Back in 2016, when America was still wide-eyed and bushy-tailed in hopes of having a female president, fans of the movie Frozen launched a campaign to #GiveElsaAGirlfriend. The campaign picked up steam, even garnering comments from the movie’s stars and writer. While the LGBTQ community remains hopeful ahead of Frozen 2’s 2019 release, a new survey said that approximately 34% of people are actually still “uncomfortable” with the idea of a gay Disney princess. However, 49 percent — nearly half of those polled — said they were ready for Gay Elsa.
According to British polling service YouGov, over half of the participants were comfortable with an overweight Disney princess and 70 percent were on board with the idea of a princess being a parent. Somewhat unsurprisingly — though still disheartening — support for an LGBTQ princess lagged the furthest behind. Of those polled, more people were willing to see a “feminist” princess than a queer one (53 percent).
However, the findings varied across age groups. YouGov found that 67 percent of people aged 18-24 supported the idea of a gay Disney princess, while only one-quarter of those aged over 65 expressed support. The same survey found that, overall, people found princesses of color, like Moana and Mulan, to be the best role models for girls, while basics like Ariel and Aurora came in dead last. Bye, bitch!
Idina Menzel, who plays the Ice Queen herself, voiced her support for the #GiveElsaAGirlfriend campaign in 2016. “I can’t promise anybody that that’s what’s gonna happen,” she divulged, “But deep down am I really happy that it’s causing people to talk about it and have these kinds of conversations? Yeah, I am.”
Menzel’s co-star Kristen Bell, who voices Anna, gave an ambiguous answer too, explaining, “Whatever Elsa wants to do is up to her, and it’s up to us to support her. I cannot confirm or deny I think in Frozen 1 she was young, so she’s still figuring stuff out.”
The movie’s writer and co-director Jennifer Lee offered an even more frustrating and ambivalent soundbite on #GiveElsaAGirlfriend earlier this year. She told HuffPost, “Where we’re going with it, we have tons of conversations about it, and we’re really conscientious about these things.” Lee added, “For me … Elsa’s every day telling me where she needs to go, and she’ll continue to tell us. I always write from character-out, and where Elsa is and what Elsa’s doing in her life, she’s telling me every day. We’ll see where we go.”
To date, Disney has never portrayed an out, queer character, despite the studio promising an “exclusively gay moment” for LeFou in their live-action Beauty & The Beast, which only displayed the character dancing with another male character. If Disney actually decides to #GiveElsaAGirlfriend, it would be monumental for LGBTQ representation in children’s movies.
The people are ready, Disney! Well, half of us are.