Art Seen

One Artist Is Reimagining Your Favorite Disney Characters As Transgender For A Very Important Reason

"I wanted to break those clichés to state that transgender people also dream of finding love and happiness."

Disney might be taking a few steps forward in an effort to be more inclusive of the LGBTQ community, but one person is taking it to the next level by asking a simple question: What if these films could tell a transgender story? To illustrate what this might look like, one artist is taking your favorite Disney characters and reimagining them as if they were transgender.


The artist, an art director for a creative agency in New York who is known only as Trans Disney, told A Plus they wanted to keep their privacy for one reason: "I don't want people to frame me. It's what everyone does as soon as they know who you are, your gender, your age … I want the 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."

Growing up watching Disney films like many other people around the world, this artist said they'll always love them "because they spread a message about love, freedom, and transformation." That said, they did realize transgender characters were being left out of the narratives and decided to do something about it.

"I believe that the power of seeing Disney characters as transgender is that they have been in our fantasies for all of our life," the artist said. "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."

As for why some of the characters depicted might seem closer to their original gender and others appear to be showcasing features of the opposite gender they were given upon creation, there's a good reason for that.

"Sometimes you're at the beginning of your metamorphosis, sometimes you're way into it," they explained. "Your features might have drastically changed already, sometimes the real you is still in the process of coming to the surface. That's why some Disney characters are more different from the original than others. And this is just the beginning. My goal is to show more nuances of a transgender person's transformation, the moments and goals of being one."

Does this artist think we'll ever see a Disney film starring an LGBTQ lead character — not just one who has hints of being of that community but one that is firmly of that community? Their answer is hopeful.

"I think things are slowly changing in Disney movies," Trans Disney said, acknowledging that the company has been making small strides. "We need more of that because Disney has such a huge impact on society, but I guess it will take some more time to get there."

Going forward, the artist said they plan to continue portraying the main characters — yes, that means the Disney Princesses and others — this way and possibly even expand the scope to feature the villains, too. Anything to "keep telling the Trans Disney story."

Check out a few of Trans Disney's collection of gender-bending illustrations here, and be sure to check out the rest and continue following along on their Instagram, too.

Aladdin from "Aladdin"

@trans.disney on Instagram

Alice from "Alice in Wonderland"

@trans.disney on Instagram

Belle from "Beauty and the Beast"

@trans.disney on Instagram

Hercules from "Hercules"

@trans.disney on Instagram

Peter Pan from "Peter Pan"

@trans.disney on Instagram

Pinocchio from "Pinocchio"

@trans.disney on Instagram

Tiana from "The Princess and the Frog"

@trans.disney on Instagram


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