In an effort to build a space for queer people like myself, every Tuesday I’ll be posting interviews, opinion pieces, listicals, reviews, and more focused on the LGBT community (and occasionally about the Latinx/WOC community since I am Latinx.) Welcome to Queerly Not Straight! Enjoy and leave a comment below if you have a suggestion for what I should cover next.
Pixar’s Out is what queer dreams are made of. In fact, I’d say that the love shared between Greg and Manuel in Out is mind-blowing, game changing, and setting the stage for more change to come. I feel changed after watching Out; like my queer self was finally getting something that it always desired. And for that I want to thank Pixar, Steven Clay Hunter, and everyone involved in Out. You’ve made the world a better and more accepting place with Out.
I Saw Myself in Greg and Manuel
Just looking at this gif of Greg and Manuel brings me to tears. There’s a Pixar short out there that has two men kissing. TWO MEN KISSING. Can you believe it? Cuz dear lord, I can’t believe it. My queer little heart is beating a mile a minute and it can’t believe that there is content like this out in the world for anyone to see, consume, and fall in love with. Because, yes, I’ve fallen in love with Greg and Manuel and there’s no going back!
If you’re not queer like I am, it might be a little difficult for you to understand why I love these two so much. Never in my queer life have I seen a pair like Greg and Manuel. I’ve consumed all the Disney and all the Pixar my little heart can take. And never have I seen a pair like these two who are unapologetically queer and who felt like me. Sure, I’ve seen little hints here and there where Disney was trying to appease the queer community. But they never went all the way and ACTUALLY showed a queer couple just…living.
I wish I had Greg and Manuel when I was a kid. It would’ve saved me a lot of turmoil, pain, and confusion at who I was and who I am. It also would’ve been made my way of loving, living, and being a more acceptable thing or a more normal thing. Because kids and everyone who watches Disney/Pixar has learned from them about life; there’s no denying that. And maybe they would learn that I’m normal, not strange. Just the thought of that feeling makes me grateful to have Out in the first place and for kids seeing themselves on screen for the first time.
Kids Can Now See Themselves on Screen
If I could see myself on screen when it came to Greg and Manuel, imagine what it means to a young queer person who is just starting to figure things out? Imagine how much it means to them that the community they are part of, accepts them for who they are and who they love. That’s big; huge even. And it will change that young person’s life forever. Not only do they now know that their stories are worthwhile, they know that others see them as important as well.
It’s going to be a catalyst for great things to come. Like a domino effect, these young queer people who have seen themselves in Out will know that they can write their own stories, increasing the amount of queer stories out there. They’ll know that people will listen, people will help them create, and people will not turn them away for being different. I mean, some will still turn queer people away because this world is cruel. But their will be more acceptance as a result of something like Out.
I can’t wait.
I can’t wait for the stories to be told. I can’t wait for the experiences to be sharing. And I can’t wait to see who steps up and makes it easier for the queer person that comes after them. Because that’s what it’s all about. It’s about helping those below you to realize that their queer story is worthwhile, worth knowing, and worth creating. And I’m here for every bit of this. Bring it on, queer animated world! Give me all your stories and know they will be loved by your own and others that accept who we are.
They Should’ve Said the Word “Gay”
Let me be clear, I didn’t love everything about Out and I have conflicting feelings about the word “gay” not being used. On one hand, it would’ve been liberating for me, as a queer person, to hear those words uttered by a Pixar character. I’ve spent my entire life waiting to see myself in the Disney/Pixar that I consume on a daily basis. And the entire time watching this I was on the edge of my seat that they would utter those words. And when it didn’t happen, I felt a bit disappointed.
What does it cost to say those words, Pixar? For so long you’ve been teasing us with the possibility of a queer character for it to just be a throw away character or moment that people will miss unless they’re looking for it. And I understand that none of the straight characters in Disney/Pixar content state that they are straight. But everyone assumes they are straight. It’s the norm and having something like Out is game changing, different, and the kind of opportunity that Pixar should’ve taken.
Not just for me, but for every queer loving member who adores everything and anything about Disney/Pixar.
That’s not to say that I don’t understand why they didn’t use the word “gay” in Out. Maybe he identifies as queer, pan, or is trans. For all we know he could be more than just gay and it’s not our job to pick his orientation out for him. It could also be, and what I think is more likely, that Pixar was trying to sneak some gay into our lives without immediately making the homophobes mad. I mean, they’re still mad. That’s what happens when you’re basics who hate that people love differently.
But framing it the way they did, Disney/Pixar can just say that they support love, plain and simple, and shut down the haters before they even start. Whatever it is, I still wish they would’ve used the word “gay” but I understand why they didn’t. And either way, it’s a huge step, a game changer that will forever make me feel accepted, loved, and like my story is worth a feature or moment in the Disney/Pixar world.
Pixar’s Out is available on Disney+.
Queerly Not Straight posts every Tuesday with opinion pieces, listicals, reviews, and more focused on the LGBT community (and occasionally about the Latinx community since I am Latinx.)
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