Last night we took our daughter to see the new Disney animated movie, Frozen. I had heard very little about it besides being an adaptation of The Snow Queen and having been heavily inspired by Norway. The Snow Queen was never one of my favourites (so I’m happy to report it’s a VERY loose adaptation), but the idea of Norwegian princesses??? I was beyond excited for. Damon’s family and mine both, coincidentally, hail from Norway… and I very desperately want to make a pilgrimage there some day. So this was a movie I knew we’d be seeing shortly after it came out. Knowing what I know of both Disney AND it’s princesses? Well… I was nervous. They don’t exactly have a history of strong female leads.
While Frozen has it’s issues, one cannot argue the absolute joy I found in both Anna and Elsa’s characters. Both completely unique, strong, believable, awesome female roll models. These are princesses I would be happy to have Lily-Ann look up to. They are truly wonderful, and they are NEVER overshadowed by the male characters who are very much there to support their story vs take it over. In fact, one of my favourite moments, that made the feminist me shout out with a WOOT, was when the romantic male lead actually ASKS if he can kiss Anna. He doesn’t assume that his advance would be welcome, he doesn’t just put himself into her space, he is worried and concerned and ASKS – allowing her character to take the reins and remain an autonomous individual. It looks to me like Disney may finally be listening and realizing that Women are vastly different from one another and we all have different goals and dreams… but that we ALL deserve to be respected for those very things.
And yeah! The girl is now absolutely tickled when I call her my little Norwegian princess. 😀 Because while she’s a princess who has enjoyed excavators, lego, and swordplay… she really has always been a fancy dress-up playing princess who happened to be Norwegian.
Heroes. They are something we should all have, and they come in many shapes and sizes. Some may be the usual suspects, heralds of a cause, but others can be found unexpected places. In truth, I believe everyone has the potential to be a hero. And I can’t think of any better way to demonstrate this fact that to share a few of my local Saskatchewan heroes who also happen to be members of the acronym community.
Mikayla Schultz is the founder of TransSask (support services). She is a tireless advocate and campaigner for equality. Through tremendous efforts, she recently put government to the test and had many successes with the signing of a declaration formalizing March 25-31 as Transgender Awareness Week in communities across Saskatchewan.
Don Cochrane is a former University of Saskatchewan professor, who continues to educate everyone he meets. His groundbreaking work into subjects of importance to the Sexual Minority and Gender Variant community continue to force change, improving the lives of everyone in Canada. You can see his hand all over this province, and especially at the annual Breaking the Silence conference here in Saskatoon.
Sarah Houghtaling is a local high school student. She strives diligently to make lives better not only for those who attend school with her, but for minority students across our province. A student activist who’s name I highly recommend taking note of. She’s one of the many young people who WILL change our world for the better. If you are ever able to attend one of her talks, DO! You will be inspired.
Kay Williams is one of the most outspoken allies you will ever meet. A determined advocate for her son, and a helping voice in a confusing world for parents new to the world of parenting LGBTT2QI children and youth. Kay is a proud volunteer, and one of the founding members of PFLAG in Saskatoon. She also was awarded the Peter Corren Award for Outstanding Achievement this year at Breaking the Silence – and yes, I teared up during her acceptance speech (which I recorded, and will share at some point).
Four individuals, all unique, all at different stages of their journey, all willing to do whatever it takes to see things become better for those around them. All four are heroes, and all four I’m proud to call friend.
Who are the heroes in your life?