Because it is permissible to see in Luca, the animated Pixar film airing on Disney +, the subtext of the fears and experiences of a bisexual coming out? And why is there nothing morbid about this?

These days, it has been made available on the Disney + platform Luca, the new animated film from Pixar.
Directed from Italian Enrico casarosa, Luca is set in Portorosso, a small Ligurian village overlooking the Tyrrhenian Sea, and tells the story of Luca and Alberto, two marine creatures who try to fulfill their dreams of freedom on dry land, together with the young human Giulia.

Warning: this article contains spoilers about the film Luca

Luca is a classic Pixar movie that is about fear of the different and acceptance of differences. They are very universal themes and can be applied to many situations, from racism to homobitransphobia.
Also for this reason, many queer people have reviewed in Luca their fears of doing coming out, because they are convinced (and with good reason!) that they are not accepted by the people around them. Furthermore, many bisexual people have found themselves very much in Luca's situation, in his difficult search for the balance between affection for Alberto and that for Giulia.

Indeed, the Italian Facebook page Bisexual Pride, these days, he jokingly defined Luca "Bisexual culture", to underline how queer people in general, and bisexuals in particular tend to see themselves in the dynamics of the film.
However, Bisexual Pride was overwhelmed by insults and innuendo of pedophilia for this claim.

So, in this article we will better see how Luca conveys, albeit unintentionally, a message that is very close to the experience of many bisexual people. Furthermore, we will also see why there is nothing unhealthy in giving a personal queer reading to Luca, since "queer" does not necessarily mean "erotic" and therefore does not involve any sexualization of the teenage protagonists.

Luca's cover
The cover of Luca

The plot of the movie, quickly

Luca tells the story of self-determination and the search for independence of Luca, a young man sea ​​monster who would like to know better how to live on dry land. Pushed by his friend Alberto, a young rebellious sea monster who lives alone out of the water, to emerge on the surface, the boy discovers he can take on human form, as long as he does not get wet. However, Luca's parents soon discover his terrestrial adventures and, for fear of him being killed by humans, they are determined to send their son into the abyss with his uncle.

The escape on the surface

However, the young sea monster does not accept this fate and decides to escape with Alberto to the town of Portorosso. Their idea is to find one Vespa (yes, the historic Italian scooter) and travel free around the world. But, since they need the money to buy it, the two boys decide to earn it by helping the young and determined human Giulia to win the annual triathlon competition for the town's kids, defeating the arrogant Ercole Visconti, the town's bully.
During training, however, Luca and Alberto discover that dry land can give them things they didn't know they wanted. Luca discovers the existence of the school thanks to Giulia, and then begins to dream of going to school with the girl to learn the secrets of the surface. Antonio, on the other hand, finds in Giulia's father, Massimo, the parental figure he has always lacked since his father abandoned him.

The conflict between Luca and Antonio

However, Alberto does not want to admit that he needs someone and fears that Giulia may steal his best friend. So, in a fit of jealousy, it ends up unmasking himself as a sea monster. But his plan does not go as expected: in fact, Luca does not unmask himself, pretending to be frightened by his friend who has become a monster. Thus, Antonio is forced to flee alone, dodging the harpoons of the inhabitants of Portorosso.
But Luca can't give himself peace for his own turnaround. So, after having told Giulia the truth and having discovered Alberto's past, she decides to participate in the triathlon alone, both to defeat the hated Hercules for Giulia and to win the Vespa for Alberto.

The final resolution

On the day of the triathlon, however, it rains and, just before the finish line, Luca returns in the form of a sea monster in front of all of Portorosso. Attacked by Hercules who tries to harpoon him to win the bounty on his head, Luca is however helped first by Alberto, then by Giulia. Thus, riding on the same bike, the two sea monsters cross the finish line, winning the Portorosso race.
Strengthened by the support of Giulia and Massimo, the two boys manage to be accepted by the rest of Portorosso. Indeed, after their victory, several other inhabitants turn out to be sea monsters who have peacefully inhabited the surface for years.

