Give the Gays What We Want!
Remember when credible reports of a person’s sexuality came from a person? Neither do I. As long as orientation is the subject of gossip blogs and sensationalized tabloids, it’ll be treated as some scandalous personality flaw.
While I sound cynical and am more than a little envious that certain people can hire someone to handle all of their problems, I sincerely think that a person should have every right to choose the manner and timing of their coming out. However, as much as it shouldn’t be a big deal anymore, here we are; mired in a world where a person has to has to tip toe around the pronouns of who they’re fucking lest they’re exposed like a nipple at the Super Bowl.
So allow me to get profound for a moment and talk about one particular disappointment with the keystone of western culture. No this institution isn’t marriage nor the military, it’s Disney.
That’s right Mickey, I’m talking about you and yours. You seem to have lost your way amidst awful straight to DVD sequels of beloved classics. It’s time to stop with forgettable princesses and bring on some Queens.
To be clear, it doesn’t count as inclusion if the gays are so coded that the only thing that outs them is a love of hats. Also, it doesn’t count as inclusion if you capitalize on a flamboyant villain to really evoke hatred or fear for them. This may sound radical but I think it’s time to throw caution to the wind and embrace the gays for more than just that one magic day a year when you market your theme park to us. Let’s face facts, the only people who really enjoyed High School Musical were the gays. So give the audience what they want because with a plot about challenging the status quo, you seemed to have left a few people in the closet. We don’t necessarily need an orgy scene in the Wildcats’ locker room, but a gay character who can express their attraction in as many words would be nice. You can even stay PG if you want. Really, it’s possible, look at Brokeback Mountain.
The only reason I’m pushing my gay agenda is because, GAY PEOPLE EXIST. Fabricating stories or whole universes where they don’t not only pushes the limits of my suspension of disbelief, but also reaffirms that we aren’t real people. While the gay mafia may want to silence me and keep gays and Disney nicely separate so that we aren’t assimilated or tokenized, I contest that allowing a gay plot (hell I’d settle for a subplot) would be a mutually beneficial arrangement.
Do you know how many people asked me if I was going to see the movie with the black Disney princess? Tons. The movie she was in was awful, but the buzz and anticipation were there.
The Debbie Downers out there who may whine about assimilation should be reminded that gays don’t live in some queer bubble (unless you live in the Davie Village). Joining our place in cultural institutions can still be every bit as subversive as a drag queen throwing a brick, because in this instance it would get people talking. It may not change their minds, but it would be a better place to start than having Wal-Mart at the pride parade.
If gays continue to limit our activism to academic institutions or legal battles, our absence from real society resembles silence. Otherwise we may find that gay people have been put down the Orwellian memory hole or left as an unsympathetic abstraction.
So Disney the next time you make a Camp Rock, camp it up, not for your ratings sake, but for the gays. Do it so that headlines like this, which is really grasping and desperate, don’t continue to pollute our grocery aisles. In return we promise to lap up the next iteration of High School Musical and whichever Zac Efron clone you anoint.