Monday, June 21, 2021

Homophobia, Inclusion, and Sushi!

I watched the new Pixar movie Luca with my 3 teenage kids for Father's Day. I told them I was going to write about the new Disney Plus exclusive film. When I asked them what topic I should write about, they were quick to shout out their ideas:




Luca tells a timeless story about an awesome bromance between two buddies who feel like outcasts, and try to be something they're not in order to fit in. The setting is a fictional seaside Italian villa, lush with seascapes, easy breezy summer feels, and all the realistic details mixed with fantasy elements that only a Pixar creation can deliver. The cast is incredible, especially the youth cast of Jacob Tremblay (Room and Wonder), Jack Dylan Grazer (It and Shazam!). The story is effortless -- maybe a little predictable, but there was enough humor and surprise elements to keep it interesting. And as with every Pixar movie, it was just as entertaining for kids as it was for adults.

I appreciate that my children got some of the same messages from Luca that I did. Include others. Be yourself. Friendship knows no bounds. You are braver than you think. You can overcome your past trauma. Kids need some structured freedom … But mostly, the message we all took away was to always be kind to others. 

My own children, some of whom identify as LGBT, have been bullied and teased at church. These are kids who are generally accepted at school, they have found their niche with friends, and they are pretty comfortable with their lives. And for awhile, they would attend church and youth activities … but the other youth would often tease my kids, or would sometimes outright be mean to them. This was made worse when the youth leaders would either do nothing, or sometimes would even join in with the teasing. My kids definitely identified with Luca and Alberto: two kids who were trying to hide their true nature so they could fit in, and they were marginalized as personae non gratae. And this isn’t just a kid problem. I know several LGBT adults who feel ostracized and unsafe going to church because of hurtful remarks people make. 

Sometimes we have to dig deep to find ways to accept others who are not like us. Instead of potentially offending others who don’t share the same values, beliefs, or attractions as us, surely we can find ways to be more inclusive. Instead of degrading or disrespecting others, let’s be more Christlike. Instead of treating others like mostri marini, it's out duty to find ways to include people on our team. It might be tough to resist saying something that’s on our mind, but that’s when we yell “Silenzio, Bruno!” and ask ourselves if we are including or excluding others.

And then we can all go get sushi together.


  1. Yeah for messages about friendship, inclusion, and not being afraid to be ourselves.

    1. You're the best, Kevin. And you're an inspiration to me about being yourself accepting who you are. 🥰

  2. Such a well thought out review. Thank you for taking the time to write this out and bring out the message that we should find it within ourselves to accept and love others, no matter their background. I hope you find comfort in your Christlike analysis here, even if others oppose or even attack you for it. We need to work together to build a better world, and so many just don't realize that this teamwork doesn't include rejecting and throwing out those among us that we don't understand or appreciate. Keep fighting the good fight of helping to acknowledge the struggles minorities deal with within the Lord's church.

  3. Thank you for your well thought out and respectful comments. I agree with you wholeheartedly. I love the Church and I have a strong testimony of the Gospel. But I think our Church culture has a LONG way to go before we are truly Christlike and inclusive of all our members.

  4. Thank you for this review, it is the most sensible analysis relating Luca to LGBT that I've read so far.

    1. I really appreciate that. But to be honest, my kids are the ones who made that connection initially. I certainly agree with it, but it all started with their observation!