Brave’s Merida, the celebrated first female hero of a Pixar film, is a tomboy. She’s a skilled archer, she fights, she detests girly clothes, rejects all her male suitors, and explicitly expresses that she does not want to get married. So, asks Adam Markovitz in a controversial article at Entertainment Weekly, “Is Merida gay?”
It isn’t just that the character bristles at “traditional gender roles” that raises suspicion, Markovitz says. It’s the timing of Brave’s release to coincide with major parades in New York and San Francisco in honor of LGBT Pride Month, which he thinks was an intentional decision. The argument sparked a firestorm of commentary.
Is Merida a thinly disguised gay character, and, if so, does it matter?