Camping Outside the Magic Kingdom’s Gates: The Power of Femslash in the Disney Fandom
Walt Disney Studios has long been considered the curator and creator of the American fairy tale canon, establishing the tacit narratives that reflect the United States’ unique set of values, which are then disseminated throughout the Western world. As such, the fairy tales, myths, and legends the studio chooses to animate have enormous influence in arbitrating who does and does not belong in Western society. Because Disney’s canon representation of queer women in these narratives has been non-existent, many queer female fans feel they are othered, obscured, and erased in real life. Not content to simply wait for such recognition, these Disney fans have rallied together to create their own positive representation, lovingly cutting and stitching characters from Disney’s animated texts to create femslash narratives that satisfy their desire to see themselves reflected in the films they love. In other words, in a society that rejects and discriminates against queer female relationships, Disney femslash fans poach Disney’s animated canon in order to create a space that validates their queer identities.