'Beauty And The Beast' To Feature Disney's First Gay Character

No prizes for guessing who the new gay character is: LeFou (Josh Gad), Gaston’s bumbling sidekick, will be openly struggling with his feelings for the ultra-macho villain of the story. In terms of character choice, it’s not exactly surprising - I don’t think anyone who’s ever heard the song ‘Gaston’ would agree that it’s one hundred percent straight. But in terms of Disney making LeFou’s sexuality open, it’s a historic move forward.
In an interview with Attitude magazine, director Bill Condon said: “LeFou is somebody who on one day wants to be Gaston and on another day wants to kiss Gaston. He’s confused about what he wants. It’s somebody who’s just realizing that he has these feelings. And Josh [Gad] makes something really subtle and delicious out of it. And that’s what has its pay-off at the end, which I don’t want to give away. But it is a nice, exclusively gay moment in a Disney movie.”
The appearance of a gay character in a Disney film has been a long time coming, with activists having spent years trying to bring LGBT representation to the world’s biggest entertainment company. Whether this will turn out to be a sensitive representation or not remains to be seen: making the one character who is typically the butt of the joke the only gay character might not be as progressive as it seems. Hopefully, though, Bill Condon and Beauty and the Beast will prove me entirely wrong. I certainly hope so.
We’ll find out very soon when the tale as old as time arrives in UK cinemas on 17th March.