With Pride Month (June) on the horizon, it’s time to reflect on LGBT+ representation in mass media once again. With kids’ shows like Steven Universe, The Legend of Korra, The Loud House, Adventure Time, and most recently, Netflix’s She-Ra and the Princesses of Power featuring canon, onscreen same-gender couples – not to mention the Beauty and the Beast remake and Onward featuring two of Disney’s first official non-straight characters – it seems we are reaching a turning point. And this week, another barrier has been broken.
Pixar has just come out of the closet with a new digital short on Disney+, titled Out, which tells the storyof a man named Greg who’s preparing to move in with his boyfriend Manuel, but is reluctant to come out to his parents. Then, by magic, he accidentally switches bodies with his dog, Jim. The body-swap allows Greg to spend time with his parents and learn that they love and accept him for who he is and only want him to find someone who makes him happy. This gives Greg the courage to finally admit to his parents that he’s gay and introduce them to Manuel.
The short was directed and written by Stephen Hunter, who previously worked on Finding Nemo and Wall-E for Pixar. Out‘s producer, Max Sachar, is also a Pixar alumnus, known for his work on Coco and Toy Story 3. Hopefully we’ll see a nomination for Out for Best Animated Short during Oscar season.
Out is not only a comforting and encouraging story to all those afraid to come out to their loved ones, but also an important milestone in societal acceptance for LGBT+ people. In the past, content featuring LGBT+ characters or themes was forbidden, and then restricted to purely adult media like HBO. It’s great that media for all ages is finally becoming more inclusive. Maybe Frozen 3 will finally see Elsa get a girlfriend.