For years LGBTQ Disney/Pixar fans have been calling out for more representation in the animated universe. We have seen many gay coded characters and minor characters have been revealed to be gay see ‘Zootopia’ and recent Pixar film ‘Onward’. I have written before about Disney’s history of Coded Gay characters and LGBTQ representation which you can read here.
The Short film ‘Out’ landed on Disney + at end of May, as part of Pixar’s Smart Short series. This is the most visible LGBTQ representation from Pixar and Disney to date, with the short centring around main character Greg who is struggling to come out as gay to his parents. I loved this short, it has the same charm as many of the other great Pixar shorts and also lovely to finally see concrete LGBTQ representation from Pixar/Disney. Hopefully this is a good sign of what’s to come from their future feature films.
It is a great short and I highly recommend checking it out.
P.S. had to do a bonus drawing of Gigi The Cat and the Dog
This a directory of the events/holidays Memeow Gifts currently caters for. I hope to add more designs/cards to the list as the year progresses. You can shop the full range at: https://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/MemeowGifts!
I had never quite gotten into the US edition of RuPaul’s Drag Race, mainly as I wasn’t sure where to start! 11 seasons is fairly daunting for a new comer to the show! My drag race obsessed friend convinced me that I needed to watch the UK version and I’m sure glad I did!
RuPaul’s Drag Race UK has to be one of the most different BBC programmes in a long time! As Baga Chipz (my fave Queen of the series) says in one episode “this is not the BBC I grew up with!”. Baga Chipz delivered the series most iconic line as Becky the maid in the drag parody of Downton Abbey, Downton Draggy. “Much Betta” Baga/Becky exclaims after successfully wrapping Lady Carey’s dead lover up in a rug (dark!), Baga/Becky swinging her fist as she delivers the now infamous line. Her Rainy Day runway look was brilliant with the rubber duck on her head, perfection. Baga really shone in the snatch game episode where the queens were tasked with impersonating famous celebrities with Baga embodying a red eyed Maggie Thatcher with hilarious lines like “thank you, thank you bring on Brexit!” and ofc “the Lady is not for turning!”
Divina De Campo was another stand out, I absolutely loved her high fashion laundry bag jump suit outfit complete with Parasol! Boasting a powerful 4 octave range, acting and sewing skills, Divina was a true triple threat!
The series spawned a hit single with Break Up (Bye Bye) by The Frock Destroyers, band made up of the queens, Baga Chipz,Divina De Campo and Blu Hydrangea. The song features some crazy high whistlenotes from Divina at the beginning and Baga’s “Much Betta!” catchphrase. All three queens did a great job on the track which also won the girl group challenge.
Cheryl Hole was another one of my faves, an Essex queen with a passion for death dropping! She may have been shady in her to the camera moments but came across as very sweet and genuine with the other girls. Also just a very entertaining person to watch!
Other highlights of the series for me were Sum Ting Wong’s Bullring look and Postage Stamp Queen Elizabeth inspired look, The Vivienne’s impeccable Trump impression on snatch game and Blu’s rainy day look! (her make up was incredible)
In the end it was The Vivienne that was crowned the first UK’s drag superstar, with Baga coming in 3rd place and Divina 2nd.
Hello I’m back with a new blog post after a month of being ill twice and a short holiday to Wales!
I’ve recently finished my series of Pride Ponies representing the identities that make up the LGBTQ acronym. I’m thinking I will initially sell the series as greetings cards but tempted to do a postcard set of the series.
As well as finishing this series I have also designed a new Christmas card coming soon to my Etsy shop!
Hello 👋 I am back! After some busy past weeks normal blogging to resume now! Without further ado let’s get into it! on Saturday 17th August I did my first official Memeow Gifts Stall at Warwickshire Pride which was held in leamington Spa pump room gardens.
I setup the stall at 8am with the help of my Dad and Jon my partner. Arranged tables, put up gazebo, hung the Memeow Gifts banner and set out the Merch! The event started at 11am so we had a bit of time to soak in the atmosphere before the event got busier. Memeow T-shirt, rainbow shorts, money belt, I was all prepared for 11!
The event had a great turn out with many atendees throughout the day. I was very impressed with how many people came along undeterred from the hateful acts preceding the event – rainbow flags ripped down from the shopping centre promoting the event and death threats sent to the Warwickshire Pride fb page. The day was full of acceptance, happiness, laughter and love, a stark contrast from these hateful acts from small minded people.
As Gaga says “It’s always wrong to hate but it’s never wrong to love”
Lots of people stopped at the stall and looked at the range of Merch so far. It was interesting to see how people responded to the products as the LGBTQ community is my main audience with Memeow Gifts. One of my main reasons for setting up Memeow Gifts was to bring more LGBTQ visibility to the Greetings card market. I would have liked to make a few more sales but then again this was a fairly small event compared to some of the bigger prides and was great to support my local pride event.
I also gained some good feedback with which designs sold well or got a good response. The free MemeowGifts.com stickers went down very well especially with kids and the younger crowd.
The weather was good for the event with lots of sunshine and no sign of rain throughout the day. It was however very windy which meant that I had to keep being aware of the products/flyers attempting to fly away! I did manage to break away from the stall for a couple of moments throughout the day and was impressed with the amount of entertainment on offer, I also enjoyed the rainbow pony!
All in all it was a great day and look forward to attending again next year!
Hello, it’s only 10 days until my first ever pride and stall at pride! Nervous and excited at the same time, can’t wait to blog about the experience on here after! Hopefully I’ll get back to blogging more regularly again soon, been very busy the past few weeks.
