This past Sunday’s episode of Once Upon A Time was groundbreaking for both the show and for the history of television itself.
Once Upon A Time is an ABC drama series which takes actual characters from fairy tales and throws them into the “real world” after having lost their memories of their life in the fairy tale world. Who can forget our excitement when we discovered that Mulan would be a character on the popular show and that Audrey’s Fall 2012 covergirl Jamie Chung would be the actress to play her.
Recently, the show revealed some attention-grabbing news about our favorite Once Upon A Time character: the iconic Disney princess is bisexual.
[Spoiler Alert] In the show, Mulan is advised to tell the person she loves about her feelings before it is too late. She then rushes back to Prince Phillip and Princess Aurora. At this point, many viewers expected a confession of love for Prince Phillip. After all, in the previous season, she showed all signs of emotions for him. The show even toys with us and has Mulan ask for Phillip upon her arrival.
Feelings are finally revealed when Mulan admits that the person she wants to speak with is Aurora, not Phillip. Unfortunately, Mulan never does get to confess her love. Aurora reveals that she and Phillip are expecting a child which leads Mulan to decide on the spot that she will join Robin Hood’s band.
The internet is buzzing with reactions to this reveal in sexuality. Some are claiming that they were pushing for it all along and others claim it is not the right angle for a Disney princess. Entertainment Weekly applauded the plot twist and the tasteful way in which Once Upon A Time revealed her sexuality:
This makes Mulan’s attraction to Aurora a pretty huge milestone. Given both characters’ ultra-heteronormative histories — and a general lack of LGBT characters in Disney properties — this twist is an even bigger deal. Remember, too, that Aurora isn’t the first recipient of Mulan’s unrequited love; back in the beginning of season 2, the warrior maiden had a thing for Aurora’s own Twue Wuv, Prince Phillip. That means Mulan isn’t simply a lesbian — she’s bisexual, not to mention one of the few bisexual characters on TV whose orientation isn’t a ready-made punchline. (Looking at you, Glee.)
TL;DR: Mulan’s big moment was pretty awesome, and we should all be impressed with Jane Espenson for somehow managing to queer up a figure included in the Disney Princess lineup… without even making her sexuality into some giant, character-defining thing.
Watch the heartbreaking scene below: