s #givecaptainamericaaboyfriend. Oh you didn’t say? People had a problem with this? While the response for #giveelsaagirlfriend went like this:

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The responses I’ve seen for #givecaptainamericaaboyfriend have been more like:

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“How dare they suggest things that don’t directly affect me!”

I only knew about this hashtag because of Facebook. I don’t know why I clicked on the trending link. I knew what I’d find. I knew I’d only see hot flaming vitriol, but I clicked anyways. People were so angry. Though I assumed that it would be more nerd rage, it of course turned into just: gay=sin. One post I saw talked about not giving Cap a bf because it would teach young boys that being gay is okay. Which, I mean, how many times do we have to say that being gay isn’t really a choice. And I’ve always asked this but if it is a choice, what’s the fucking problem. These people who offend your morals aren’t doing anything directly to you. They aren’t going into your homes and fellating (let’s act like that’s a word) you. You are unscathed by this.

Another post I saw was about the gay agenda and how they’re attaching themselves to a well established comic character so that they can gain more prominence. Which that’s also stupid. There are no agendas. People aren’t trying to take Captain America and make him gay to give more attention to homosexuality. That’s some weird conspiracy and an odd long game. “Yes let’s wait until a Marvel character not named Spiderman or Wolverine gains prominence in a cinematic universe and make him gay so that everyone will recognize homosexuality!” That’s like me trying to promote my irritable bowel syndrome by making more Taco Bells around the world, “Yes everyone will understand the feeling of explosive shits and ruined stomachs!” (sorry to Taco Bell, I felt like I was kicking a dead horse. I love you, but you ruin me).

One post talked about “queers stealing their comic book characters”. And then there’s this article. The author (I dare call him that) talks of the hashtag being insulting when his article was insulting to my eyes. He said that the extreme left is trying to make Captain America less about fighting fascism and more about 2016 concerns. He said that the extreme left is trying to ruin years of what America stood for by making Cap gay. Bruh. Bruuuuuh. A) It’s not that deep. B) Cap hasn’t been about fighting actual fascism since 2011 (by this I mean the Cap that we care about. We all know people aren’t using this hashtag and thinking about the comics). C) What makes you think that American concepts can’t coincide the homosexuality? Do you think that giving Cap a boyfriend will all of sudden make him less of a soldier? Make him some weakling? Or make him join the Nazis? (If you think it’s the last one, I have some news for ya.) Anyways, giving Cap a boyfriend wouldn’t really do anything. Some Americans are gay, deal with it. You can have characters in the media who are both a good representation of your slightly deluded American macho ideals and queer. Example: Hank from Sirens.

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RIP Sirens. You will be missed. USA (channel not country), we have problems.

Now with all of that said and done, I don’t see Disney/Marvel giving Cap a boyfriend. We all remember last year when it was revealed that Marvel had criteria on how Peter Parker should be represented. I’m sure they have the same thing for good ol’ Steve Rogers. Also while Disney has a good chance of making Elsa gay because of progressiveness and the character making sense, Marvel knows not to stir the pot. As much fun as it would be to see Steve having relations with some-guy-not-named-Bucky (more on that later), there’s a good chance it won’t happen. A) a good number of fans are like the aforementioned hatemongers festering opinions in their asses. While, just as with Star Wars, they’ll show commercials of people in queer relations being fans of the media, they won’t risk one of their now important characters straying from the norm. B) Giving Cap a boyfriend would go against all that they’ve set up. He was in love with Peggy Carter and now he’s dating(?) Peggy’s niece, Sharon. They’d either have to make him bisexual, or try to make a lot of sense of giving him a boyfriend. There just really isn’t anything in his track record of him wanting a boyfriend, and at times there isn’t much of a record of him wanting love at all. I was confused when Cap kissed Sharon in Civil War. I was just like, where’d that come from?

Now another problem with this is that people want the boyfriend to be Bucky. Stop guys. Stop. I get that they’re close, but don’t hook Steve up with Bucky. Continue your thoughts of Steve and Tony. I get that Steve will fight for Bucky. Or that he’ll make stupid decisions and cause a civil war for him, but you don’t have to make it romantic love. Sometimes it’s just guy love between two guys.

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So for right now, it seems more likely that Disney would give Elsa a girlfriend and randomly put Cap in romances with females (though he should have nothing). For now people’s desires for Cap having a boyfriend will have to be crafted into slash fiction, but who knows, maybe years from now, we’ll have an onscreen Cap holding hands with his male lover.

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