Surprise Disney Character Heralded as New “Queer Icon”

in Disneyland Resort

Clarabelle Cow (left) and Sleeping Beauty Castle (right)

Credit: Inside the Magic

As Disneyland hosts its first-ever Pride Nites, a surprising Disney character has emerged as a new “queer icon.”

On June 13 and June 15, the Disneyland Resort honored Pride Month with its own fittingly-named “Pride Nites.” With themed food, drink, photo opportunities, and merchandise, the two evenings were dedicated to celebrating the LGBTQ+ community.

Disneyland After Dark: Pride Nite character concept art
Credit: Disney

Both saw appearances from rare characters, such as the Muses from Hercules (1997), America Chavez from Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness (2022), Ariel from Disney’s live-action The Little Mermaid (2023), and Clarabelle Cow.

The anthropomorphic cow is usually portrayed as one of Minnie Mouse’s best friends, the girlfriend of Horace Horsecollar, and sometimes as Goofy’s potential, sort of girlfriend. She’s been around since 1927 when she debuted without a name. A year later, she was named Bessie; then she re-debuted with her current moniker in 1929.

Clarabelle Cow and Horace Horsecollar
Credit: Jeff Christiansen via Flickr

While she does make occasional appearances throughout Disney Parks, her stint at Disneyland’s Pride Nites caused waves online. A series of videos shared on TikTok and Twitter show the bovine strutting her way down Main Street, U.S.A. in rainbow attire, earning her the title of Disney’s new “queer icon.”

In one video shared by TikToker @Disway800, Clarabelle “slays during [the] Pride Nite Cavalcade.” Users commented that Clarabelle “said ‘I gotta GET this paycheck'” and even decided to make it Disney canon that Clarabelle is, in fact, “a drag queen.”

@disway800

She brings the house down! #disneylandafterdark #disneylandafterdark💌 #gaypride #disneylandafterdarkpridenite #pridenite #disneypride #disneycharacters #disneymagicalmoments #disneymagic #disneymagickeyholder #disneymagickeyholders

♬ original sound – BeyondDisway

Another video by @tybananaboy featuring Clarabelle’s iconic dance moves commented that Clarabelle “threw the first brick at Stonewall,” a reference to the series of protests by members of the gay community in 1969.

Over on Twitter, infamous pop culture update account Pop Crave dubbed Clarabelle “a rising queer icon,” another user reported Pride Nites attendees “losing it for Clarabelle,” while one stated: “All I know about the Disneyland Pride Night is that Clarabelle ate that parade.” Meanwhile, Vulture declared her the “star of Pride 2023.”

@tybananaboy

Clarabelle is MOTHERRRR #disneypride #gayrights #disneypridenite #disneypridenight

♬ Padam Padam – Kylie Minogue

Clarabelle currently doesn’t have a permanent meet and greet anywhere at Disneyland Resort. However, considering she’s now been adopted as an icon by a sizable portion of the Disney community, who knows what the future holds.

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