I know, it’s a lot to take in. It was hard for me, too.
Not the gay thing, specifically. I always knew I was attracted to men—it just took a while to realise that I preferred it when they were unnamed, had zero relevance to the plot, and only appeared onscreen for a couple of seconds at a time. I talked to my therapist about it, and he helped me come to terms with my truth. I’m not just gay. I’m Disney’s first gay character.
I didn’t want to believe it at first, but then things started happening. First, there was that time a princess came through town chasing a magic goose, and I casually mentioned my boyfriend to her before having absolutely no impact on the rest of her story. And then a couple of weeks later, all the apps on my phone came to life and had a big adventure, and if you paused at the exact right moment you could see that I had “John 🌈❤” in my recent contacts. I couldn’t ignore the signs—although the average viewer probably could, if they weren’t paying close attention.
Dad, I know it’s a shock, but it’s really not as strange as it sounds. Ironically, there are tons of people who share this experience. People like Lefou, from the live-action Beauty and the Beast. Or that lesbian couple in the background of one scene in Finding Dory. I may be Disney’s first gay character, but I’m far from Disney’s first first gay character.
I think deep down I’ve always known. Remember when we went on that globe-trotting family vacation, and how I was mysteriously absent when we arrived in Singapore? Or how about the fact that I never explicitly say that I’m gay, and instead always couch it in weird innuendos? I’m pretty sure most teenagers don’t say stuff like, “I guess my heart beats to a different song.” And, be honest, haven’t you always kind of suspected that I was being portrayed by a straight actor?
Please don’t cry, Mom. I’m not saying it isn’t going to be hard. I’ve already had three petitions from conservative groups asking to have me removed. Jordan Peterson posted a 30-minute-long video, which I think was about me, although it was hard to make out over all the weeping. But I have a bright future ahead of me, I just know it.
I could have an unnamed partner, like that lesbian cyclops cop in Onward. Or an unnamed dead husband, like the unnamed gay support group member in Avengers: Endgame. I could even have a family, like America Chavez’s two unnamed probably-dead moms in Doctor Strange and the Multiverse of Madness! Just because I’m Disney’s first gay character doesn’t mean I can’t have a fulfilling relationship. It just means it can only be shown in short, non-plot-relevant glimpses so it can be edited out for foreign markets.
I hope you can accept me for who I am. I have a couple of friends who are Disney’s first gay character—hell, these days I think we all do—and their parents didn’t take it that well. Not because of homophobia, they were just more of a Dreamworks family. But I love you, Mom and Dad, and as long as you still love me, that’s all that matters.
And don’t worry, you can still donate to conservative politicians as much as you like.