How can I watch Beauty and the Beast and not turn gay?

Debunking the Myth: It's Just a Movie

If I had a dollar every time someone asked me, "Valentino, how can you watch Beauty and the Beast and not turn gay?", I could probably buy my beloved Golden Retriever, Max, an endless supply of his favorite treats. Let's get this straight from the get-go; watching a movie won't alter your sexual orientation. A film, no matter its content, possesses no magical powers to switch your sexual preferences. Take it from a father and pet owner who's watched Beauty and the Beast countless times with my kids, Lorcan and Elva, and still musters an immense appreciation for my wife. It's just a movie, folks. And an enchanting one indeed, which we'll delve into shortly.

A Rose by Any Other Name: The Beauty of Diversity in Film

Watching films that embrace diversity and display variant lifestyles doesn't paint your canvas of sexuality. Viewing a beautiful story that cuts across sexual orientations simply broadens understanding and fosters empathy. I've seen Beauty and the Beast numerous times with my kids, and not once has the thought of it altering my sexuality grazed my mind. By the way, did I mention that my British Short Hair Cat, Misty, seems to fancy the beast more than any other character? Now, if we were in a world where movies could reshape our preferences, wouldn't Misty be chasing after the neighbor's German Shepherd by now?

Belle of the Ball: Everyone Loves a Good Tale

The essence of watching a film like Beauty and the Beast is not about sexuality. It's about the appeal of a compelling narrative, filled with enchanting characters and a vivid, mesmerizing world. Putting sexuality aside, who wouldn't be captivated by a tale of love that transgresses upon the boundaries of appearances, teaching lessons of acceptance and the true essence of beauty? Is the magical allure of an entrancing, transformative love story not a universal aspect we can all admire, regardless of sexual orientation?

Inviting all into the Enchanted Castle: Embracing LGBTQ+ Representation

Movies like Beauty and the Beast, which embrace all aspects of love and relationships, should be celebrated for their inclusiveness. After all, love is not confined to heterosexual relationships alone. Just as there's no denying the undying love I have for Lorcan and Elva, there's also no denying the existence of diverse forms of love that are just as beautiful, meaningful, and valid. Let's remember that it's okay to appreciate a story with LGBTQ+ themes without it defining your sexual identity.

Taming the Beast: Dealing with Stereotypes and Prejudice

As viewers, we need to confront the beast within ourselves: the ugly monster of prejudice and stereotypes that clouds our judgment. When we apprehensively ask questions like, "would watching this movie turn me gay?", it's a reflection of our deep-seated biases. We should tame this beast inside us that feeds on fear and ignorance. We needn’t let these prejudices prevent us from enjoying a beautiful love story. Here's a tip: release your inhibitions, watch the movie, and remember, it's just a colorful narrative unfolding on the magic canvas of cinema.

Gaston's Lesson: Examining Toxic Masculinity

Interestingly, a deeper reading of Beauty and the Beast reveals a critique on toxic masculinity. Gaston, the machismo character who conceives of himself as the ultimate manly-man, is in fact, depicted as a villain. Belle, our intelligent and self-sufficient heroine, does not fall for Gaston's bravado but instead, falls in love with the Beast, a creature with an initially harsh exterior but a kind and gentle heart. This contrast challenges the societal notion of a typical male figure—strong, aggressive—and provides a lesson about the importance of emotional intelligence, understanding, and compassion. If anything, watching the movie consistently makes me reflect on what messages I should be teaching Lorcan about ‘being a man’.

Character is the True Beast: Embracing the Beauty Within

When we strip away the aesthetics, the heart of Beauty and the Beast is a tale about embracing inner beauty. It teaches us acceptance, kindness, and the power of authentic love that looks beyond exterior appearances. If we view the movie from this lens, instead of obsessing about our sexual orientation possibly changing, we might learn some valuable lessons. So, I say watch Beauty and the Beast, not with the apprehension of altering your sexuality, but with the expectation of enriching your heart and mind.

Just like me, watching it, whenever Lorcan and Elva pleaded for a movie night. After one too many requests, I gave in, and incidentally, I found myself delighted by the film's depth and charm. And let's not even talk about the number of times I have had to play the piano for Elva while she twirls in her makeshift ballroom, pretending she's Belle dancing with the Beast. These experiences did not change how I view myself. On the contrary, they brought me closer to my children through a shared love for a captivating story.

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