‘The Owl House’ Protagonist Is Disney’s First Bisexual Female Lead, Says Show’s Creator
The creator of Disney’s The Owl House has confirmed that the animated show’s protagonist, Luz Noceda, is bisexual — making her Disney’s first bisexual female lead.
The 14-year-old Dominican-American character, Luz Noceda, is voiced by Sarah-Nicole Robles in show, and is officially described by Disney as: “a self-assured teenage human girl.” Although Luz has previously shown interest in boys on the show, in the two most recent episodes, her relationship with a recurring female character, Amity, is explored. Willow, another character on the show, has also been shown to have same-sex parents. Due to its depictions of demons, witches, and sorcery, the show was previously branded as “demonic and evil” by conservative groups, and was also targeted by One Million Moms, a Conservative Christian activist group that petitioned Disney to cancel it — saying that it is “inundating young minds with secular worldviews that reflect the current culture.”
Convincing Disney to greenlight a queer character wasn’t easy for the show’s creator, Dana Terrace, who also identifies as bisexual. “In [development] I was very open about my intention to put queer kids in the main cast… When we were greenlit I was told by certain Disney leadership that I could not represent any form of bi or gay relationship on the channel,” Terrace tweeted, explaining her tussle with the studio. And, reportedly, Disney’s reluctance to portray LGBTQIA+ characters onscreen isn’t new. Alex Hirsch, the creator of Disney’s Gravity Falls, which ran from 2012 to 2016, said that Disney had forbidden him from “any explicit LGBTQ+ [representation]” for his show. “Apparently, ‘happiest place on earth’ meant ‘straightest,'” he added. But, he also lauded the studio for coming around now in 2020 with The Owl House. This May, Pixar had also featured a gay lead in the short film, Out, on Disney Plus.
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“I’m bi! I want to write a bi character, dammit! Luckily my stubbornness paid off and now I am very supported by current Disney leadership,” Terrace wrote in a victorious tweet last week. In fact, she said that creating these characters also helped her come out as bisexual to her friends and family in 2017, and she hopes that “they continue to create positive vibes for [people] in future [episodes].”
“Representation matters,” Terrace wrote. And, indeed, representation does matter. A recent study found out that representation of the LGBTQIA+ community in the media, makes society significantly more supportive and accepting of the community in real life. This demonstrates the power of inclusive onscreen portrayals in changing perceptions, and erasing prejudices towards the LGBTQIA+ community. Moreover, given the influence of cartoons on children, growing up watching a bisexual protagonist in an animated show, can also help familiarize young minds seamlessly with the gender and sexuality spectrum — a subject that can often seem otherwise tricky to tackle.
And, ever since Luz was revealed as bisexual on the show, positive feedback for The Owl House began pouring in on social media with people from the LGBTQIA+ community wishing they, too, had shows like this while growing up. At present, the show stands renewed for a second season.