I’ve created a (super short) survey about LGBTQ+ Greetings Cards as research for my business Memeow Gifts and would love your feedback, please see link below!
After years of Princesses and Princes, isn’t it about time for a Prince and a Prince or a Princess and a Princess?
Disney films are very popular with many members of the LGBTQ Community, with their themes of love, acceptance and finding yourself resonating with many members of the LGBTQ crowd, but as of yet there is no major LGBTQ Disney character.
If Disney introuced a canonically LGBTQ character this would be a great win for representation, helping to create more acceptance and normalisation of the community. Growing up in the 90s I had very little in the way of gay role models, most gay characters represented in the media were 2-dimensional caricatures, often not taken seriously and most definitely not the hero/main character of the story! I feel that if I had, had a gay Disney character to relate to when I was growing up, I would not have struggled as much with accepting myself and internalised homophobia, I would love for the younger generation to have this character I never had growing up.
With campaigns on Twitter to give Elsa from Frozen a female love interest in the ‘Frozen 2’ (#GiveElsaAGirlfriend) trending, it does seem a large majority is on board for Disney to make an LGBTQ character a reality. Whether disney has the courage to make this decision is yet to be seen. I personally think that Elsa would make a great LGBTQ character as her storyline in the first film has parallels to how it feels growing up as person who is LGBTQ, having a secret that no one knows, fear of being seen as monster if people find out etc. Also ‘Let It Go’ has always seemed like a coming out anthem to me, whether intentionally or not.
Iconic characters such as Ursula, Jafar, Hades and Scar are all examples of ‘coded’ gay characters, this is where a character is not explicitly LGBTQ but is heavily implied to be from stereotypes eg they are ‘camp’. WAIT! what do all these characters have in common? Oh right, they are villains! Probably not the most positive LGBTQ representation, but hey! We do have ‘good guy’ coded-gay characters Timon and Pumbaa I guess, may I add Simba was raised by two Dad’s and he turned out fine!
There are positive and negatives to coded gay characters, like I’ve said they do often seem to be villains, which negatively impact the stereotypes they are based off. But then again these villainous characters are still great characters and do give some slight representation to the LGBTQ community. Ursula was based on real life drag queen ‘Divine’ which is a nice homage to the late Harris Glenn Millstead who portrayed her,
Disney do seem to be heading in the right direction to actually making a LGBTQ character reality, although I do feel they have made a few missteps along the way. If you have not heard them term “Exclusively Gay Moment” think yourself lucky! This term was brought to us in 2017 by director Bill Condon referring to a scene in the ‘Beauty and Beast’ live action remake, Condon mentioned the phrase in an interview and it then got picked up by various news outlets. At last it seemed we were going to get major LGBTQ representation in a disney film, the “Exclusively Gay Moment” was two male characters dancing together on screen for about 0.8 seconds! I mean it is a small step in the right direction but the way this scene was hyped up, you would have expected a bit more than this tiny moment before the credits roll, also not great that one of the characters in question’s name literally translates to “The Fool”!”
The film Avengers Endgame a Disney property recently received backlash for there first ‘gay’ character. They decided to make their first LGBTQ essentially a background character who is on screen for a minimal amount of time, with the vast amount of these films, its surprising that none of the main characters of the MCU so far are LGBTQ.
Like I said Disney are making some missteps in trying to achieve more inclusion, but I do appreciate that they are trying, although with how other studios are integrating LGBTQ characters seamlessly, it does feel like they are a couple of laps behind.
Disney Channel shows on the other hand have handled LGBTQ characters excellently from what I have seen, Good Luck Charlie did a good job of normalising the fact one of the secondary characters had two Mothers. Andi Mack another disney channel show did a great job covering main character ‘Cyrus’ coming out to his friend without using any labels, this was a heartwarming and very well executed scene. ‘Andi Mack’ later followed this up with Cyrus coming out casually to another character in the show, actually saying the words “I’m Gay’, something we wouldn’t have seen a decade ago on Disney Channel!
Disney’s animated shows Gravity Falls and Star vs The Forces Of Evil have also given us LGBTQ representation, with Gravity Falls confirming that two male characters where in fact a couple and The Forces of Evil had a scene featuring of various couples (including same-sex ones couples) kissing.
It does look hopeful that we will get a LGBTQ Disney character (in a feature film) in the not too distant future, with Disney showing more and more acceptance of the community. June 1st 2019, Disney will be holding its first official pride event at Disneyland Paris titled ‘Magical Pride’ which will feature a diversity parade and performances from Boy George, Years and Years and Corine. The Disney Store have also recently launched their pride collection including badges, t-shirts and a rainbow Mickey plush toy.
Gay playwright and Lyricist Howard Ashman was instrumental in writing songs for films such as Beauty and The Beast, The Little Mermaid and Aladdin with composer Alan Menken. Ashman tragically passed away from AIDS in 1991, he had kept his diagnosis a secret and had been working on songs for Aladdin from his hospital bed. Ashman died before the release of Beauty and The Beast which featured an homage to Ashman in the credits “To our friend, Howard, who gave a mermaid her voice and beast his soul, we will be forever grateful” Ashman’s story is a very sad one, in a time where an AIDS diagnosis was a life sentence and so stigmatised, that you would have to keep it a secret.
Howard Ashman wrote lyrics for many classic disney songs like ‘Beauty and The Beast’, ‘Belle’, ‘Under The Sea’, ‘Part of Your World’ and ‘Prince Ali’. As the end credits of Beauty and The Beast state he gave a mermaid her voice and a beast his soul, it would be lovely if Disney returned the favour and created a gay character in tribute to Howard Ashman.