I read more analysis of Elsa's character and, most importantly, I finally watched the film. I understand that the way Elsa reads as potentially gay goes far beyond a wildly popular, imminently relatable song.
First off, Elsa has no (male) love interest. That alone is extraordinarily unusual. Revolutionary even. She is a Queen without a King. Nor is she dreaming of a handsome man to sweep her off her feet, as Anna does. I am thrilled that "Frozen" centers the familial love between the sisters and departs from form in eschewing an ending that 50 years ago would have surely featured a double (straight) wedding. I love the message that Elsa does not need a romantic relationship at this moment to have a full, engaged life. It's just very unusual. Does being single make her gay? Of course not. But it doesn't make her straight either.
The film provides a deeper, richer exploration of the themes raised in the song "Let It Go." As Disney described Elsa's struggle back in 2013, "she lives in fear as she wrestles with a mighty secret." As a child, Elsa is happy and secure, but eventually she must start hiding her deepest self. Her parents love her but shut her away, not only to protect others but to protect Elsa herself from the cruelty and judgment of the outside world. Fearful, ashamed, guilt-ridden about who she is, she learns her emotions are different and dangerous. She must literally repress her feelings. While Anna dreams of dancing with a dashing prince, Elsa must resign herself to a life devoid of love and affection; after all, falling in love might conjure a blizzard; touching her beloved's hand could freeze their flesh solid.
Elsa's secret keeps her isolated not only from herself, but from everyone in her life-her subjects, her parents, even her adored little sister. Anna's confusion is palpable; her loneliness is heartbreaking. She has no idea why her big sister is shutting her out and Elsa cannot explain. This feels very familiar to LGBTQ people who may be met with general acceptance when they come out to parents, but are told to keep it a secret from a beloved grandfather, favorite nieces or even younger siblings. It divides families, creating guilt-ridden secret keepers and a vague sense of frustrated confusion for everyone else.
In the end, it is truth which frees Elsa from her fear; and learning to love herself and accept the love of her sister lets her finally control her powers, live happily among her loved ones, and be a good Queen to her people.
Elsa's story has warmed many a queer heart, but it must be noted that the speculation on her sexuality, at this point, is driven more by fan hopes rather than any intention or hints from her creators. Addressing the issue, Jennifer Lee and Idina Menzel have each expressed how happy they are that people connect with Elsa on different levels and find meaning in her message of self-acceptance. The rest of the Disney team merely suggests that in any continuation of Elsa's story, they will follow wherever she leads them. In other words, they will serve the character, not popular opinion (neither the calls to "make" her gay, nor the horrified backlash demanding she "be" straight). Fair enough.
So where are we now? As of this writing, Elsa's canonical orientation is still as perfectly blank as a field of freshly fallen snow. Without spoiling anything, it can be said that she remains decidedly single, with no love interest (and seemingly no interest in one) throughout "Frozen II." Hmmmm.
Just as Anderson's mysterious Snow Queen captured readers' imaginations 175 years ago, so her fictional descendant continues to fascinate audiences today. Elsa's story will continue in viewers' imaginations, in fanfiction, perhaps even in another Disney offering. And people will continue to see themselves in her vulnerability and in her strength. Wherever her path may lead, and with whomever she may walk it, Elsa will remain endearing, inspiring, and yes, enigmatic.