This week, the same three headlines have been circulating: one regarding the Oscars Best Picture debacle, one regarding Donald Trump‘s speech to Congress and one about Disney’s first-ever (openly) gay character. And it’s that last one that we’re continuing to talk about today… with Chris Colfer (though we could go on and on about the aforementioned two subjects just as easily)!
Recently, it was announced that the live-action Beauty and the Beast movie would include a member of the LGBTQ community on its character roster: Gaston’s sidekick, LeFou. In an interview with Attitude magazine, director Bill Condon (The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn) revealed that the character, played by Josh Gad, will experience a “gay moment” in the flick. “LeFou is somebody who on one day wants to be Gaston and on another day wants to kiss Gaston,” Bill explained. “He’s confused about what he wants. It’s somebody who’s just realizing that he has these feelings. And Josh makes something really subtle and delicious out of it.”
This revelation was met with praise from one end, disdain from another. “Why change the story?” many across the Internet wondered. But the 26-year-old Glee alum doesn’t see much of a difference between 1991 animated classic and the 2017 Emma Watson-led film. “I mean, did anyone NOT know LeFou was gay? Like, did we all just think he was hanging around Gaston just for the free merch?” he asked, rhetorically. You tell ’em, CC!
But, whether or not that particular character defined as a homosexual man, Chris is still here for Disney’s attempt at inclusion. “I love that more diversity is being shown,” he said. “I think it’s also really important to show diversity, but not always have it in a way that punches you in the gut. Like, show characters that are diverse, but make it about a situation — like going on a road trip with their favorite actor.” That’s exactly what the main characters do in Chris’ new book, Stranger Than Fanfiction. “I wish there was more stuff for kids to read about kids like themselves, doing normal things rather than constantly being discredited or disvalued because of who they are.”
“It would be wonderful to see a gay character on TV that doesn’t talk about the fact that they’re gay — it’s just there,” he added. “And there are a few of them, but it would be nice to see more. We’ve given so many different people… so many different types of people examples of who to be, so let’s let them be themselves; let’s let it be about the life, not the discovery.”