Queering Disney: History of The Walt Disney Company and the Queer Community

deadline for submissions: 
August 31, 2022
full name / name of organization: 
Brittany Eldridge

With Disney’s initial apathetic response to the ‘Don’t Say Gay’ bill which recently passed in the state of Florida, it is time to shed light on Disney’s complex relationship with the LGBTQIA2S+ community. Recently, there have been works which briefly discuss the relationship of queerness and Disney, such as Sean Griffin’s Tinker Bells and Evil Queens (2000), Melanie S. Kohnen Queer Representation, Visibility, and Race (2016), Jennifer Sandlin and Julie Garlen’s edited collection Disney, Culture, and Curriculum (2016), and Joseph Brennan’s edited collection Queerbaiting and Fandom (2019). However, the queer artist/contributor has yet to be the main topic of discussion. These previous works shed light on these areas, but a sustained scholarly inquiry to bring this insight to the forefront and examine the historical and cultural significance of The Walt Disney Company’s complex relationship with the Queer community has yet to be done.


The edited collection seeks to illuminate the various aspects and areas that the LGBTQIA2S+ community has impacted and been a part of in relation to The Walt Disney Company worldwide. This collection is looking to take part in the Transnational Queer Histories (TGH) book series with De Gruyter.


In the company’s history, The Walt Disney Company has had a substantial amount of Queer artists work with them and for them on almost every project – from films, the merchandising, to the creation of their parks. This collection is particulalry looking for abstracts that discuss the queer artists behind the scenes at Disney. From the musicians to the animators - the collection is seeking topics that discuss the history of and works done by Kenny Ortega, Elton John, Andreas Deja, Tim Federle, Howard Ashman, Bob Gurr, Kori Rae, Neil Patrick Harris, Byron Howard, and others. The collection is also looking for chapters that discuss Disney's 'Gay Days' and the history/impact of these events.

Abstracts on the following topics are welcome:

  • Queer animators (from all Disney eras)
  • Queer actors/actresses
  • Queer musicians
  • Queer architects for Disney parks
  • History of queerness within the Disney Company
  • History of ‘Gay Days’ at the parks
  • Queering merchandise and transmedia
  • Queer actors/actresses in the parks
  • Disney’s political stances on queerness
  • Queer designers for parks and films/television shows
  • Disney cutting queer scenes in international showings of films
  • Queer fandom
  • Transnational critical audience and audience/fan reception of queerness, queer characters, queer scenes, etc.


This is not an all-inclusive list, and abstracts on other areas on the relationship between The Walt Disney Company and the LGBTQIA2S+ community, or queerness, in a transnational setting are welcome. While queer approaches to Disney films are appreciated, they do not fit with this CFP. If you are interested in submitting a queer approach to a Disney film - please email: queeringdisney@gmail.com. They are currently looking for submissions of this type. 

This includes queerness and its interaction with any company of which is owned by The Walt Disney Company (Marvel, Lucasfilm, Pixar, etc.). Essays on the erasure of Queer moments in films in different countries are also welcome.  

Please submit a proposal (300-500 words) in a Word document or PDF, and a short biography (100-200 words) which states your name, affiliation, and email.


Abstracts are due by August 31st at midnight.


A selection of authors will be invited to submit full papers between 6,000 to 8,000 words. Please note that acceptance of an abstract does not guarantee publication, given that all papers will undergo peer review.


Send abstracts to: Brittany.eldridge.18@ucl.ac.uk.




Deadline for abstracts: 31 August 2022

Notification to authors:  15 September 2022

Deadline for submission of full papers: 24 March 2023