Thus, in Portorosso, monster-killing harpoons are hung on the wall. Luca crowns his dream of go to school together with Giulia, finally supported by his parents and with the train ticket to Genoa paid for by Alberto, who sold the coveted Vespa to help his friend. For his part, Alberto will remain in Portorosso together with Massimo, thus finding a father who really cares about him.

The trio protagonist of the film: Giulia, Luca and Alberto
The trio protagonist of the film: Giulia, Luca and Alberto

Luca and the involuntary queer subplot

This movie is based on the personal experience and childhood of Enrico Casarosa, who thus wanted to tell about his friendship with "his" Alberto. In fact, Casarosa says he had a friend named Alberto, much more adventurous than him, who taught him to overcome his fears.
So, in Casarosa's mind Luca it was not meant to tell a story of coming out, but one of discovery and acceptance of oneself, as well as of generic overcoming of differences.

However, a lot of people (queer and non-queer) who watched the film got it clear impression of an allegory on coming out.
In fact, although Casarosa wanted to tell the story of two "losers", the fact that Luca and Alberto are sea monsters does not make them only "strange" in the eyes of the inhabitants of Portorosso.

On the contrary, the sea monsters in Portorosso are persecuted and killed on sight. As much as Casarosa might want to make the prejudice towards the different stronger and more immediate, the fact that the protagonists are literally in danger of life by their nature (with which they were born, which is not intrinsically wrong and which they cannot change) is a situation queer people know very well.
And when you stage what is literally the life experience of queer people, you can't complain when said queer people say how much they found each other in this film.

The fear that humans discover that the protagonists are sea monsters
The fear that humans discover that the protagonists are sea monsters

My experience with Luca, like a bisexual loser

Personally, when I saw Luca I empathized with the protagonist on several levels.
First, on the level of being one outsider in a generic sense, that is, being one loser. This was my condition throughout my childhood up to the age of eleven, so you can understand that, as a loser, I empathized a lot with Luca and Giulia.
I think the film does a good job of representing the idea of ​​not feeling totally part of a community, of always feeling different enough to never really integrate and of always being, here not metaphorically, the "monster" of the situation.

Choose, choose and choose again

However, from bisexual person, I couldn't help but read the film's unintentionally queer subtext. Not just for me the "coming out”By Luca and Alberto as monsters was a huge parallelism with mine coming out as bisexual, but also the tension between the "two worlds" he talked to me a lot about the film.

In fact, personally, I've heard a lot about the parallelism between being fish VS human being and loving men VS loving women. (Also taking into account the fact that bisexual people are not only attracted to two genders, but this is a speech for another occasion.)
In fact, Luca is constantly asked to choose between being human or being fish. This constant choice was then made even more prominent when, de facto, Luca had to choose between Alberto (fish) and Giulia (human). This last choice, then, was even more emblematic for me, because it is also at the same time a choice between a male and a female.

The constant demand for "Choose a side" it's a very common experience for bisexual people.
It is a request that is made of us both by straight people and by homosexual people. For many, in fact, bisexual people are the eternal undecided, the ones who are most likely to cheat on their partner, the confused ones, the ones who pretend. Those who “are just gays / lesbians who don't really want to do coming out"Or that" I'm straight who want attention ".

The final balance between two worlds

On a more positive note, I also revisited a lot in the way Luca did resolves the conflict between human and fish, between Alberto and Giulia. In fact, in the end, Luca accepts himself and is accepted in his complexity. It has the support of both the Pisces parents and the human Massimo. He has the support of both Giulia and Alberto, with whom he shares his life equally: winter in Genoa with Giulia, summer in Portorosso with Alberto too. And he fulfills his dream of going to school, taking the train to Genoa in the form of a sea monster.
The symbolic balance between Luca's two worlds and the way in which our protagonist, in the end, he is enriched by both of his natures it's a great metaphor for my experience as a bisexual person.

