Much like when J.K. Rowling decided Dumbledore was gay even though it was never actually mentioned in the Harry Potter books, Disney declared LeFou is gay in the live-action Beauty And The Beast, even though it’s never stated as such in the movie.
The only scenes hinting at LeFou being queer are his apparent infatuation with Gaston during the musical number praising the villain, and a blink-and-you-miss-it dance with a man at the end. The dance in particular was said to be Disney’s first “exclusively gay moment” by the movie’s director Bill Condon, but it barely counted as anything, since there’s no proof onscreen of LeFou being gay. He’s also dancing with a woman right before his male dancing partner steps in.
Looking back at the film in an interview with The Independent, Josh Gad, who played LeFou, thinks Disney could have gone further with its first queer character.
“We didn’t go far enough to warrant accolades” the actor says. “We didn’t go far enough to say, ‘Look how brave we are.’ My regret in what happened is that it became ‘Disney’s first explicitly gay moment’ and it was never intended to be that. It was never intended to be a moment that we should laud ourselves for, because frankly, I don’t think we did justice to what a real gay character in a Disney film should be. That was not LeFou.”
He adds, “If we’re going to pat ourselves on the back, then damn it we should have gone further with that. Everybody deserves an opportunity to see themselves on screen, and I don’t think we’ve done enough‚and I certainly haven’t done enough to do that.”
Since the 2017 movie, there have been Disney characters presented as explicitly queer, including Officer Spector in Onward, whose partner is mentioned briefly in the movie. However, that doesn’t mean Disney isn’t still presenting characters whose queerness is hinted at but never fully explored, like McGregor (played by Jack Whitehall) in Jungle Cruise and Artie in Cruella.