There is a lot of talk about LGBTQ+ rights in the U.S. following Florida’s “Don’t Say Gay” bill and it has brought Disney into the story. As all of this is happening, Disney announced that the teenage LGBTQ+ love story Love, Victor is coming to Disney+. Michael Cimino plays the titular character Victor Salazar giving young LGBTQ+ Latine people a moment of needed representation.
There are a couple of reasons why Disney+ streaming Love, Victor is important for American society right now. It has been proven in studies that acceptance and representation of LGBTQ+ youths have a direct impact on the mental health and suicide rates of the community.
Secondly, it is another example of Disney’s position in the current culture war happening in Florida. Disney has been the target of scorn from the Florida Republican-majority legislature after speaking out against the “Don’t Say Gay” bill. The bill makes discussing sexual orientation or gender identity in schools punishable while attempting to hide behind parental rights in education.
Disney has historically stayed quiet on political issues but the latest move has caused an uproar among conservatives in the Sunshine State. Adding Love, Victor to Disney+ isn’t a political move, it is a way to offer young LGBTQ+ people representation that will save lives.
As politicians work in the state legislature to erode the rights of LGBTQ+ people and students across the country, these small gestures of sharing stories that affirm someone’s identity can feel like grand political stances. Yet, for a young queer person with access to Disney+, being able to see their life reflected back to them by Disney is a touching tribute to the idea of human rights to dignity, safety, and inclusion.
Love, Victor is coming to Disney+ on June 15, right in the middle of Pride Month.