“Frozen” Progress in Gay Rights

“Frozen” Progress in Gay Rights

Written by Jaime Franchi8, and originally published in jedmorey.com

We might have been the last of the elementary school set to watch the film Frozen. My six-year-old daughter had heard about it from all of her friends, and had even been introduced to the music by her classroom teacher so that when the character voiced by Idina Menzel belted out “Let it Go,” Anna was right there with her last week, singing along to every lyric.

My kids have always been sensitive. My son has a particular reaction to the key of E in music – it’s an immediate guttural response, and renders him to tears without him knowing why. It goes straight to the heart, and is the reason most lullabies are composed in that key. My daughter reacts emotionally to movies, as I do. When she’s older, I’m sure there are PMS-riddled marathons in our future: Steel Magnolias, Terms of Endearment, etc. We’ll wash down salty popcorn with chocolate and tears and revel in our womanhood.

The prequel to this: Disney. Because my kids were so emotionally sensitive, I’ve always had to be careful with what I showed them, so as far as they are concerned, Finding Nemo begins at the “First day of school!” scene and not the one where the mother and her thousands of eggs are killed, leaving baby Nemo motherless and the Albert Brooks character widowed (widowered?). But if I wanted to cut the sad parts out of Frozen, we would have had to come in at the hour forty mark and only watch the last ten minutes. Anna cried until the reconciliation of the last scene.

It was a devastating film, not because the parents died (of course they did, this is Disney!) but because it demonstrated the persecution of gay Americans.

I’ve written before about how important it is to me to encourage empathy in my children. Someone at Disney was having a similar conversation.

The film centers on Elsa who has a magic power that her parents and society deem dangerous. Even though a group of magic trolls declare she was “born this way,” she’s hidden away (almost literally in a closet) and forbidden to interact with people. Later, she’s cast from society to live in her own frozen castle of which she can be the queen who lets her freak flag fly in isolation, until her sister shows an act of love and “thaws” the town that learn to accept and celebrate her “gift.”

Disney couldn’t have chosen a better time to premiere this film. Uganda’s brutal anti-gay political stance has reached global awareness with the World Bank delaying much-needed funds.  It took Jan Brewer to veto laws in Arizona that would make discrimination legal.  And in the wake of the winter Olympics at Sochi, where gay rights activists were loud in opposing Russia’s backwards attitude toward gay “propaganda.” What those who change their Facebook profile pics to rainbow-hued Olympic rings might not have realized is that even though progressive legislation has pushed through same-sex marriage in some states, many parts of America are just as, if not more, regressive and punishing toward the LGBT community as Russia. Russia, in fact, legalized sodomy in 1993. A belated right of a wrong, you say? America de-criminalized it ten years after Russia. You might say we are “frozen” in mindset and attitude.

Eight US states have banned the promotion of homosexuality in schools. Two states (South Dakota and Missouri) have laws that prevent anti-bullying policies. Let that sink in. In Alabama and Texas, teachers are required by law to describe homosexuality as “abhorrent” and “criminal.”

Furious anti-gay proponents have come out against the film, claiming it’s an attempt to indoctrinate our children into the mindset of those pushing a “gay agenda.”  They decry the film as trying to “normalize” homosexuality, afraid that if their children recognize gayness not as an abomination, but as a persecuted minority devoid of civil rights in this modern age in a free country, they just might identify a bit. A portion of them might feel okay with any same-sex attraction they feel. They might be tempted to wrestle out of closets parents, churches, and society has put them in.

But most of them won’t. Statistically, most of them are straight. But some of your kids, some of them are gay. And it’s not because society normalized it. It’s not because Disney taught them it was okay. It’s not because they were raised by gay parents or because gay marriage was legalized in your state. It’s because they are gay.

Frozen is a love story. It’s about two sisters who come together, recognizing the bond of love between them. It’s about a child who comes to accept and celebrate the gifts she’s literally closeted away from society and eventually castigated for. To use the language of the devout, the broader story shows how we are all God’s children, brothers and sisters.

Some of those children are gay. Not because they have been indoctrinated, but because they have been made that way by a Creator. And to criticize the work of that creator, to say that it is flawed or wrong, or to suggest that it should be banned or hidden, seems a bit blasphemous to me.

But I have hope that with each generation, hearts and minds will thaw.

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38 Comments

  1. Rapu'm
    October 08, 05:20 Reply

    Never knew that schools in the US still teach kids that homosexuality is abhorrent and unnatural. So, when my friend gets angry about them teaching Creationism as scientific truth in schools, I understand where his anger is coming from. I am disgusted. As for Naija, I don’t know how to write movies, but one day I go put my money into a tv series as popular as Tinsel and there’ll be gay characters which every sane human being will find impossible not to love. Propaganda ni, propaganda ko. Thank you Jaime jor.

    • pinkpanthertb
      October 08, 05:30 Reply

      You haven’t WHAT?!!!! That rock you’ve being tucked under, where is it located? The Himalayas? The very top of Everest? Where?!

      • Dennis Macauley
        October 08, 05:37 Reply

        *hides face in shame*

        In my defence there has been work, and school and Mrs Macaulay’s cakes that has been taking my attention

        *straight face*

        • pinkpanthertb
          October 08, 05:39 Reply

          There is absolutely no excuse for not watching the most successful Disney animation ever made. Now, get off your ass, detach your face from the missus’s cakes, and GO FIND FROZEN!

