14/06/2016 08:52 BST

'Finding Dory' To Feature Transgender Character, Claims Ellen DeGeneres

'I think everything that we see in the media - whether it's television or film or anything you see - should represent everything that's happening in the world.'

‘Finding Dory’ actress Ellen DeGeneres has revealed that the new film will feature Disney’s first trans character.

Ellen, who voices the lead character in the upcoming sequel to ‘Finding Nemo’, has revealed that when the sequel is released later this week, viewers will be introduced to a transgender stingray, a first for Disney and Pixar.

Jason LaVeris via Getty Images
Ellen DeGeneres

Speaking to USA Today, Ellen revealed: There's a stingray that's becoming sting-Rhonda, so there's a trans sting in the movie.”

The news of the new character comes a matter of weeks after the film’s trailer revealed what appeared to be the first same-sex couple in a Disney film.

A short clip of the film revealed two women with a baby in a pushchair, sparking speculation they were a lesbian couple.

Although Disney have chosen not to confirm or deny whether the women are a couple, Ellen told journalists at a press conference to promote the film (via People): “I personally think it's a great thing.

“I think everything that we see in the media - whether it's television or film or anything you see - should represent everything that's happening in the world. I think everybody that is in the world should be seen and represented.”

'Finding Dory'

She also joked: “One woman has a very bad short haircut, which I find very offensive. If that's the definition of a gay woman, then how dare you? Just because someone has a short, bad haircut doesn't mean she's gay. [She just has a] bad hairdresser. So I don't know that that's the case.”

Earlier this year, Disney were named by the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) as one of three major production companies who were “failing” to represent LGBT+ people in their films.

This was quickly followed by the #GiveElsaAGirlfriend Twitter campaign, which saw fans of ‘Frozen’ keen for Queen Elsa to enter a same-sex relationship in the film’s upcoming sequel.

'Finding Dory' hits UK cinemas on Friday, 17 June.

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  • Samira Wiley ('Orange Is The New Black' actress)
    Samira Wiley ('Orange Is The New Black' actress)
    Megan Mack via Getty Images
    "I was just taught that love is the most powerful thing."
  • Adore Delano (Drag performer/singer)
    Adore Delano (Drag performer/singer)
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    "My voice is not only for singing, I speak about body image issues, HIV rights, and many other topics that should be addressed when you have a platform like mine."
  • Mary Lambert (singer/songwriter)
    Mary Lambert (singer/songwriter)
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    "Hearing women of all ages sing 'She Keeps Me Warm' at the top of their lungs - they don’t give a shit about what pronoun it is.

    "They get that it’s about love, so I think that’s really given me perspective. I think people can deal with it, and they get it."
  • Todrick Hall (YouTube star/singer)
    Todrick Hall (YouTube star/singer)
    Robin Marchant via Getty Images
    "When you’re a person that’s trying to be a public figure and you’re black and you’re gay and for some people it’s a little too much for them to handle...

    "I think there are a lot of people who are afraid to be who they are and if I have to sacrifice a little bit of fame and a little bit of success because I’m being 100 percent truthful with who I am, hopefully that will create a paved way for someone else."
  • Ines Rau (model)
    Ines Rau (model)
    Instagram/Ines Rau
    "It's all about what's in your heart. Gender and sexuality do not make you who you are. Your heart and actions do!"
  • Riley Carter Millington ('EastEnders' actor)
    Riley Carter Millington ('EastEnders' actor)
    Peter MacDiarmid/REX/Shutterstock
    "I want to help make a difference. [Being trans] is a part of me and I want hopefully to make other people feel like they can come out, like they can feel that they’ve got support."
  • Angel Haze (rapper)
    Angel Haze (rapper)
    Brian Killian via Getty Images
    "Sexuality is like having a favorite colour. It doesn’t rule you, you know? And I should be able to do whatever and whoever I want at any given time."
  • Joe Lycett (stand-up comedian)
    Joe Lycett (stand-up comedian)
    David Fisher/REX/Shutterstock
    "Gender is fluid and I think it’s absolutely fascinating, so I talk about that a little bit in my show. I think it’s important some people do publicly go, 'Hey, I’m not straight and I’m not gay. I’m somewhere in the middle and that’s OK.'"
  • Ruby Tandoh (foodie/'Bake Off' finalist)
    Ruby Tandoh (foodie/'Bake Off' finalist)
    Richard Saker/Rex/Shutterstock
    "To all the bros who hate social media, who pit it against 'real life' - I never would've had the courage to be me without Twitter's queer queens."
  • Troye Sivan (YouTube star/pop sensation)
    Troye Sivan (YouTube star/pop sensation)
    Frazer Harrison via Getty Images
    '[Being gay] been a non-issue for me. But the same thing that’s been a blessing in my life can lead someone to suicide. Every time I hear about an LGBTQ kid committing suicide, it’s just so much frustration. I just think about lost potential because a parent wasn’t accepting or a friend wasn’t, and it ended an LGBTQ kid’s life.

    "I really want the parents of my audience to see these videos actually. And realise that their reaction influences their kid’s entire experience. Showing them two sides of the coin: this is how it could go or this is how it could go. It’s up to you."
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