Why do gay men have such a fascination with the villains of Disney films? It is a question that has been asked a few times around the internet and writer/ journalist Matt Baume has the answer in his latest video, “What Makes Disney Villains so Gay?”
Baume explains that under the Hayes Code, a precursor to the modern rating system for movies that set up “censorship guidelines for the United States motion picture industry in force from 1930 to 1968, introduced by Will Hays (1879–1954),” that homosexuality could not be portrayed in a positive light. This led to a practice known as ‘queer coding,’ defined by The Take as “using LGBTQIA tropes and stereotypes to allude to a character’s sexuality without explicitly confirming it in the text.”
Baume further elaborates the villains try to change things:
“In movies, villains are often the characters who try to change the status quo. Heroes often want to maintain or restore it. That feels great if the status quo works for you, but if it doesn’t, you might find yourself rooting for the villains to tear it down. Villains can’t live in the world as it is, so they change it. I don’t think it’s hard to see why that might resonate with queer people. Just think about all the ways that queer folks have stood up to an unfair world over the last few decades.”
Baume lists many other reasons as to why the villains of Disney movies are favorites among the LGBTQ community such as the camp aspect. The entire video by Baume can be viewed below.
Do you agree with Baum on Disney villains? What is your favorite Disney villain? Let us know in the comments or on our social media accounts.