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Disney introduces its first ever openly gay teenage character

Disney introduces its first ever openly gay teenage character

Strange World follows a family of explorers, including 16-year-old Ethan, who has a school crush.

Disney’s upcoming movie Strange World will feature it’s first openly gay teenage character.

According to Movie Web, the Disney flick is set to follow the Clades - a legendary family of explorers.

However, unlike the rest of his family, Searcher Clade has different interests from his family and desires to lead a quiet life as a farmer.

Despite Searcher wanting nothing to do with his notorious family’s dangerous expeditions, things take a turn when he and his family stumble into uncharted territory, swiftly pulling them into the adventure.

While the epic computer-animated science adventure film will have a ‘slew of ravenous creatures’ and mysterious worlds, it will also feature a gay teen romance, which apparently is a first for Disney.

Ethan Clade, voiced by Jaboukie Young-White, is Searcher's 16-year-old gay son, who longs for adventure beyond his father's farm while navigating a school crush.

Young-White, who is openly queer, admitted in a recent interview with Yahoo Entertainment that he wished a film like this would have been around while he was a child.

He told the outlet: “I thought that was pretty cool.

"It was a beautiful thing to be a part of, and something I wish I could have seen when I was that age."

As all three Clade elders supported their son’s sexuality, Young-White said that he admires that this film isn’t a ‘coming out story’.

He added: “It's not him looking for acceptance of his identity.

"That's just who he is, and it's not underlined or made to be a big deal. It's an aspect of Ethan and one of the many things that makes him who he is. I thought that was amazing."

However, aside from including a queer narrative, Disney is also making history, with the Clades being a biracial family.

Co-director and writer Qui Nguyen told Variety: “I have a biracial family, so it was something that was easily relatable to me to [have] two people with very different backgrounds fall in love.

“And now my kid walks both those lines of us — fully Asian, fully Jewish — and that was something I understood inherently.”

Gabrielle Union, who voices Meridian Clade, also told the outlet the film isn’t trying to ‘normalize’ diversity - it merely exists, which is reflected in Strange World.

She said: “You got to see a loving family that was incredibly supportive of their child’s identity, and their version of trying to steer him to safety or steer him is more in terms of his occupation — and the route he’s gonna go in life.”

Featured Image Credit: Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures

Topics: News, Film and TV, Disney, LGBTQ