LGBTQ* Queer Theory and Media Theory
"Does It Matter If the Heroine of ‘Brave’ Is Gay?"
Merida, the heroine of Pixar’s Brave, doesn’t want to marry. Not now, she repeatedly tells her mother, Queen Elinor, and perhaps not ever. Faced with the prospect of being forced to wed one of a trio of loutish suitors, she runs away from home in search of some way to change the “fate” she was born into. That’s the radical thing about Brave: Merida is a Disney princess who doesn’t want a prince.
She also happens to be a tomboy, a tough and sporty archer who would rather be riding her horse than wearing a dress. On Sunday, Entertainment Weekly's Adam Markovitz used these details to draw a connection between Brave—which racked up $66 million over the weekend—and another event in the news:
Today, crowds will line the streets of cities like New York and San Francisco for parades that mark the high point of LGBT Pride Month. At the same time, legions of kids will swarm into theaters to watch Pixar’s Brave, the animated story of a young Scottish princess named Merida who goes to extreme lengths to avoid having to marry one of the three noblemen that her parents have chosen for her. The two events don’t seem to have much in common at first glance. But it’s quite possible that while watching Brave’s tomboyish heroine shoot arrows, fight like one of the boys, and squirm when her mother puts her in girly clothes, a thought might pop into the head of some viewers: Is Merida gay?
While Markovitz’s appeal to lesbian stereotypes is outrageous, his underlying question isn’t. Merida really could be gay. She could be straight. She could be asexual. We just don’t know. Over the course of the film, she shows romantic interest in neither boys nor girls; it’s only by assumption that her parents—and, presumably, most viewers—think she’s heterosexual.
Is this ambiguity intentional? Almost definitely.
Read the entire Atlantic Article Here *contains spoilers*
Thank you Cael for sharing this with me.