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Mulan Comes Out and I Am Not OK With It

October 17, 2013


I may be alone in this, but I am not a fan of Once Upon a Time‘s decision to make Mulan (Jamie Chung) gay. For those who haven’t seen it, or been following, the show introduced Mulan at the beginning of last season when she helped Prince Philip (Julian Morris) find Princess Aurora (Sarah Bolger) aka Sleeping Beauty and wake her up.  Since then, she’s helped Emma Swan (Jennifer Morrison) get back to Storybrooke and in this season, helped Neal (Michael Raymond-James) get to Neverland. But Neal told her that he waited too long to tell Emma he loved her and so Mulan decided to go confess her love. Since she seemed to be in love with Philip last season, it was a delightful surprise to many that she instead went to seek out Aurora.  (I actually saw that bit coming. To me it was quite predictable.) The scene was lovely, but it still felt like a cop out to me.

Producers on the show had told fans that there would be a gay character this season, but I wish they had waited til they introduced someone new, rather than converting an established character.  This is a world where people get happy endings with the ones they love (unless they’re evil): Rumple and Belle, Emma and Neal, Charming and Snow. They all found their true loves, and while one can argue that Aurora isn’t Mulan’s true love, it is really irritating to me that the one now-gay character on the show’s love is unrequited. Often love in fairy tales is unrequited, or there is an obstacle, but never is the obstacle the other person’s actual true love.  Mulan has absolutely no chance with Aurora, so they’ve created a gay character that is automatically doomed to celibacy, at least until they introduce another lesbian to the show.

While I am always an advocate of gay characters on TV, this move doesn’t seem genuine to me. While Mulan is a minor character in the world of the show, since she’s now with Robin Hood (Sean Maguire)’s band of Merry Men, we’ll be seeing her frequently enough. And since the show’s ultimate message is about finding love, whether it’s true love with a partner or a parent’s love for a child, it seems as though Mulan will be seeking love for part of the season. Unlike the other characters, the person she loves is 100% unattainable. There is no curse, no distance, no complicated history coming between them. The person she loves is, as far as we know, irrevocably straight, has found her true love and is going to be having a child with her true love. No other character has these problems, and I find it incredibly unfair and frustrating that the first character to be completely denied true love is the one they’ve decided is going to be gay.


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One Comment
  1. alexkellyoc permalink

    I get your reasons for not liking that but I personally don’t mind it. It’s like watching a new interpretation of Mulan and ironically, ever since being little, I’ve thought she had it in her-still, I was so young I didn’t know what gay or bisexual meant but when I started growing up it all fell to the right place.
    All we can do now is see how this will end and enjoy the show because it’s quite entertaining to see all of these characters you’ve loved when being younger, in a whole different light 🙂

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