‘Brave’s’ lesbian princess?

Internet backlash after a reporter suggests a Disney-Pixar princess might be gay


Entertainment Weekly’s Adam Markovitz is under fire for suggesting that the arrow-wielding, suitor-denying princess in Disney-Pixar’s latest animated feature, Brave, might be gay. Because princess Merida can “fight like one of the boys” and is prone to “squirm when her mother puts her in girly clothes,” Markovitz argued that some viewers might be confused about her sexuality.

Backlash ensued on Twitter and on websites, like Crushable.com where author Jenni Maier sardonically writes: “Parents all over the country with teenage daughters who don’t want to get married because it interferes with their high school sports practice schedule should just join PFLAG right now. Their daughters are all gay. It’s a shame right. Unless, and this is a big unless, unless their daugthers are openly swooning over boys and carving their names into their arms. Then there might be hope. Otherwise, gay, gay, gay, gay gay.”

Maier, evidently, doesn’t buy that princess Merida is gay. “She’s an independent female protagonist who wants people to see her an individual with her own wishes, hopes, dreams, thoughts and aspirations,” she writes. “But clearly, Adam Markowitz, missed that entire lesson. Which is understandable when you’re watching a children’s film with the goal of outing an animated character.”

At last count, Markowitz’s EW article had 685 comments. Make that 697. And they’re not all scathing. Notorious J.O.E. writes, “What’s wrong in hypothesizing if this character is gay?  Based on the many, MANY comments posted here, it’s “offensive” to merely wonder if the character is gay…as if being gay is an offensive thing.”


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‘Brave’s’ lesbian princess?

  1. huh

  2. Oh, let me hypthecise. In reality, princess Merida is HIV positive. That’s why she doesn’t want to spill her beans in front of everyone not to embarass the family and basically is very risk tolerant since she knows she will die early. Or, alternatively, I hypothecise that she’s simply bipolar and cannot relate. What do these theory have in common with gay theory? They are about as likely. Gay people are at about 1-2% of the population. It is not any more statistically probable that Merida is gay than that she’s HIV positive or have mental problems. Why the speculation about gayness of a particular character is much more likely than any of the assumptions above escapes me.

  3. You took Notorious J.O.E.’s comment far out of context. He continued on to say ”
    It’s not offensive to hypothesize whether someone is gay or not, but people might, yes, find it offensive to hypothesize whether someone is gay BASED ON THE FACT THAT he/she does not conform to traditional gender roles or because you associate them with a stereotype. “Merida doesn’t like marriage and she likes horses and rock-climbing! Does that imply that she’s gay?” That is indeed stupid and offensive.”

    • Um, hi, lesbian here, totally not offended that someone hypothesized that she was gay. Did it myself, in fact, because I identified with her so much. The fact that some presumably straight person even stopped to wonder if she was gay is a very non-heteronormative way to think, and you’ll find most straight people (even the ones that aren’t homophobes) balk at the idea, when it is suggested that a character whose orientation is NOT defined might be gay. And then I’m like (super quietly off to the side): “what? why can’t s/he be?” So, no, I’m not offended, far from it.

  4. Standard tomboy heroine of scads of movies…..hard to make much of a girly-girl who plays with her barbie ya know…..what’s the big deal here?

  5. Who gives a fuck if she’s gay?

  6. No, but it is offensive to automatically say “shes gay!” because she doesn’t like wearing girly clothes and she doesn’t want to enter an arranged marriage.

    • Uh, who says she doesn’t like girly clothes? Girl wears a dress the whole movie, she just doesn’t like clothes that make her unable to breathe and hide her long beautiful hair. I think people are more reacting to the bit where she says ‘I’m not sure I’ll EVER want to get married’, which I interpreted much more through an Ace lens, but whatever.

  7. I realize how important it is for gays to stereotype as many people as possible as gay or homophobic but trying to do this with a cartoon sounds rather desperate.

  8. she wore dresses in the film, she just didn;t want to wear an oober tight dress and just because she can ride a horse and shoot an arrow means nothing, also she didn’t want any of the suitors because they were all dorks! One spoke a language that didn’t exist, the other was full of himself, and the last one was crazy and clueless! People are pathetic!

  9. How about this, “WHO CARES IF THE CHARACTER IS GAY OR NOT!”. This is really how everyone should feel about this as equal and tolerant individuals. Shouldn’t we be past this by now? The church is no longer making our descisions for us, right? Society will be past this when the question of whether the character is gay our not is equal to the question of whether the character owns a car or not or has brown hair or not or has a pet dog or not.

  10. Yes, because every girl that’s a tomboy and doesn’t want to be forced into marriage MUST be gay! Even so, I don’t think it matters if she is or not, this is 2012 for God’s sake, but it’s extremely ignorant to assume she’s gay for those things. That’s like assuming a girl in 2012 is a lesbian because she isn’t wearing a skirt and has a short haircut (and I have seen this before).

  11. She a fucking cartoon who gives a shit if she’s gay or straight she’s not real!!!

  12. I don’t think it’s about whether she’s gay. The offensive part was the stereotyping of the character/of ‘gay characteristics’. Like ThraxThane says, really.

  13. Interesting.

    I loved ‘girly’ clothes as a kid. Easter was about as big for me as Christmas, because of all the dolling-up, and new clothes (little white gloves and hats: happy little Me).

    I love math and science, don’t like cliques, and still like dolling up (when it matters).
    I grew up around a great deal of gender role ignorance. Any semblance of strength, real intelligence, or psychological independence in women, was quashed, sacrificed to the fragile male egos that demanded absolute domination, and adoration.

    I never understood why a woman couldn’t be smart, strong, independent, and be an asset to a man, rather than a threat.
    Still don’t.

    I want to print a shirt for school, “I’m not studying, I’m usurping you, Boo!”