Disney may continue to be cowardly when it comes to protecting queer and trans employees, but that’s not stopping fans from reading queerness into Disney films every chance we get.
Recently, in an interview with Vulture, Encanto star Stephanie Beatriz—who voices the heroine Mirabel and recorded the song “Waiting on a Miracle” while in labor!— shared some insight into the character’s motivations.
“For Mirabel’s journey, I was much more focused on how she felt like an outsider in her family,” she explained. “But I think for Mirabel, the main thing happening is this feeling and desire to be accepted by her family and to be loved for who she is. That is the kind of feeling that can definitely be something that queer kids have, but for Mirabel, it was for something different.”
It’s certainly easy to read queerness into any story about an “outsider,” and with Encanto, the parable of outcast Bruno, along with Mirabel’s “powerlessness”, can certainly feel queer. Even Isabela, facing the pressure to be “perfect” (i.e. straight) can make for an easy queer reading. On the whole, let’s face it, it’s a pretty gay musical. I mean it’s Disney for chrissakes!
In an acceptance speech, Beatriz explained that Encanto is, at heart. “about the journey of a very human girl being Mirabel, struggling to accept herself, struggling to stay positive in a world she feels cannot see her. I saw the story I wish I had grown up with.”
That’s the story I saw, too.