Thank Gad: How My Life Has Changed Since the Brave Portrayal of Gay Lefou

Gay Rights are sweeping the nation. From the legalization of Gay Marriage in the US in 2015, to the decriminalization of gay sex in India this past September, it is clear that the pride parade across the globe is unstoppable. But the most important gay ally in this trend is none other than the greatest children’s entertainment corporation: Disney.

As you may know, Disney released a live-action remake of Beauty and the Beast, a heartwarming tale of a book-smart Belle falling in love with an ugly beast. However, this new movie included a fresh modern twist: LeFou, the villain Gaston’s silly sidekick portrayed by Josh Gad, was GAY.

And EXPLICITLY so: for less than a single second, he danced with a man.

When I first saw this celebration of homosexuality in theaters, the crowd burst into uproarious applause. Grown men were reduced to tears. Rainbows shot out from everybody’s palms, and every wig burned up to a crisp.

I know what you must be thinking: I can’t believe how brave Disney is! Well, me neither! For such a large, wealthy, and powerful company to take a risk like that must have taken a lot of guts. Gay people can be quite undesirable these days.

Now, over one year since the release of this movie, my whole worldview has changed. As a fellow Gay, I no longer fear holding my spouse’s hand in public. Anytime I doubt whether its safe to show some same-sex affection, I just remember that Beauty and the Beast grossed $1.3 billion. Public opinion has changed, and homophobia is over!

Overall, I am just so thankful for the representation. Not many people are exposed to the vibrant and colorful experiences of the LBGT+ community, and thanks to a brief reference, I feel visible.