LGBT activists and allies are celebrating the shifting sexuality of a lead character on Disney Channel’s cartoon, The Owl House.
The show centers around Luz Noceda, a 14-year-old Dominican American girl. Throughout the first season, Luz has been interested in boys. But Variety Magazine reports that in two recent episodes, airing August 8 and 15, Luz and a female character named Amity begin developing a romantic relationship.
While Luz apparently has bisexual interests, Amity seems to be lesbian-identified.
Focus on the Family’s Plugged In reviewed the program early in the show’s season, before the latest sexuality revelations. Luz follows an owl through “a mysterious door and finds herself transformed to the magical realm of the Boiling Isles.” It’s a place teeming with demons, monsters and “magical creatures: vampires, griffins and especially, witches.”
At the Boiling Isles, Luz begins training to become a witch, with instructions from a demon and another witch.
The secular organization “Common Sense Media” recommends the program for ages 8 and up, saying this “engaging, quirky fantasy series has broad viewing appeal.” Parents may differ with that opinion.
Spencer Wan, a former animator for the cartoon, tweeted when the episode aired that featured Luz and Amity beginning their relationship, “I’ll post about the gay thing later. Maybe tomorrow.” He went on to post storyboard scenes of the two girls dancing together and wrote, “This was my first time getting to do anything even remotely queer, and I’ve never been prouder of any [story]board.”
Dana Terrace, the series creator, tweeted about the episode that same day, “In [development] I was very open about my intention to put queer kids in the main cast. I’m a horrible liar so sneaking it in would’ve been hard haha.” She added that when the program was first approved, “I was told by certain Disney leadership that I could NOT represent any form of bi or gay relationship on the Channel.”
Terrace went on to thank her crew and those Disney leaders who backed her. She wrote, “I’m bi! I want to write a bi character, [expletive deleted]! Luckily my stubbornness paid off and now I am VERY supported by current Disney leadership.” She concluded, “Anyway, be gay do witchcraft.”
Activists and allies were quick to praise Disney. GLAAD, the country’s largest LGBT media advocacy group, applauded The Owl House, “We’re excited about the LGBTQ-inclusive storytelling in Disney Channel’s new animated series #TheOwlHouse, which is portraying an inclusive, fair, accurate, and age-appropriate world through the representation of its characters.”
News outlets said Disney had “made history” with this portrayal of a bisexual cartoon character, while many applauded the company’s “big step toward LGBTQ+ representation.”
For Christians, Disney’s continued portrayal of LGBT characters is cause for concern, not rejoicing. And parents, especially, should be aware of what their children are watching.
Adam Holz oversees Focus on the Family’s Plugged In website, which offers reviews and articles about movies, television shows, music, video games and books. Of the growing number of LGBT characters and storylines, he told The Daily Citizen, “Really, it’s gotten to the point where I go into everything I watch looking for the LGBT message, because it’s almost always there.”
He encouraged parents to be prepared to discuss relationships, marriage and sexuality with their children. “It’s not if you’re going to be dealing with this, it’s how will you deal with it,” Holz said.
Related articles and resources:
Focus on the Family: Plugged In
Focus on the Family’s Parenting: Sex Education
How to Talk to Your Children About Homosexuality
How to Teach Your Children About Marriage
Increase in LGBT Characters in Children’s Entertainment – Focus’ Plugged In Gives Advice for Parents
Pixar Short Film Features Gay Lead Character
Raising Children Who Honor Marriage
Sesame Street Celebrates LGBT Pride Month – How Should Christians Respond?
The Talk: Healthy Sexuality Education—Basic Goals and Guidance from Focus on the Family
Photo from Disney Channel
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