I grew up loving Disney princess movies and I’m also fairly certain they were my first subconscious realization of my gayness (looking at you, Jasmine). So here is the definitive ranking of queerness of the Disney princesses recognized by Disney on official princess merch. Of course you cannot tell if a person is queer from presentation alone, but this list is also based on relationship, actions, personality etc. (And it’s just for fun!) So let’s get started. First off is:
11. Snow White
In my Intro to Gender Studies course, I offered my idea for queering a fairy tale by saying you could assume Snow White is a lesbian who stays with seven polyamorous gay men (until she meets Prince Ferdinand). In the movie, she seems pretty straight because she sings about being saved by a Prince before she even really knew any men. She also wears a bow in her hair, and if my one year of softball taught me anything, it’s that only girls who don’t wear bows are lesbians.
10. Aurora (Sleeping Beauty)
This girl had like, three moms for awhile, so that might be a little gay. She did end up with Prince Philip though so I’d say the gayest she gets is when she took a nap because all of the queer girls I know take naps.
Ariel also fantasizes about human men before she meets any. Maybe her movie is all about being transgender, but I doubt it as any more than a euphemism because she’s definitely a girl mermaid who falls in love with a boy human. AND she sacrifices a major part of herself to do so! That’s so not girl code, homegirl. Sigh.
She ends up with Prince Charming, but she doesn’t dream endlessly of nameless princes. She made the best of a bad situation and I respect her for that. Cinderella also probably had some crazy muscles too so she could definitely snag a lady if she wanted, she just happened to marry a guy who was wealthy first. I respect the game.
5. Jasmine, Rapunzel, Tiana (tie)
Listen, I want Jasmine to be more queer. I do. But she, like Rapunzel and Tiana, didn’t really want a man or need a man, but got a man anyway. They just wanted to see the world and accomplish their goals, but instead they accidentally fell in love with the men who fell in love with them. I can’t blame them. They were wooed. They get bonus points for being strong, motivated, independent women. Probably all queer women believe in being strong and independent.
Ah, Belle. She does not outrank the previous because she fell in love with a beast (even though “beauty and the beast” is a really great nickname for a hard femme and hard butch in a relationship). She outranks the previous because she was brave enough to sacrifice her own life for her father’s. She’s also probably read some poems by Sapphos or something similar (#ladyloveliterature). Plus, the whole theme of her movie is that looks don’t matter when love is involved, which is definitely something I reminded my parents of when I came out. Beast totally could’ve been a lady.
You know how after you figure out you’re queer and you think about who you were as a child and what you did and suddenly everything makes sense? Well I watched Pocahontas more than once a week as a kid because I was definitely in love with her. Pocahontas is cool and athletic and pretty and has influenced my type more than any other single factor. She does confess her love for John Smith after Kocoum is killed, though, which isn’t super queer. I like to imagine that after John leaves, she and Nakoma nuture their budding friendship-turned-romance but maybe that’s just me. Pocahontas still ranks high because she refuses to succumb to gender norms (also she’s probably a little gay or at least more open to same-sex attraction).
Merida is literally such a dyke. Of-freaking-course she is. Merida is the girl you think is hot but you also sort of want to be a little. She’s a strong, independent, smart, adventurous and funny (sigh). I also don’t think she eats any red meat which scores her major lez points because like, none of the queer girls I know eat red meat (why is this, can someone please explain???). Plus, she literally rejects wearing restrictive, femme clothing. She loves animals and dressed as a guy and shot for (and won!!!) her own hand in marriage because, like some others, she didn’t want to marry a random dude. Merida wins here because she successfully doesn’t. I’m convinced Disney didn’t add any more ladies her age for her to be friends with in the movie because she so would’ve wooed them with just a little lesbian eye contact.
Mulan’s at the top of this list because duh. The movie about Mulan is pretty gay: I mean, Li Shang definitely falls in love with masculine-presenting Mulan (Ping) whom he totally thinks is a guy. That’s literally the definition of gay. Also, Mulan is pretty queer to even be masc-presenting. We can debate if she’s a transgender person or drag king, but it’s getting off of canon. She definitely rejects gender norms, doesn’t have any qualms with being masc of center or androgynous and cultivating a relationship with a man when doing so. She marches to the beat of her own drum and she’s such a badass for it. Mulan forever.
Come on Disney, banish the heteronormativity and throw us some lady love stories now. #GayElsaForever