Queer-coding in villains is everywhere; from TV, to movies, to books, people often create villains and then saddle them with gay stereotypes. This practice began far into the past when the queer community itself was considered to be full of “villains.” Except, unfortunately for pop culture creators everywhere, their plan backfired. Instead of subconsciously telling gay people that they’re evil, production studios gave us a number of very queer, very fabulous characters to fawn over and channel.
Now, you may be thinking, “Disney villains aren’t gay,” but you’d be wrong. Extremely wrong! How can you even look at these characters and think, “yep, she’s straight.” These badass female villains are hot, smart, dressed to kill, and queer AF. All of them! Even the bottoms. To help you understand just how gay each of the female Disney villains is, though, we’ve done the hard deed of pitting them against each other. Here are the eight female Disney villains ranked them by Lesbianism:
8. Lady Tremaine
Lady Tremaine, aka Cinderella’s evil stepmother, is the crème de la crème of straight people. I lied when I said all the villains were gay, so sue me! First off, Lady Tremaine named one of her daughters “Drizella,” which is very straight. She’s the textbook definition of a villain: shady dealings, squinting at things she dislikes, and fussing about her real children instead of Cinderella. Everyone knows that a good lesbian would accept her stepdaughter as her own! Unfortunately (or fortunately), Lady Tremaine is straight as an arrow.
Much like the next villain on the list, Yzma from “The Emporer’s New Groove” is a bit more of a gay icon than she is actually gay. She’s someone who appreciates throwing together a good look, and her eyelashes are beyond, but there’s nothing about her style that screams “lesbian!” I would like to point out, however, that she’s got a hunky henchman (Kronk—not the hunkiest name, I know), but she spends no time checking him out! So, maybe that’s one point for the lez side, but he also could just not be her type. Whether or not she’s secretly into Kronk, we’ve put her pretty low on the list for no real distinguishing lesbian traits. Let’s call her bi-curious, though, because she’d do anything to get her way—even a woman if it came to that.
6. Cruella Di Vil
There’s something about Cruella Di Vil that makes us pause. Is she a lipstick lesbian? Or does she just appreciate a good fur coat? It can be hard to tell with the villain, but that doesn’t make her any straighter. If anything, not being able to tell a woman’s sexuality is classic femme behavior. Let’s examine the evidence: She’s got serious road rage, and everybody knows that gays can’t drive. She knows how to make a dramatic entrance, meaning she craves attention at the normal lesbian magnitude. Unfortunately, while the evidence is compelling, it’s not conclusive. Cruella is certainly a gay icon, but she is not an outwardly obvious dyke.
5. The Evil Queen
In a past life, The Evil Queen was definitely a theater kid. That alone gives her some starting lesbian points because—let’s be honest—all theater kids are a little bit gay. Between the theatrics of literally changing costumes (A+ for that old-age makeup) and the way she dramatically closes her curtains, this queen really is a capital-Q Queen. The fact that she can’t stand a younger, newer princess on the spot is a bit hard to read, though. On one hand, older lesbians are all about helping acclimate the baby dykes to their new terrain. On the other hand, all lesbians secretly want to be the alpha. It’s hard to tell just where The Evil Queen ranks, but she’s way more into theatrics than she is girls.
Maleficient is scary and mean (which is probably why I’m attracted to her), but she’s able to harness that intimidating energy into a personality that reads much more Bette Porter than monster. She’s a boss, and she knows it. She sets her sights on something and follows through like a true badass dyke. Also, she pets her pet bird in such a way that I have a feeling this isn’t her first time stroking something. There’s nothing here that screams straight-up lesbian, but those horns, honey? They point to bisexuality—at least.
3. Queen of Hearts
What can we say about the Queen of Hearts that points to her lesbianism? Well, just about everything. First of all, she’s a queen who’s not afraid to get her hands dirty, and she even rolls her sleeves up past her elbows at one point (no lesbian can resist a good sleeve roll). She’s also one of the only female Disney villains who doesn’t have stiletto nails, so she’s definitely in the know. Sure, she’s married to a man, but have you seen the King of Hearts? He’s a small man who is more than happy to let the Queen wear the pants. And, ironically, she probably would if queen rules allowed for it. Between her willingness to do things herself and her general look of non-amusement, she’s definitely one of the dykiest villains.
2. Mother Gothel
If I asked you to name a song from “Tangled” off the top of your head, I bet that you would name “Mother Knows Best.” Why? For a few reasons: First, it’s undoubtedly the best song in the whole movie. Second, it’s because Mother Gothel is iconic. She’s also gay, honey! Surprise! She can’t have kids of her own (interesting), so she adopts one instead! Okay, so it’s technically kidnapping, but still. Also, she locks Rapunzel away because she knows how awful men are. She’s trying to save her! Finally, she holds herself in a way that only a lesbian can: she’s got the hair, face, and body—and she knows it. She walks into the room knowing that all eyes are on her. If she was at the club, she’d have her pick of girls to take home. Mother Gothel is very much a lesbian, okay?
If you were reading through this list like “number one is definitely Ursula,” then, congrats! You were right. Because, let’s face it: there’s no one more dyke-y in the land of Disney than Miss Ursula. Where do we even begin? With the perfectly quaffed pixie? With the gym teacher chic physique? With her gait that makes it seem like she enters every room vagina—er, tentacles first? Maybe with the fact that her character was directly inspired by drag legend Divine? Ursula’s got so much going on here that it’s hard to pinpoint what exactly makes her the gayest Disney villain, but it’s palpable. She’s a dyke, baby. A stone-cold (lipstick) butch.
While this list is extremely comprehensive, I understand that you may not agree with our placements. Maybe you think Lady Tremaine is gayer than we give her credit for (she’s not). Or, maybe you believe that the Queen of Hearts is dykier than Ursula (there are no wrong answers, but this one’s wrong). Whatever the case, let us know in the comments on how you would rank these eight boss Disney villains in terms of lesbianism.