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Disney's First Openly Gay Character Has Arrived

LeFou gets 'exclusively gay moment' in 'Beauty and the Beast'
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 2, 2017 8:54 PM CST

(Newser) – If trailer views are any indication, moviegoers will be flocking to Disney's live-action remake of Beauty and the Beast this month. But they may find the "tale as old as time" isn't quite how they remember it. For one thing, the remake features Disney's first openly gay character—that of LeFou, the sidekick of bad guy Gaston, reports Attitude. Director Bill Condon, who is gay himself, tells the magazine there's "a nice, exclusively gay moment" in the film involving LeFou that he won't divulge. LeFou "one day wants to be Gaston and on another day wants to kiss Gaston," he adds. "It's somebody who's just realizing that he has these feelings."

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A person who's seen the movie tells the New York Times this "gay moment" is so subtle that viewers may miss it—just as they might've missed possible hints that other Disney characters are gay, including Oaken in Frozen and Timon and Pumbaa in The Lion King, per MoviePilot. But it's not the movie's only gay connection, reports the Telegraph. Beauty and the Beast is dedicated to Howard Ashman, a gay man who wrote song lyrics for the 1991 original before his death from AIDS at age 40, eight months before its release. Producer Don Hahn once said the song "Kill the Beast" is "almost a metaphor" for Ashman's battle "with a debilitating disease, in an era when it was stigmatized." (Read more Disney stories.)

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