Stephanie Beatriz addresses bisexual Encanto theories: ‘Queer kids have that kind of feeling’
Bisexual queen Stephanie Beatriz has weighed in on fan theories that her iconic Encanto character, Mirabel, is queer.
Encanto quickly became a fan-favourite among Disney fans upon its release last year for its compelling plot, catchy soundtrack and stellar casting. The film follows Mirabel Madrigal, a bespectacled Colombian teen faced with the frustration of being the only person in her family without a special, magical gift.
Its themes of otherness, intergenerational trauma and not fitting in with those closest to you struck a chord with the LGBT+ community, and many have wondered if Mirabel might also be part of the community.
Stephanie Beatriz shared her thoughts on theories which suggest Mirabel is bisexual in an interview with Vulture.
“For Mirabel’s journey, I was much more focused on how she felt like an outsider in her family,” she said. “But I think for Mirabel, the main thing happening is this feeling and desire to be accepted by her family and to be loved for who she is.”
Beatriz added: “That is the kind of feeling that can definitely be something that queer kids have, but for Mirabel, it was for something different.”
Encanto’s Mirabel isn’t the first Disney character that fans thought could be part of the LGBT+ community.
Fans campaigned for Elsa to have a girlfriend in a Frozen film, some believed that Pixar’s Luca could be an LGBT+ allegory and others saw queer themes in the newly released film Turning Red.
While Disney has branched out somewhat to become more inclusive, there has been a distinct lack of openly LGBT+ leads in its animated films.
Earlier this month, a group of LGBT+ Pixar staff accused Disney of cutting “nearly every moment of overtly gay affection” from animated projects.
The claims, which were released in a damning open letter, included that animators were “barred from creating” LGBT+ content by Disney despite protests from Pixar’s “creative teams and executive leadership”.
The letter came after Disney’s delayed response to Florida’s reviled “Don’t Say Gay” bill, which seeks to ban discussion about LGBT+ identities in the state’s primary school classrooms.
Disney CEO Bob Chapek has since apologised for not being a “stronger ally in the fight for equal rights” and paused all political donations to Florida.