Last Friday, I went to see Brave with a couple friends, and despite what some reviewers would say, it was pretty good. Not Pixar's best movie, but it was far from their worst. But I'm not Xtra's movie critic (yet), so let's move on to the point here, shall we?
Recently, Entertainment Weekly's Adam Markovitz pondered whether or not Brave's protagonist, Princess Merida, is a lesbian. His reasons: she doesn't want to be a traditional girly-girl; she's an outsider; she doesn't want to get married to one of the three hapless losers her parents are trying to set her up to. So is he onto something?
Short story: honestly, we don't know. The long story: simply put, a lot of the evidence that Markovitz uses to back up his claim is couched more in traditional gender roles and stereotypes than it is in fact. Does Princess Merida's story have themes that many LGBT people can relate to? Yes. Are there out and proud lesbian women who share Merida's characteristics, traits and personalities? Yes. But neither of those a lesbian make. If Merida were to say something along the lines of "I am a lesbian, and identify as such," then yes, she would be a lesbian. But speculating about people's sexuality based on their hobbies is a bit antiquated.
So . . . IS Princess Merida a lesbian? Who knows. Merida, or the people who created her, haven't said anything about her sexuality either way. It would be great if we could have an openly lesbian Disney princess, but for the time being, let's not speculate for the sake of page views.