Oliver & Company

 

 

Just as Oliver was the remaining kitten in the box came to reflect the emotional isolation that came with identifying as queer and homosexual throughout middle and high school, watching other students pair off to experiment with the opposite sex, removing early relationship templates for later.  Being separated from his peers Oliver fell into friendship with Fagin and his dogs parallels the friends that homosexuals find in similar people, which could appear dangerous and scary for parents; either because of disapproval or knowing how difficult life would be for the child.  Then Oliver meets Jenny, the rich girl, who offers him the opportunity of life of acceptance, which is based upon the fact that Jenny doesn’t truly know Oliver other than she wants a kitten.  For queer identity development Jenny represents the dreams and goals that are imposed by the majority.  At this point Oliver, like young outsiders, is conflicted between the world they have discovered on their own and the heteronormative, and so chooses neither life, which endangers both.  Only at the end when both worlds, that Oliver doesn’t want to meet, do meet is he able to find happiness in his identity and create unique goals for himself.

 

Oliver & Company painted the picture of New York City that was populated with people that were similar to me.  New York City was a world that was tailored to me.

 

 

 

Disney’s Beauty & the Beast (1991)

beauty-and-the-beast-disney            Disney’s Beauty and the Beast (1991) has been a fixture since I was 8 years old and (like everyone else) captivated by the music and animation.  Each time I watch the movie it represents my queer and homosexual experiences.

Belle’s reading, bravery, and compassion made her my Disney princess; Ursula and Maleficent had been my favorites up until then; Oliver and Company was my Disney film up until then.  Belle was the outsider as princess – the villagers thought she was odd, while Jasmine or Snow White were born princesses with privilege.  Belle’s desire to escape from her village to experience the bigger world mirrored my own queer desire to escape suburbia.  Unlike Ariel and Eric, or Aurora and Phillip, Belle and Prince Adam’s love formed organically.  Yes, I do find prisoner falling in love with their jailer romantic.

The Beast is Heathcliff-type romantic.  He is downtrodden and angry, insecure about the future because there had been so much rejection.  His fear and pain reflected my own, entering the dating realm with baggage of rejection and pain before having even begun dating.  The Beast also became the model for my ideal partner: rough with an awoke interior.  As well as a certain minotaur fantasy.