Disney Gives LGBTQ Kids Hope


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Disney will be creating a show based off of the young adult romantic comedy Love, Simon.

Robert Kukla, Arts & Life Editor

It was reported that Disney has a television adaptation of “Love, Simon” in the works, a popular young adult movie following the perspective of a gay teenager. This is the second show created by Disney that would feature a gay character. This is a major step by the company to show LGBTQ+ kids around the world that they belong.

Disney previously made headlines when they announced that a character from their popular show “Andi Mack” will come out to his friends on the show. This marked a first for the company, because it is the first Disney television show to feature a young teen’s coming out journey. This decision sparked a lot of debate over social media.

According to Just Jared Jr, an online entertainment website, one twitter user tweeted “I am very disappointed in the way this show has been directed there are some very good messages through this show for its young audience, but introducing gays is a very poor example to the young adults watching this show. Poor Choice Disney.”

Joshua Rush, the young actor who plays the gay character responded to this tweet in the best possible way by saying, “I’m sorry you feel that way. Here’s the thing though: gay kids are gonna exist no matter whether you like it or not, And we need to support and love all kids in every way we can. So when someone realizes they are gay, I want them to identify with something so they’re not alone.”

This is exactly why Disney making these strides is a powerful and important thing for young people who view their content. When I was a young teenager, and struggling to come to terms with who I was as a gay man, I wish I had access to characters like Simon, or actors like Joshua Rush. I had so many moments where I felt alone and that no one was going to understand me.

What Disney is doing is showing kids who identify within the LGBTQ+ community that being who they are is normal, and even though it seems hard, they aren’t alone and it can get better.

According to Pride.com, they list several benefits to featuring openly LGBTQ+ characters in kids shows, which includes establishing relatability, promotes tolerance and acceptance, and what I feel is the most important, showing them that there are others like them.

The website writes, “There are children and young adults alike who identify as LGBT or have parents who do so. Having content that mirrors their lives can, in fact, save their own. It isn’t always easy for children to articulate what’s wrong or what they need. So it can be a tremendous help to see their favorite character in their same predicament live out their life and truth.”

Overall, I am excited to see what else Disney does to show diversity within their programming and it makes me really happy to see something like this coming from a company I have loved and respected since I was a child.