Why I Created The Trending #GiveElsaAGirlfriend Hashtag
Growing up, I never saw a princess fall in love with another princess — and neither have girls growing up right now. The entertainment industry has given us girls who have fallen in love with beasts, ogres who fall for humans, and even grown women who love bees. But we've never been able to see the purity in a queer relationship.
I recently thought about this in relation to Disney’s Frozen, a movie I have seen multiple times (I own practically all of the Olaf merch available). Many in the LGBT community view this movie as a metaphor for the experience of coming out and accepting who you are. Yet Elsa, the film's protagonist, will probably end up with a male prince or king in the upcoming Frozen sequel. These thoughts soon drenched my mind and pushed me to tweet about how “iconic” it would be if Frozen's Elsa were cast alongside a princess instead.
My Twitter followers are overwhelmingly dedicated to supporting LGBT representation and were therefore ecstatic about the idea. Their enthusiasm pushed me to further create a hashtag to spread the idea across the Internet. So, on the night of April 30, I decided to start the hashtag "#GiveElsaAGirlfriend." Just a few tweets later, my idea had become a sensation. People all over Twitter were talking about it, sharing their support and even their opposition. People tweeted at Disney and even at the actors who voice the film's characters.
Everything became a blur after that. My idea began to trend, and when I awoke the next morning, I had tons of mentions about the tag. News outlets were writing about it, people wanted to talk to me about it, and it even made the cover of Twitter’s “moments” page. It was surreal. I would have never, ever thought that I was capable of starting a conversation not only so large, but about something that means so much to me.
Growing up, I was really confused about who I was. A large part of me still is. I didn't even knew what being gay meant until Katy Perry’s song "I Kissed a Girl" became a hit and the conversation was forced on my family and friends. The thought of a girl kissing a girl had seemed innocent to me — like two friends who were very close just being funny together.
But as I became a teenager, I realized my entire understanding of this experience was based on one song about a presumably heterosexual girl with a boyfriend kissing another girl to be "scandalous" and "erotic." I also discovered that part of me felt like loving a girl could be about much more than tasting her chapstick. I hadn't been aware that there could be true love between women, so when I felt that love, I felt confused and alone.
This is why Elsa is so much more than a poster image — for me and for every girl who has and will watch Frozen. Giving young girls the chance to understand that a princess can love another princess the same way Cinderella loved her Prince Charming is vital to their development. No one deserves to feel isolated and confused about who they are. All we need is someone to show us that there are other options, other kinds of princesses, and other ways to have the happy ending that you deserve.
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