A Response to Modest Mom About Disney and LGBT Issues

On Twitter today I saw a link to a blog post by a woman who wrote that she has cancelled her family’s trip to Walt Disney World because Disney is including a gay character in the new live-action “Beauty and the Beast” movie.

Today, she wrote about the hate mail she received.

I left a comment on that post. I don’t know if the comment will get approved, but here’s what I wrote.

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Hi. I don’t know you. I’m sorry that someone called you a pig. It can be startling when you write something for your usual friendly audience and it somehow goes viral and gets read and shared by lots of people who don’t normally read your blog. That can happen on the internet. But it’s wrong for someone to call you a pig. People have every right to disagree with you and tell you why you’re misguided, but it’s not helpful to call you names.

Insults aside, it might be useful for you to try and understand why people criticized you.

For one thing, you said you were “forced” to cancel your Disney World vacation. But you weren’t forced to. You chose to. Framing it as something you were “forced” to do makes it sound like you’re trying to portray yourself as a victim.

Second, you said that the reason you decided not to go Disney World is because you don’t like the fact that some men love men and some women love women. Sorry, but that’s a very silly thing to be uncomfortable with. Being gay doesn’t hurt you or your children or anybody else. It doesn’t make the world a worse place. In fact, it makes the world a better place, because when people are allowed to be who they are – when they are happier, and when the things that make them happier do not harm themselves or other people – the world’s net happiness is increased. It seems puzzling that someone would be against increasing net happiness.

You also seem confused about what Disney is doing. It’s not like Disney is going to show gay sex on screen. Do they show heterosexual sex on screen? Do we ever see Prince Eric being sexually intimate with Ariel, Prince Charming having sex with Snow White? No. Little kids don’t need to know about sex. But we’re not talking about sex. We’re talking about portraying someone who has feelings for someone of the same gender. Human love. That’s all.

Third, and here’s a big one: plenty of people who have the same opinion about gay people as you do have done actual harm to gay people over the years. They condemned their gay fellow human beings who contracted HIV and died of AIDS in the 1980s. Instead of giving compassion and – more importantly – funding for anti-AIDS research, they criticized them and told them they were going to hell. More recently, people who hold your beliefs actively worked to try and prevent us from getting married. Getting married is a pinnacle of human happiness, but people actually tried to keep us from realizing that happiness. They didn’t want me to marry my husband. What kind of a person would try and prevent such a thing?

Fourth, you don’t just talk about your beliefs in your post. You actually encourage action. You tell people to sign petitions and participate in a boycott to try and prevent Disney from providing role models for little boys and girls that are going to grow up to be gay. Do you know that LGBT teens have a higher-than-average rate of suicide? Why are you against something that is going to make the young version of me that much less scared to grow up and be who he or she is? Why are you trying to prevent this?

There are plenty of Christians who do embrace gay people and support our full rights as citizens. I would ask how you reconcile your beliefs with the willingness to take action that hurts an entire segment of your fellow human beings.

I guess you don’t see it that way. I imagine you’re probably a good person in many ways. You love your family and your children. It’s great that you feed the poor and clothe the hungry. I honestly mean that: it’s more than most people do. But you seem willing to take action that will harm millions of other people, just because of your feelings.

It was still wrong for someone to call you a pig. But maybe you could try a little better to understand where other people are coming from.

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