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Some opinions are best left off the internet—because the internet will come for you and rip you to shreds. One Boston man’s homophobic tweet has since gone viral after he ranted about the possibility of an LGBTQ Disney princess.
Controversy first began after Twitter user El Debarge quoted an article from Seventeen referencing Moana directors Ron Clements and John Musker. In the article, Clements and Musker suggested that Disney could introduce a queer princess if the right director and team were in place. Apparently, this was way too much for El Debarge, who went on to complain about the idea in a tweet at 11pm on Tuesday, Dec. 19.
“In no way am i homophobic, but i really think y’all are trying to force this LGBT shit in everybody lifestyle,” he originally wrote. And in a series of follow-up tweets, he doubled down on the point, arguing that queer representation is going to make children gay.
“All the people offended are gay or lesbian because they see ‘lgbtq & forced,’ i’m saying they so called spreading ‘awareness’ as if we don’t know people are gay,” he said. “I’m just saying we don’t need to expose it to children at a young age because people gone be all ‘tv made my child gay’… but that’s all i’m saying.”
in no way am i homophobic , but i really think y’all are trying to force this LGBT shit in everybody lifestyle. https://t.co/4jePPwGajG— El Debarge (@og__herbo) December 20, 2017
all the people offended are gay or lesbian because they see “lgbtq & forced” i’m saying they so called spreading “awareness” as if we don’t know people are gay. we know. we been knew. i don’t care. people force religion and all that. i’m just saying we don’t need to expose it to— El Debarge (@og__herbo) December 20, 2017
children at a young age because people gone be all “tv made my child gay” i’m not being a hater or none of that & have no problem w/ the lgbtq community. but that’s all i’m saying.— El Debarge (@og__herbo) December 20, 2017
Of course, his tweet wasn’t received well, to say the least. Queer Twitter users quickly responded, pointing out that no one is forcing “LGBT s**t” down anyone’s throat. Instead, queer representation is about making LGBTQ people feel heard, visible, and represented in their everyday lives. Without that, queer kids grow up feeling like their stories don’t matter and that their sexualities and gender identities are weird. Studies have shown that things like positive transgender representation in media changes peoples’ minds on issues like trans rights, which builds support for the LGBTQ community.
fuck you if you think LGBTQ+ representation in the media is forcing "LGBT shit" into your life when gay, bi, lesbian, trans, etc. children grow up hating themselves because all they see on TV is cis boy/girl relationships.— sugar baby martinez (@mamuelsartinez) December 21, 2017
To see that this has 185k likes is so disheartening. That many people think that lgbt people shouldn’t be represented in media. Kids literally kill themselves over shit like this but y’all don’t care bc you’re cunts. https://t.co/QZPAldW2LN— Ryan (@ThatsSoRyannn) December 22, 2017
This is such an asinine take. How is our asking for representation and affirmation at a societal level forcing “LGBT shit” on anyone???Just say you hate us and want us to live in the shadows, if that, and go on with your sad life. https://t.co/2ykox6A5n2— frodo the f*g ☭ (@cde_dom) December 21, 2017
Y’all really out here acting like being LGBT isn’t normal and our content is being forced upon kids and making them like gay people or some shit. It’s called not being a fucking bigoted homophobe. Gay kids exist and we need LGBT content in kids media to help them be comfortable— deanoru king (@edgyminoru) December 21, 2017
These guys think that if they aren't blatantly calling for one's murder they aren't homophobic/racist/misogynist. They seem to think that they get to define and control the use of those words. Um, nope. You needn't technically cross the line into criminality to hate.— Canucky Woman #FBPE (@CanuckyWoman) December 21, 2017
being gay is still punishable by death in some countries but just wanted to apologise to all of the heteros for “trying to force this LGBT shit in everybody’s lifestyle” - go fuck yourselves— shannon (@shanowxns98) December 22, 2017
In fact, more often than not, queer people are the ones that have to sit through movie after movie that focus solely on straight people.
why do straight people always have to be such fucking morons it makes me so angry just let LGBT people have ONE thing. Straight shit is LITERALLY EVERYWHERE, and you're gonna lose your shit over the POSSIBILITY of a gay Disney princess. Fucking ridiculous— ben (@cl0ud_b0y) December 21, 2017
omg the funniest thing about that homophobic tweet is the “trying to force that lgbt shit” as if straight people didnt literally invent conversion therapy/camps as a way to force people to live a hetero lifestyle lol yall are so hypocritical— jess (@jjvssica) December 22, 2017
Of course we finna force lgbt shit on err body I’ve had enough of straight people forcing their bs down my throat , there are gay people that u know openly and those that are still in the closet, so yes we finna be in everything get over it #DayInLGBT #gaytwitter https://t.co/oivXBwjhuy— Rocky_says (@rocky_said) December 22, 2017
Like, seriously, what was up with Bee Movie?
Okay people can't tell me shit about an lgbt disney character being "too sexual" or "too weird" or "influencing kids in a negative way" when y'all sat thru an entire movie of a woman deadass dumping her bf for a bee— love, aph (@bramqueerfeld) December 21, 2017
Even worse, if queer people share their stories, straight people can’t handle it.
straights: stop saying these characters are gay if u want gay characters make them urselves— oh no, not keef (@sftyeuns) December 21, 2017
us: *decides to make new lgbt characters*
straights: wtf ur forcing this lgbt shit on us. whats the point of doing this we know theres gay people we dont need to show our kids this
Gay people: hi— HOOD VOGUE (@itskeyon) December 21, 2017
Straight twitter: not to be rude AND all but I feel like y’all are forcing this gay shit on us 💀💀💀💀💀😴😴 I have no problem with gay people but I just don’t agree with their lifestyle 😂😂😂😂😂😂 don’t get mad at me though
Disney is trying to reflect the current demographic of the world by including stories from many different cultures, countries, etc. Now they are including the large demographic of LGBT people just as they have with other races. Having an LGBT princess is not “forcing LGBT shit” https://t.co/jWunCeNChO— cam (@c_patterson99) December 21, 2017
No one forces you to pay to buy a movie ticket. They create stories that make people feel included. If you have a problem with people finally being featured in a children’s movie then you’re the problem, not the “LGBT shit.”— Morgan High (@MorganBradHigh) December 21, 2017
Don’t like it? Don’t buy it. But don’t cause a scene. https://t.co/WnpixkIV1x
While people like El Debarge may seem insignificant in the grand scheme of LGBTQ rights, similar opinions drive conversion therapy camps, anti-transgender bathroom bills, and sex education courses that focus solely on straight people. That’s one of the reasons why queer representation matters in media: it humanizes LGBTQ peoples’ experiences and shares their stories.
So the next time you feel the need to start a sentence with “In no way am I homophobic, but,” just don’t. Unless you’re prepared for the Twitter smackdown of your life, that is.
Maybe it’s time to turn everyone gay.
Ana Valens is a reporter specializing in online queer communities, marginalized identities, and adult content creation. She is Daily Dot's Trans/Sex columnist. Her work has appeared at Vice, Vox, Truthout, Bitch Media, Kill Screen, Rolling Stone, and the Toast. She lives in Brooklyn, New York, and spends her free time developing queer adult games.