When Disney’s Frozen released, it became a massive hit overnight, not only amongst kids but also with adults. Elsa quickly became a role model — a Disney princess who didn’t need to be saved from dangers by a ‘Prince Charming’.
Now, fans are calling for Elsa to have a girlfriend, which could potentially mean we will have a powerful LGBTQI princess who could not only help make children more aware and sensitised to the community, but also help children come out to their parents. We ask parents and LGBTQI activists in the city of what their take on the subject is.
Vidya Pinto, a communications mentor who also penned a song ‘Flooded’ inspired by the movie’s iconic songs, says, “If it were up to me, I’d probably ban fairytales since children need to be able to distinguish between what is real and what isn’t. I let my children watch the movies but only when I’m around. I think that children are too young to understand about the LGBTQI community and making Elsa part of that community would just confuse them further.”
She adds, “I’d much rather talk to my children when they’re 12 or 13 that girls can have girlfriends and boys can have boyfriends too.” Sneha Hindocha, a psychologist, agrees, “You can’t control at what age a child views movies; it’s hard to regulate. For a five year old, mentally processing the existence of a boyfriend for Elsa would be hard in itself, so understanding that she has a girlfriend would be even harder. This is true especially in India, where children are used to seeing families with mothers and fathers. Such issues should be tackled in movies meant for an older age group.”
Sunil Menon, a fashion show director who has been active in the LGBTQI movement and activism scenario, gives his two cents, “I haven’t seen Frozen but it’s a definitely a step forward when any mainstream film or television show incorporates minority issues into their storyline as a subtext and in a sensitive manner.” He adds, “A queer character in a popular film such as this helps not only LGBT people, but a family unit and society at large to come to terms with the fact that the community exists.”
One can only hope that in the coming years, LGBTQI characters’ introduction in films, be it animation or live action, does not need a specific age for viewing — and that the explanation that love is love — is enough for children to understand and appreciate the community’s identities!...