      • chestnut
        October 08, 06:41 Reply

        Um…I guess now would be a bad time to admit that I haven’t seen d movie too? *covers face*…
        D movie seems to be so popular. I luv animations o, but I don’t know why I wasn’t drawn to d “frozen” b4 now. I will try to watch (esp now that “Once upon A time” is adding “frozen” characters into their plot)

      • Dennis Macauley
        October 08, 06:48 Reply

        Chestnut don’t mind them. Let’s download and watch this weekend, before the queen throws a fit

        • pinkpanthertb
          October 08, 07:29 Reply

          Hmmph! Y’all call me a Disney princess and think I won’t be miffed when you admit you’ve not seen my sister Elsa in action? Surely you kid. Oya go and watch it joor!

      • Dennis Macauley
        October 08, 07:39 Reply

        Sweetheart In light of recently happenings I have dethroned you from that Disney princess throne. You are too thirsty to sit there anyway, henceforth you are a scarlet lady!
        #Amen

      • maxonex
        October 08, 09:04 Reply

        @ Pinky, I think its in the Alps…

    • xpressivejboy
      October 08, 06:01 Reply

      DM, go see it…it’s the first animation that I’ve seen more than thrice in one month; will see more…now I sing every line and scale every pitch with them beautiful voices.

      #FrozenDeservesAnAward

      • Dennis Macauley
        October 08, 06:19 Reply

        I have never really been into animations. I always thot I was too old for them. I will defo see this one

        • xpressivejboy
          October 08, 06:45 Reply

          If not for his size, Josh Gad (Olaf, the Snowman) would have a been a great crush…his baritone leaves me horny while I sing along.
          For a snowman, this is so incredible to think…

          *Such Blondie* Olaf singing… 

          “…Just imagine how much cooler I’ll be in summer.

          Dah dah, da doo, uh bah bah bah bah bah boo

          The hot and the cold are both so intense,
          Put ’em together it just makes sense!

          Rrr Raht da daht dah dah dah dah dah dah dah dah doo

          Winter’s a good time to stay in and cuddle,
          But put me in summer and I’ll be a, happy snowman!

          When life gets rough, I like to hold on to my dream,
          Of relaxing in the summer sun, just lettin’ off steam.

          Oh the sky would be blue, and you guys will be there too

          (You need to see what he did with the notes on this last line)

          When I finally do what frozen things do in summer…IN SUMMER*”

      • xpressivejboy
        October 08, 06:47 Reply

        I’ve never been a fan too…I stumbled on it while my Cuz was doing justice to this great piece from Disney…I had a peep and fell uncontrollably in love with it.

    • Dom
      October 08, 11:01 Reply

      Someone has been with my grandma in Mbaise cracking palm kernel.

  2. daniel
    October 08, 05:55 Reply

    I downloaded this movie, as I started watching, it seemed boring and I deleted.. *pained*

    • xpressivejboy
      October 08, 06:04 Reply

      Do a re-download. Stop judging a tale by it’s first paragraph.

    • maxonex
      October 08, 09:07 Reply

      @Daniel, you sound like someone I know…

      • daniel
        October 08, 21:56 Reply

        Max really? Tell me about the Daniel u know..

  3. #TeamKizito
    October 08, 06:39 Reply

    See ’em. I haven’t seen the movie me-self. Hmmm. ‘Let it go! Let it go! …’ Okay, I’ll download it. Just because of the fact that I like Omosexy cause people like her, I’ll download “Frozen” cause people like (love) it.

    • chestnut
      October 08, 09:03 Reply

      “Omosexy” bawo? (Hav I made a mistake by asking u to start talking?lol)

  4. Ruby
    October 08, 06:56 Reply

    Word!
    This went Straight to my Heart

    • Ruby
      October 08, 07:01 Reply

      Puhleeeeease y’all who haven’t watched Frozen should find it Stat * we’ll have a Froen trivia soon and prizes will be awarded right Pinky*
      (Runs Away)

  5. JustJames
    October 08, 07:03 Reply

    I heard the song “let it go” before I saw the movie. I initially thought the movie would be boring but in the end *sigh*. All the songs were lovely.. some even sent chills down my spine. I’m pretty sure the movie was also trying to show that Disney is in full support of feminism.

  6. maxonex
    October 08, 09:02 Reply

    I love that movie…I’ve always known it had that hidden message…X-men too..the director Bryan Singer is gay and so are some of the actors…so x men movie franchise was one way to show how the world react to people who they deem different from them…I love movies like that…I still listen to the music “let it go” very day… Its so liberating to listen to..

    Sometimes I just wanna do what Elsa did…turn my back and slam the damn door…

  7. #TeamKizito
    October 08, 12:23 Reply

    Chestie is on my case. Pink princess, freeze him for me; please.

  8. enKayced
    October 08, 13:28 Reply

    Obviously, Dennis and I have been in Mbaise cracking palm kernel. This would be the perfect time to say I haven’t seen ‘Frozen’ and I honestly don’t think I’ll see it anytime soon.
    So much going on in my life right now.
    Pray, dear Pinky, that thou shalt not condemn me!

  9. Brian Collins
    October 09, 09:23 Reply

    All my straight friends in school that have seen the movie love Frozen. I had some of them singing ‘Do you wanna build a snowman’ for days.

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