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Disney announces first official LGBTQ character in an animated feature

The character will be voiced by actress and screenwriter Lena Waithe.
/ Source: TODAY

Disney Pixar’s newest film, “Onward,” is breaking ground with a first for the Disney-Pixar universe. The new animated film, set to release March 6, introduces a self-identified lesbian character named Officer Specter.

The character, voiced by actress and screenwriter Lena Waithe, is a Cyclops cop and is featured in one scene in the middle of the main character’s quest.

Officer Specter (Lena Waithe), Colt Bronco (Mel Rodriguez) and Officer Gore (Ali Wong) in a poster for Onward.
Officer Specter (Lena Waithe), Colt Bronco (Mel Rodriguez) and Officer Gore (Ali Wong) in a poster for Onward.Disney

Kori Rae, the producer for “Onward,” told Yahoo Entertainment, “It just kind of happened.”

“The scene, when we wrote it, was kind of fitting and it opens up the world a little bit, and that’s what we wanted,” Rae added.

The film’s director, Dan Scanlon, said of the film, “It’s a modern fantasy world and we want to represent the modern world.”

“Onward” stars Tom Holland and Chris Pratt voice the two main characters, Ian and Barley, respectively. The brothers lost their father at a young age before they could say goodbye. When Ian turns 16, their mom, voiced by Julia Louis-Dreyfus, gives them a present left to them by their late father: a 24-hour resurrection spell. The spell goes wrong and the two brothers are left on a quest to find a replacement element before the spell wears off and their father disappears again.

Officer Specter.
Officer Specter.

Officer Specter comes in toward the middle of the brothers’ quest while they head to the magical mountains. In one scene, the character and her cop partner Officer Gore (Ali Wong) pull over a driver who claims he was distracted because his girlfriend's sons have been acting up.

“My girlfriend’s daughter got me pulling my hair out," Officer Specter relates during the scene.

While this is the first confirmed instance, previously there were only speculations of LGBTQ characters in the Disney-Pixar universe.

When the trailer of “Finding Dory” dropped in 2016, the internet blew up the sight of a lesbian couple pushing a stroller through the aquarium, but the film ultimately didn’t address the scene. The internet was at it again when “Toy Story 4” came out last year and featured a glimpse of two women dropping off a little girl at kindergarten.

Later this year, Disney will officially be introducing a same-sex couple into the Marvel Cinematic Universe in "The Eternals." The movie, scheduled to be released Nov. 6 in theaters, is set to feature Haaz Sleiman and Bryan Tyree Henry as a same-sex couple with a child.

Sleiman told NewNowNext that not only will the film feature the MCU's first same-sex couple, it will also feature the first same-sex kiss as well.

"Everyone cried on set," he said of the moment. "For me, it’s very important to show how loving and beautiful a queer family can be."