We've seen Disney characters re-imagined as everything from tattooed pin-ups to LGBTQ couples to hipsters to parents. Heck, we've even seen what they'd look like in real life! But while the Disney trend might seem overdone by now, a new series which re-illustrates our beloved characters as transgender is one we can certainly get behind.
An anonymous illustrator, who goes by the Instagram handle Trans Disney, is drawing the studio's most famous tales as if their lead characters were trans.
The artist is an art director from New York City who spent their childhood watching Disney movies.
"I love them and always will as they talk about love, freedom, and transformation," the artist wrote on Bored Panda.
Growing up, I realized that they don't include a very important category: transgender people.
"Growing up, I realized that they don't include a very important category: transgender people. People who more than anyone else know the meaning of and seek for that love, freedom and transformation portrayed by Disney," they continued.
Thus, their series of Disney characters reimagined as transgender was born! Using Photoshop and a design tablet, the artist re-illustrated a number of classic characters, such as Ariel, Peter Pan, Aurora and Pinocchio.
The artist hopes their work will be able to "tear down the stigmas and taboos about the LGBTQ community ... Or at least break the tip of the iceberg."
Specifically, trans rights in the U.S. have been consistently attacked by President Donald Trump, who not only reversed Barack Obama's policy to allow trans students to use the bathroom of their choice, but also plans to ban trans individuals from serving in the military.
LGBTQ activist and "Orange is the New Black" star Laverne Cox recently spoke about these issues at L.A.'s Beautycon festival earlier this week.
"We're in survival mode now, because so many basic rights we've fought for for a really long time are being threatened," Cox said, according to Pret-a-Reporter.
While Cox recognized that trans people are gaining more visibility today, she emphasized that the community still needs more allies.
"Because of social media, more of our voices are elevated, so we're able to talk back in a way that we have not been able to before... But we need more allies coming on board to say these lives matter," she said.
That's why the New York artist's work is so important. Not only does it help normalize and celebrate the trans community, but also recognizes them as people who deserve to have their story told.
Although it's 2017 and Disney still hasn't introduced a transgender prince or princess, the studio did include a trans character in "Finding Dory" last year.
"There's a stingray that's becoming sting-Rhonda, so there's a trans sting in the movie," Ellen DeGeneres, who voices the title character, told USA Today at the time.
Not only does it help normalize and celebrate the trans community, but also recognizes them as people who deserve to have their story told.
Disney is also making a conscious effort to include the LGBTQ community in its movies and TV shows. Earlier this year, the live-action remake of "Beauty and the Beast" included Disney's first gay character in a movie, and an episode of Disney XD's "Star vs. The Forces of Evil" featured its first same-sex kiss on-screen. And most recently, Disney's "Doc McStuffins" featured interracial lesbian moms.
Let's hope Disney continues its streak of being both inclusive and diverse, and that this artist's work helps bring even more visibility to the trans community.
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