Is Riley LGBTQ+ in Inside Out 2? Sapphic Twitter detectives certainly think so

The release date for Disney Pixar’s Inside Out 2 is fast approaching, and LGBTQ+ folk (particularly lesbians) have some thoughts about the reaction that the main character, Riley, has to a cool new friend.

The animated film, a sequel to the 2015 hit, continues to follow Riley as she navigates the complex emotions that come with growing up.

The synopsis on Disney+ reads: “Inside Out 2 returns to the mind of newly minted teenager Riley just as headquarters is undergoing a sudden demolition to make room for something entirely unexpected: new emotions.

“Joy, Sadness, Anger, Fear and Disgust, who’ve long been running a successful operation by all accounts, aren’t sure how to feel when Anxiety shows up. And it looks like she’s not alone.”

The two-minute trailer for the upcoming movie shows Riley, now voiced by Kensington Tallman, celebrating her 13th birthday, getting braces and playing hockey. It all seems to be going well until Anxiety (Stranger Things‘ Maya Hawke) shows up, with Envy (Bottoms‘ star Ayo Edebiri), Ennui (Blue Is the Warmest Colour‘s Adèle Exarchopoulos) and Embarrassment (Cobra Kai star Paul Walter Hauser).

The following scene shows Riley going to an ice hockey rink where she meets a new group of girls (“These girls are so cool,” Envy gushes), proceeding to blush and awkwardly introduce herself.

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Lesbians on social media were quick to point out Riley’s reaction to one new friend, who has pink dye in her hair.

“She’s got a crush on a hockey player, every gay girl’s awakening 😭,” one X/Twitter user joked.

Another said: “This smells gay,” while a third said: “New emotion unlocked: gay panic.”

And someone else chipped in with: “Riley being a hockey lesbian is a fun development.”

Recalling the experience most sapphics go through, another said: “Riley goes through the canon event of having a best friend with extreme gay undertones that eventually breaks your heart even though you never dated.”

This is not the first time viewers have aired their belief that Riley could be a member of the LGBTQ+ community.

When the first film came out, people noticed that all the other characters had emotions inside their heads which were the same gender as themselves, with Riley’s mum’s all being female and her dad’s all male.

Riley, however, has a mix of gendered emotions, leading people to believe the character might be non-binary or gender fluid.

Following the release of the new Inside Out 2 trailer, other social media users were less generous about what might be in the movie, owing to Disney’s less-than-stellar record with LGBTQ+ representation.

“I’m so proud for Disney… they’re going to include [a] rainbow pin on her backpack, visible for exactly two whole seconds,” one person wrote sarcastically.

Inside Out 2 release date UK

So, is Riley from Inside Out LGBTQ+? Well, we’ll have to wait and see.

Inside Out 2 will be released on 14 June 2024 in the UK.

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