It’s Time for a Gay Disney Prince

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Charlize Pate

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On Aug. 31, 2019, the world gained a new collaboration between Disney fan YouTube legends Thomas Sanders and Jon Cozart. It came in the form of a music video for their song “A Gay Disney Prince – A Musical Parody,” which is their third musical collaboration.

The pair had previously debuted the song at VidCon, so, while the video was not completely unexpected to fans, the video still showed multiple notable changes and additions to the lyrics as well as some switched lines.

The idea for the song first started as a what-if question by Sanders. He presented the idea to a couple of his friends, and they decided to make the song a reality. The lyrics were co-written by him, his good friend Joan, who often writes songs for the performer, and Cozart.

The video begins with Sanders sitting on a bench, reading a book of Grimm fairy tales, when a man (Cozart) sporting a gay pride flag pin walks bye. This inspires Sanders to imagine Cozart as a fairy tale prince akin to what Disney portrays in their films.

The song then follows Sanders through his imaginings of what it would be like if Disney actually did have a gay prince, and how much it would have helped him as he was growing up different than his heterosexual peers. The representation would have helped both him and them see gay people as a normal part of society.

He makes a very good point about Disney being such an important and wide-reaching role-model. Their films often represent multiple generations of childhoods, and so many of those movies revolve around love. And if it is not revolving, then it may still be included as a side-plot.

When “Frozen” came out, it blew a lot of people away to realize a sister’s love could be just as powerful as romantic love between a man and a woman. That being the case, think of how much impact showcasing other types of love could affect people, such as someone in the LGBTQ+ community. They are underrepresented, often misrepresented, and not going away, so inevitably they will have to be represented at some point.

So, I think now is the time for Disney to hop on board.

The song parodies several songs from actual Disney movies, and the whole thing just sounds like it belongs in a Disney movie. It is also packed with gay Disney puns, my favorite of which being “hetero-ever-after doesn’t have to be the norm,” which was a later addition to the song, and really drove their point home.

The song also contains some soft and hard criticism of Disney in general. Toward the beginning, they were poking fun at Disney’s acquisition of “everything,” including ABC, Marvel, and “Star Wars.” And with Disney’s new streaming platform, they’re about to have even more reach than they had before.

Their harder criticism was aimed at the portrayal of Lefou, Disney’s first LGBTQ+ character, in the live action “Beauty and the Beast.” A token gesture, this kind of representation is not enough.

Make it a main character; for example, a prince. Euphemistic dialogue and a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it scene really shouldn’t cut it. And at this point in time, it doesn’t.

I think another interesting aspect of this whole idea in general is that Disney movies often do just center around princesses. “Prince Charming” is sometimes just a role the princes fill, sometimes not even getting a name. I couldn’t tell you a single thing about some of the older Disney princes’ personalities (if they had one).

However, nowadays it is harder to get away with bad characterization for any character, but I still think a gay prince would force them to make him infinitely more interesting. And a bonus, as the song says, “A prince who will put every woman at ease / cause I won’t try and kiss them while they are asleep.”

One of Sanders’s trademarks on YouTube is talking about serious topics and framing them in a light that helps people make sense of them in a fun and entertaining way—without making it seem like he isn’t taking the topic seriously.

This song is no exception. The world, as it is, is extremely underrepresented in so many ways, and while he only picked out one specific “what if?” it really emphasizes how lacking this media is and how damaging that can be, especially to young people.

But the song also shows how much better it can be. There is plenty of room for improvement, and all it takes to start is that first step. I guarantee that if Disney took this one, and did it well, that others would follow immediately afterward.

And hey, if they ever do get the message, I would like to throw in my vote for Sanders to voice this prince, because he definitely has the skills and would absolutely do it. (With Cozart as the love interest? Anyone?)

In addition, I also believe that if Disney does not take this step forward, someone else will. And in the end, whoever has the best representation of our actual culture will come out on top. People want to see themselves reflected on the big screen.

Right now, bigger pictures with little diversity owe their success to the fact that there is no real representation up there with them. They don’t have it, their competition doesn’t have it, but as soon as someone does, it’s game over. Everyone has to change.

It is time for a gay Disney prince.

 

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