QUEER VOICES
03/09/2017 02:19 pm ET | Updated Mar 11, 2017

The Internet Reacts After Mom Cancels Disney Trip Over Gay Character

"Modest Mom" blogger believes the company is "targeting our youth."

Gustavo Caballero via Getty Images
"Disney is telling the conservative family, the Christian public, that their views hold no worth," blogger Brooke Poston said of her decision to cancel her family's visit to Walt Disney World. 

The inclusion of an “exclusively gay moment” in Disney’s live-action “Beauty and the Beast” reboot continues to spark conservative ire. 

In an interview with Britain’s Attitude last week, director Bill Condon revealed that Josh Gad’s LeFou would be shown questioning his feelings for antagonist Gaston (Luke Evans) in what the magazine touted as a history-making moment for Disney. Since then, the pushback has been swift and seemingly endless, with an Alabama theater, an evangelical pastor and even Russian lawmakers blasting the move. 

Now, a Christian mom blogger has expressed her own dissatisfaction with Disney. Brooke Poston, who is the author of “This Modest Mom” blog, said she’d canceled plans to visit Walt Disney World with her husband and two children after hearing the “Beauty and the Beast” news. 

“Disney isn’t just aiming their efforts towards parents of Disney-aged children anymore. They are pointing a desperate finger at the innocence of our youth,” Poston wrote in a Monday blog post. Canceling the vacation, she noted, would set her family back a total of $6,000, but it was important for her to stand firm. “Disney is targeting our youth like they’re aiming at big game on a corporate hunting trip... Disney is telling the conservative family, the Christian public, that their views hold no worth,” she wrote. 

As to why she couldn’t skip the film and still visit the Florida resort, Poston said she believed Disney’s LGBTQ “agenda” would eventually carry over from its films and into its theme parks. “Who’s to say that an adapted theater version of ‘Beauty and the Beast’ won’t be shown in Hollywood Studios this year? Mark my words, I won’t be ‘entertained’ by something that doesn’t align with my religious beliefs,” she wrote. “Which definitely means I won’t pay for it.” 

After it was published, the post appeared to drive more traffic to “This Modest Mom” than ever before. On Tuesday, Poston wrote a follow-up blog, noting that she’d received “nearly 350 Facebook comments, messages and emails” from those who disagreed with her stance on both Disney and the LGBTQ community as a whole. “[LGBTQ] people are humans. I don’t think they are bad people,” Poston, who said she also opposed the inclusion of queer characters on TV shows like “How to Get Away with Murder” and “Grey’s Anatomy,” wrote. “I believe that all humans should be treated equally, and with respect. But I have a right to stay true to my religious beliefs as well.”

Not surprisingly, both of Poston’s posts inspired a flurry of responses on social media. “Disney, which averages more than $10 billion in profit each year, is reportedly devastated over This Modest Mom’s decision,” Samantha Snyder wrote in a tongue-in-cheek Tuesday post on her “Samspo” blog, “and must now try to recuperate losses from both her cancelled trip and the hundreds of dollars her family would have spent on soda and adult-sized children’s apparel in the park.” Added Tera Beljo, author of the “Total Random Thoughts” blog: “Views like this is what is keeping us divided, it’s why women are still fighting for equality... it’s why people of color are still being discriminated against, it’s why [President Donald Trump] is still trying to implement a Muslim ban.”

For now, Poston is taking the criticism in stride. On Wednesday, she responded to The Huffington Post’s request for comment in an email that she requested to be published in full. She wrote: 

There is no denying that the majority of reactions to my post have made me out to be a person filled with hate and disgust. Most of the responses I have received have been nothing short of vile and extremely crude. I’ve received death threats, ill wishes in regards to my family and those who affiliate with me (regardless of their views), and a number of other malicious attacks. Even through this, my views have not changed. I have never seen such contempt and hostility come from a group of people before. This is not acceptable, no matter who is on the receiving end. 

Despite the alarming amount of obscene responses, there has also been an overwhelming amount of support from people on both sides. I’ve read emails from people who identify as LGBTQ and, even though they disagree, commended my courage and stance. I’ve received comments from people who admit to being afraid to stand up simply because of the reaction that I received. People that have civilly voiced their opinion of what I said, yet also sent apologies and sympathies for the backlash that I have had to endure.

I’ve fed the hungry, clothed the poor, and served the needy ― all with no inquiry to their chosen political party, religious beliefs, or sexual identity. People are different and that is life, and that is okay. We can be kind and loving, but we do not have to agree and we do not have be accepting. Despite the difference in opinions of people all over the world, the beauty comes when we can realize that we may not agree, but we can still be compassionate. But love and compassion do not mean approval. For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” (John 3:16) But make no mistake, He also came to reprove the world of sin (John 16:8). On a daily basis, I come in contact with things that I don’t agree with, I cannot be sheltered by that. Disney’s choice made me feel forced to react. I have a right to not be entertained by ways that don’t align with my religious convictions. This does not make me malevolent. 

Know that whoever you are and however you identify, I have only compassion for you. We may not be fighting for the same things, we may not be fighting together, but know that we are each passionate for our own causes. Because of this I cannot be silent.

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