The trio at the end of the film
The trio at the end of the film

Intentions of the author VS personal reading

To address this issue, it would be necessary to make a very long and complex discourse on the various critical readings that a work can have and on the concept of "death of the author".
Since this article is long enough on its own, I won't be making this talk here.
However, I want to underline how a work is not based only on the interpretation given to it by the author, but can have different interpretations that coexist.

In fact, in the study of a work it will always exist the author's interpretation, who obviously has his own reasons why he produced his work, and his own life experiences with which he enriched it.
At the same time, however, a work is also enjoyed by many other people, each of whom will have their own unique relationship with its contents. Each of us will experience these works in a different way and will find ourselves in them in different ways and for different reasons. Therefore, those who enjoy a work will have their own interpretation of it, based on their own personal experiences.
You will understand that it is impossible to prevent people from having their own interpretation of a work, because it is physiological that with each reading a work gets a new interpretation. In the end, we could almost say that there are as many works as there are readers and their female readers.

That said, the original and "historical" interpretation of the author or author is not supplanted by the personal interpretations of those who enjoy the work. On the contrary, these interpretations exist simultaneously and are both valid.
On the one hand, in fact, we understand how and why a work was born. On the other hand, however, we understand how and why a work is successful.
So if queer people, watching Luca, review in that story fears they have experienced and situations they have experienced, it is a legitimate thing, which can happen regardless of the intentions of the author. And, I stress, it is no less "true" than the interpretation given by the author, and it cannot be reduced to pure speculation.

The Bisexual Pride meme about Luca
The Bisexual Pride meme on Luca

The Attack on Bisexual Pride: Why isn't queer reading perversion?

Now, based on the previous two paragraphs, it should be pretty clear why Luca is a work in which many bisexual people meet again.
However, when Bisexual Pride (OB) claimed that Luca was "Bisexual culture", underlining how much the film resonates with the experience of bisexual people, all hell has broken out.

The allegations of perversion and pedophilia

In fact, many people ran to comment on the meme on the page, accusing the OB admin of various things. They range from the accusation of obsessively seeing bisexuality everywhere, up to more or less explicit accusations of pedophilia.
I leave you some explanatory comments below.

Or maybe you are simply obsessed and see non-existent parallels to your social demands all over the place
Ok pedo
it is useless to go around it, you know where you want to go
But they are Christoddio children
Bisexual Pride, tell me you like the idea of ​​two minors fucking each other, so let's cut the bull's head
Mo, you are also angry about the Ligurian children of the 60s, very big
Year 2021: friendship does not exist, there must necessarily be an erotic or sexual subplot underneath
You are a pedophile like the rest of your community, and you cannot convince me otherwise.

Why do these slanderous comments make no sense to exist?

I didn't think I was going to 2021 having yet to explain that sexual orientations other than heterosexuality are not intrinsically linked to eroticism. Just see how the romantic relationship between two women was treated in She-Ra, for example.
Even if we wanted to see the relationship between Luca and Alberto as romantic, the fact that he is not straight does not mean that he is automatically sexual.

For the uninitiated, in fact, adolescent platonic crushes exist even between non-straight couples. And seeing a romantic relationship between two kids doesn't mean sexualizing them in any way. Otherwise, we should see the romantic and innocent relationship between, for example, Mowgli and Shanti as automatically sexual. The jungle book (1967), or any straight little cup made up of kids.
Conversely, viewing a non-straight relationship as inherently sexual says a great deal about how much those with this view view non-straight sexual orientations as mere labels from porn videos.

The fact that some bisexual people have revisited their own experience in Luca's story it is not perversion, or a "reading things that are not there". It is only part of the ongoing dialogue that a work has with its audience.
Too bad that this dialogue becomes so opposed, when it is done by non-straight people.