Is Billy Elliot gay?

Essay by hurryupandwaitCollege, Undergraduate December 2003

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Billy lives with his overly macho father and brother, and their increasingly senile grandmother, and so a major mother figure in his life is absent. Billy is seen slightly as the outcast of the family, being the youngest and still at school he isn't involved in the strikes, or the general workings of the family. The relationship that the father has with the two sons is very different, Tony, Billy's older brother works alongside their father everyday and with the strikes, and they both therefore have the same aim. Despite their money problems Jackie, the father, still puts aside money to send Billy to weekly boxing lessons, not realizing in fact that Billy is being slowly distracted by the nearby ballet classes. Eventually he joins his first class surprisingly with no hesitation, or obvious embarrassment. As Billy's interest with ballet grows so does his flare for dancing.

The ballet classes automatically bring in an underlining message, ballet is traditionally thought of as effeminate, however Billy is still prepubescent therefore I feel it is unnecessary and unfair to assume a stereotype on Billy automatically.

At eleven Billy is still very much a child and does not yet feel the necessity to conform to masculine stereotypes as his father is trying to encourage. Despite this strength Billy has to fight his way to be what he wants. In spite of this Billy is aware that the idea of doing ballet would not please his family, so keeps it to himself. On the discovery of Billy's secret his father is instantly unsupportive. With obvious concerns of why Billy could be interested in something he sees as so feminine, they have a confrontation over the dinner table. Billy's father evidently associates ballet with homosexuality. And here we see exactly how small-minded, and old fashioned...