While it initially looked like Disney’s live-action Beauty and the Beast movie would be a scene-to-scene retelling of the beloved fairy tale, it now looks like the tiny changes and additions to the magical story (did you catch the Harry Potter Easter egg?) are bigger than we expected. That includes the fact that the film will include Disney’s first openly gay character.

gay couple

Anyone who knows the story well could fill you in on the fact that LeFou is not only Gaston’s sidekick, but a great admirer of his pal. The man who bursts out in song to praise his buddy sings adoringly, “No one’s slick as Gaston / No one’s quick as Gaston / No one’s neck’s as incredibly thick as Gaston’s / For there’s no man in town half as manly / Perfect, a pure paragon!”

Beauty and the Beast _ Gaston and LeFou

This time around played by actor Josh Gad, LeFou has been given his own little subplot that focuses around the fact that he’s gay. “LeFou is somebody who on one day wants to be Gaston and on another day wants to kiss Gaston,” director Bill Condon told Attitude. “He’s confused about what he wants. It’s somebody who’s just realising that he has these feelings… And that’s what has its payoff at the end, which I don’t want to give away. But it is a nice, exclusively gay moment in a Disney movie.”

Beauty and the Beast _ LeFou

And when it comes to why such a scene would be included, Condon was clear, explaining, “It may have been a long time coming, but this is a watershed moment for Disney. By representing same-sex attraction… the studio is sending out a message that this is normal and natural — and this is a message that will be heard in every country of the world, even countries where it’s still socially unacceptable or even illegal to be gay.”

It looks like this tale as old as time is ready to break new ground, and we’re sure plenty of fans are fully here for it.

What do you think about Disney’s inclusion of a gay character? Let us know @BritandCo!

(h/t Attitude; photos via Hero Images/Getty, Disney)