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13 Disney Songs That Have A Different Meaning When You're In The Closet

♫ Just to live one day ~out~ there ♫

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1. "Part of Your World" — The Little Mermaid

Disney

How it relates: From the outside looking in, Ariel looks like she has it all. She has a great voice, whosits and whatsits galore, and is a freakin' princess of the ocean. But, in "Part of Your World," you learn that all those things aren't making Ariel happy. She wants to be a part of something else. When you are in the closet, you can relate to Ariel's longing to be a part of a world that is immensely different than the one she's living in. You can relate to the idea that there is freedom in that world.

Takeaway lyric: "Up where they walk / Up where they run / Up where they stay all day in the sun / Wandering free / Wish I could be, part of that world"

2. "Mother Knows Best" — Tangled

Disney

How it relates: Yes, Rapunzel being trapped in a tower is a lot like being in the closet, but her relationship with Mother Gothel is a bit more real. Some people aren't fortunate to have parents who are supportive of their coming out. Some parents feel like they are protecting their children when they tell them to stay in the closet/not act too ~gay~.

Takeaway lyric: "Mother knows best / Listen to your mother / It's a scary world out there / Mother knows best / One way or another / Something will go wrong, I swear"

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3. "Reflection" — Mulan

Disney

How it relates: "Reflection" is definitely a gay anthem. Mulan is ~reflecting~ on how the quirks that make her who she is can't be hidden or changed. Before coming out, you may feel the urge to try to change yourself for other people. But, you can't. Ultimately, they just want your outside life to match their inside life and won't be happy until it happens.

Takeaway lyric: "Somehow I cannot hide / Who I am / Though I've tried / When will my reflection show/ Who I am inside?"

4. "Jack's Lament" — The Nightmare Before Christmas

Disney

How it relates: Jack is at the peak of his career in The Nightmare Before Christmas, but he feels like there has to be more to life than his success. Held at such a high esteem by people in his community, he still feels uneasy. That feeling is so relatable for someone who is closeted. Though you may have a support group and success, you can't help but feel alone at times and that there's something missing.

Takeaway lyric: "Oh, somewhere deep inside of these bones / An emptiness began to grow / There's something out there, far from my home / A longing that I've never known"

5. "Go the Distance" — Hercules

Disney

How it relates: The idea of "belonging" is another motif commonly used in Disney universe. In Hercules, Hercules is blessed with incredible strength, but his difference is not seen as a blessing by others and makes him an outcast. This feeling of not belonging is the emotion underneath "Go the Distance" and is what people who are in the closet can connect to. In the end, Hercules declares that no matter what struggles lie ahead, he's going to find his place in the world. No ifs, ands, or buts. That's definitely inspiring.

Takeaway lyric: "I will beat the odds / I can go the distance / I will face the world / Fearless, proud, and strong [...] 'Til I find my hero's welcome / Right where I belong"

6. "Strangers Like Me" — Tarzan

Disney

How it relates: More often than not, the closet can leave you feeling as if there aren't many people who understand you. Some people grow up in such small towns where other queer people, if there are any, are also closeted. "Strangers Like Me" speaks to the real curiosity you could feel after meeting a queer person for the first time or watching one on television. It's like you are seeing yourself reflected in someone else for the first time.

Takeaway lyric: "I can see there's so much to learn / It's all so close and yet so far / I see myself as people see me / Oh, I just know there's something bigger out there"

7. "Colors of the Wind" — Pocahontas

Disney

How it relates: In the song, Pocahontas invites John Smith into her world and challenges him to learn instead of relying on the understanding of others. The fear of facing a world that doesn’t understand you, a world that has shaped its opinions on stereotypes and assumptions, keeps a lot of people from coming out. “Colors of the Wind” brings a hope that even the most oblivious of people can learn tolerance.

Takeaway lyric: "You think the only people who are people / Are the people who look and think like you / But if you walk the footsteps of a stranger / You'll learn things you never knew, you never knew"

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8. "Out There" — The Hunchback of Notre Dame

Disney

How it relates: In Hunchback, Quasimodo is kept hidden due to his deformity. Frollo believes Quasimodo is an abomination and freak of nature. In "Out There," Quasimodo longs just to walk in the midst of society without fear or feeling like a freak. Some people may self-isolate because they are made to feel like they are too out of the ordinary, even though they really want to be in a community with people.

Takeaway lyric: "Every day they shout and scold and go about their lives / Heedless of the gift it is to be them / If I was in their skin / I'd treasure ev'ry instant"

9. "God Help the Outcasts" — The Hunchback of Notre Dame

Disney

How it relates: In one of Esmerelda's most poignant moments from the Hunchback, she doesn't know if God will hear her pray because of what religion says about her ~lifestyle~. When you are in the closet, you can't escape some tension when it comes to the topic of religion. That tension can be strong enough to keep you in the closet.

Takeaway lyric: "I don't know if you can hear me / Or if you're even there/ I don't know if you would listen / To a gypsie's prayer / Yes, I know I'm just an outcast / I shouldn't speak to you / Still I see your face and wonder/ Were you once an outcast too?"

10. "A Dream Is a Wish Your Heart Makes" — Cinderella

Disney

How it relates: "A Dream Is a Wish Your Heart Makes" is pretty and melodic but carries a certain sadness to it. You can sense that Cinderella's optimism springs from a grieving heart. Before coming out, you can totally relate to that. You can experience a lot of dark days and really have to dig deep to find a willpower to be happy and keep hope for a better day alive.

Takeaway lyric: "Have faith in your dreams and someday / Your rainbow will come smiling through / No matter how your heart is grieving / If you keep on believing the dream that you wish will come true"

11. "Almost There" — The Princess and the Frog

Disney

How it relates: "Almost There" is a song that is about a journey full of obstacles but staying hopeful because the end is definitely in sight. Coming out is not so easy for everyone because of a variety of different situational factors, and getting to the place where you are comfortable coming out of the closet can feel like a long journey. But take solace in the words of the song. There is purpose for your struggle.

Takeaway lyric: "And I'm almost there, I'm almost there / People down here think I'm crazy, but I don't care / Trials and tribulations, I’ve had my share / There ain't nothing gonna stop me now ‘cause I'm almost there"

12. "Let It Go" — Frozen

Disney

How it relates: When you are in the closet, you can feel like there are aspects of your life that need to be hidden from people or people may tell you they need to be hidden. When you start to open those closet doors a bit, you begin to realize that those parts of you really aren't out of the ordinary. You start to embrace them and learn to block out the words of haters. "Let It Go" follows this journey to a tee as Elsa really comes into her powers as the song progresses.

Takeaway lyric: "Don't let them in, don't let them see / Be the good girl you always have to be / Conceal, don't feel, don't let them know / Well, now they know"

13. "A Whole New World" — Aladdin

Disney

How it relates: Aladdin shows Jasmine an adventurous world beyond her palace when he takes her on a magic carpet ride. For those who are closeted, this moment in the film is so much more. For them, it's a promise that beyond their closeted walls is a place where there are no boundaries, a place where they can be themselves.

Takeaway lyric: "A whole new world / A new fantastic point of view / No one to tell us no or where to go / Or say we're only dreaming"

Which Disney song was significant to you when you were in the closet? Let us know in the comments below.

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