Conceal Don’t Feel, Or Let It Go?

March 23, 2014 9:00 pm4,582 comments
Elsa from Frozen

Photo: Flickr Creative Commons – Sam Howzit

“Let it go, let it go, can’t hold it back anymore,” unless you’re gay. Then keep that shit down. This is the view of one particular blogger, Kathryn Skaggs, who has captured the attention of numerous news articles by claiming that the movie Frozen has shoved a gay agenda down the throats of innocent, helpless, Christian children. At one point Skaggs so eloquently remarks, “If good parents fail to accept that progressivism is strongly behind the entertainment industry, then we risk being, unknowingly, undermined as parents.”

Frozen is very progressive for a Disney film. This is seen not only in the possible gay theme, but also in moments such as when Elsa won’t let Anna marry a man she just met. A storyline that happens time and time again in Disney movies. It is also progressive in the fact that the act of true love, for once, was not a romantic love, it was a love between two sisters. So, Skaggs is right, Frozen does reflect progressive ideals. But the idea that Disney is trying to undermine parents? That’s a bit farfetched to say the least. Disney, like any company, is trying to make money. And like it or not, that is by appealing to a younger, more progressive audience.

After warning the parents of Disney’s evil plot to destroy their families, Skaggs goes on to outline how the movie is using gay themes, my personal favorite part of her article. She starts this section by saying, “Sidebar: Let me be very clear about one thing, I am not anti-gay.” And yet, in the following paragraphs she condemns Frozen for its “gay” undertones. So how exactly is that not “anti-gay”?

She later states that she does “draw the line at the idea of redefining traditional marriage to include homosexual relationships, as equal.” Which is absolutely hilarious because there is no gay marriage in Frozen. Yes, there are themes which people could perceive as being gay or representing the fight for gay rights, but no one actually marries another person of the same sex. In fact, the only engagement presented in the movie was heterosexual. So if Skaggs’ only issue with gays is when they get married, then what the hell is her issue with Frozen?

Well, don’t worry she answers that in the next twenty plus paragraphs about the gay themes in Frozen. In case you haven’t seen Frozen, or have not analyzed it to the depth Skaggs has, the gay theme revolves mostly around Elsa and her powers. Throughout the movie we see Elsa struggling with this innate power she has no control over. “Conceal, don’t feel,” is a phrase repeated often in the movie, emphasizing that Elsa cannot be who she truly is, similar to how homosexuals are forced to stay in the closet. When Elsa’s powers are discovered, she is rejected by the townspeople, which reflects the idea that gays are often rejected by society when they come out of the metaphorical closet. The song Elsa sings when she retreats to the mountains after being rejected by her people, “Let It Go,” is strongly criticized by Skaggs for it’s underlining gay theme. If you actually listen to the song, it’s about letting go of your fear and embracing who you are. Of course, a crazy idea that no child should believe. So does Skaggs have a point? Is Frozen a terrible film that has a gay person lurking around every corner? Is Elsa gay? Is her magic just gay fairy dust?

My personal opinion: who the hell cares?

Whether or not Elsa is or isn’t gay does not matter. What matters is that Disney has finally bridged the “heterosexual only” gap and opened up the discussion for gay characters in Disney. Newspapers have written articles on the subject, such as The Huffington Post. Users spanning social media sites have shared their own theories. Everyone is talking about whether or not Frozen has underlying gay themes. Why does this matter? Why is this more important than the answer if there are or are not gay themes in Frozen? More than if Elsa herself is gay? Because by discussing the theories, there is a sense of normality in the idea of there being a gay princess. Ten, twenty, thirty years ago the idea that there even could be a gay princess would be completely ridiculous. But now, angry moms like Skaggs are writing pages of evidence supporting the idea that Disney released a movie with a gay princess. By having a debate on the gay themes hidden in Frozen, Disney opens room for, eventually, there being a concrete gay story line, and maybe even a gay princess.

Disney has not even retaliated against these speculations and in fact have embraced them. Chris Buck, co-director of Frozen, stated that the movie “is about an outsider realizing that: No. What I do well or my gift that I used to hide, I’m not going to hide it anymore.”  Frozen is the movie for the little guy, the minority, the outsider regardless of race, sexuality, and/or ethnicity.  And like it or not Kathryn Skaggs, that includes The Gays. But the good news is it includes people like Kathryn Skaggs as well. Because slowly, but surely, homophobic, narrow minded people are becoming the minority.

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