Listen to National Student Pride discussion on ‘coded gay’ characters in Disney films as we try and work out how long Disney may have been implementing them.

National Student Pride takes listeners on a journey through Disney’s recent past to ask whether or not the company is full of gay characters and themes.

Presented by Jamie Wareham and produced by Dan Freeman, they sit down to chat about the live action ‘Beauty and the Beast’ gay moment that was hyped up last year.

They talk about the shift in tone from the media, going from “Disney’s first openly gay character!” to “Disney’s gay moment.”

The podcast goes on to talk about Ryan from High School Musical and the long discussed question ‘Was Ryan from HSM gay?’ or was he a coded gay character?

However, Disney has recently introduced its first gay character into its Disney Channel programme, Andi Mack.

The announcement of that went viral, with many publications covering it - for the good and the bad. The show was even banned or taken down in many countries like Kenya and South Africa.

The podcast is full of guest from the likes of Joe Morgan, the so­ called King and Queen of Disney at Gay Star News, Liane Castle, a big fan of High School Musical and many more.


The podcast aims to continue National Student Pride’s mantra of encouraging conversations on the topics that matter. This episode of #QueerAF is sponsored by UK Power Networks.


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“Disney is getting better with representation. Around the release of the live­action version of Beauty and the Beast, articles surfaced about how LeFou will be the first gay character, in a Disney film.“

“It was massively hyped up as Disney’s first ‘openly gay’ character. Then when people actually watched the film, there was a bit of a change in tune. Headlines and articles went from ‘gay character’ to ‘gay moment’.”

“After uncovering all this, another question crossed my mind. If we have characters that incorporate stereotypical attributes of gay people, but don’t explicitly mention it, does it have an affect children?”

“Kenya banned the show because of its gay character, the CEO of the Kenya Film Classification Board said on Twitter that ‘Attempts to introduce gay program in Kenya will be met with the full force of the law’.“

“South Africa, Disney pulled the programme themselves, as they are ‘committed to respecting each market’s cultural sensibilities, compliance rules and regulations’. “