Artist Portrays Disney Characters as Transgender
By Mila Madison
he artist goes only by the name Trans Disney and their Instagram account features before and after photos of some of the most popular Disney characters as if they had transitioned. We set out to find the artist and luckily we were able to track them down and ask some questions.
MM: Are you transgender? How do you identify?
Trans Disney: I’d rather keep my identity private. For one main reason: I don’t want people to frame me. It’s what everyone does as soon as they know who you are, your gender, age. I want their focus to be exclusively on the project. The reason why Trans Disney itself was born is because transgender people are constantly framed and judged based on their gender.
MM: What made you want to do this project?
Trans Disney: Generally speaking, my project is a reaction to the constant flow of negative and hatred comments that people spill at the LGBTQ community. I have been bullied for a long time myself as a kid because of who I am. However, hearing about the transgender ban promoted by Donald Trump over the army is what pushed me to kick off Trans Disney.
MM: Why did you choose Disney characters?
Trans Disney: Like millions of people all over the world, I grew up watching Disney movies. I love them, and always will because they spread a message about love, freedom, and transformation.
As time passed, however, I realized that they don’t include a very important category: transgender people. People like me who are in search for that love, freedom and transformation portrayed by Disney. I believe that the power of seeing Disney characters as transgender is that they have been in our fantasies for all of our life. We literally grew up watching them. We saw (and were influenced by) the narrow way they portray love and define gender. I wanted to break those clichés to state that transgender people also dream of finding love and happiness.
So I asked myself: What if the most famous Disney movies were to be told as a transgender story? What if they could use their power and huge following to help tear down the stigmas about the LGBTQ community? And I started creating this parallel world where Disney characters are transgender.
MM: Are you planning to do anything similar with any other subjects or characters?
Trans Disney: It’s not on my radar right now, but never say never!
MM: Do you have a favorite out of the characters you have done?
Trans Disney: Probably Belle, who is probably my favorite character of all. She is an outcast, people treat her differently, but she doesn’t let that get under her skin. She stays faithful to herself and falls in love with someone who also is an outcast. I can relate to that so easily, and I think a lot of people do as well.
MM: Have you heard from Disney at all about this? If so, how did they react?
Trans Disney: I haven’t heard from them. Not yet, at least. It would be very interesting to get to know their point of view as I do admire their creativity, and I am pretty confident in saying that a lot of people who work at Disney can relate to my project too.
MM: Have reactions been mostly positive or have you received any negative responses about it?
Trans Disney: I’m receiving a positive response from many fellow LGBTQ people, as well as from people who are heterosexual. I also have faced negative and hatred comments as you probably can expect when you touch such a sensitive subject as being transgender, but I was prepared for that from the beginning. What counts for me is to know that I’m making a difference – even if it’s a small one – for those who are or will be following Trans Disney.
MM: Is there any other work that you have done that you would like us to know about?
Trans Disney: Trans Disney is my first and only project.
MM: Do you think it is time that Disney creates an LGBT+ or specifically a transgender character?
Trans Disney: I believe that people who were born at the end or after the 80’s could be ready for that, or at least open minded and curious to see where such a story line could bring to. The problem Disney could face is that most of their audience isn’t as much, if not at all. We probably need to wait a few more years for that. And I believe it will bring Disney to the next level
MM: What is next for you?
Trans Disney: My goal is to make Trans Disney grow and be able to portray all the nuances of being transgender. This means I will progressively take over some of the most iconic Disney movies scenes, and possibly also on villains, as long as I can find a key to keep telling the Trans Disney story.
You can view Trans Disney’s full portfolio on their Instagram page.