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What Sucks About Finding Dory's Lesbian Couple

What Sucks About 'Finding Dory's' Lesbian Couple

What Sucks About 'Finding Dory's' Lesbian Couple

Will we *ever* be represented in mainstream media?

 

RachelCharleneL

In a world where representation of queer folks in mainstream media is non-existent at its worst and lackluster at best, we were all obviously pumped to find out Disney was creating its first lesbian couple in Finding Dory, out this Friday.

Assumed to be queer based on apparently feminine characteristics of the two moms, many were beyond thrilled. It felt like,Finally! Finally we'regoing to see ourselves! Finally we're going to get representation in a mainstream film! (Because, seriously, who hasn’t been obsessed with Finding Nemo for the last decade!?)

So I was pretty irritated by the filmmakers’ lackluster response.

When asked about the apparently lesbian couple in the Finding Dory trailer, those involved pretty much gave us nothing to go off of that felt real.

"We never asked them," producer Lindsey Collins said on the red carpet at the film's premiere.

"They can be whatever you want them to be. There's no right or wrong answer," director Andrew Stanton added.

Stanton ended things by saying, "We have not asked that of any of the couples in any of our shots in any of our movies.”

It felt like queer-baiting at its finest. What better way to please both homophobic and queer viewers than to say they can be whoever you want them to be?

It's obviously problematic to assume that every woman with short hair is a lesbian, as Ellen, the voice of Dory, said herself. However, when representation of queer characters, let alone queer couples, is slim, it's hard not to turn to stereotypes as a means of finding validation and seeing ourselves in film.

I, personally, am sick of being expected to read into characters just to find myself fairly represented in the media. I don't want to look for "queer clues." I want out characters, just like I want characters who are in the closet, who have no concept of the closet, who are proud and truly, 100% themselves. I don’t want to be “allowed” to make assumptions just to make myself feel included, when I’m really not a part of the conversation to begin with.

It simply isn’t fair to say “We’ve never asked any couples in our movies,” because that word right there, “couples,” proves that you have created couples in your films. You haven’t said they are couples, but you’ve made it clear, and have spelled it out via the cues and comments and cute-names we associate with couples.

Throwing two women on screen with a baby and saying we can assume they’re gay or not gay based on our own desire or disgust toward representation of queer women on screen feels like a slap in the face at a time where that fair and equal representation is so very craved.

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Rachel Charlene Lewis

Rachel Charlene Lewis is a writer, editor, and queer woman of color based in North Carolina. Her writing has most recently appeared in Ravishly, Hello Giggles, and elsewhere.

Rachel Charlene Lewis is a writer, editor, and queer woman of color based in North Carolina. Her writing has most recently appeared in Ravishly, Hello Giggles, and elsewhere.