Cartoons that are Proud of their Representation

By Andrew Agney

aagney@lc.edu

 

Representation matters to minorities of people, seeing people just like them in various forms of media can greatly shape how they are viewed by the public and how they view themselves. Members of the LGBTQ+ community are no different, and with LGBTQ+ people becoming more accepted, representative characters have recently started cropping up in modern cartoons. Real quick, I would like to talk about the ones I know about, in case you are looking for some solidarity or just an LGBT-friendly show to watch. This will be a showcase of the confirmed characters, not just ones that are hinted at or in the background.

The first is one I feel plenty of people already know—“Steven Universe” has plenty of LGBT representation. Following alien creatures called “Gems”, the majority of the characters are considered non-binary, but all of the gems in the show are female-presenting and form romantic relationships with each other, such as the characters Ruby and Sapphire, who are female presenting. The co-executive producer of the show, Ian Jones-Quartey, has said that referring to them as a non-binary, female presenting lesbian couple would be “a fair assessment”. Pair this with an entire episode about the two characters getting officially married, and I think the implications are quite clear.

There is also Bismuth, another female-presenting gem who admits to the titular main character of the show, Steven, that she has a romantic crush on another gem named Pearl.

Next up is a show I personally have not watched before, but I do know that in “She-Ra and the Princess of Power”, there are several gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender characters. The main characters, Adora and Catra, both female, get into several romantic tensions and end up confessing their love for each other and become a couple at the end of the series. Series creator Noelle Stevenson has confirmed that it was planned from the very beginning that the two would become a couple.

In a smaller but still prevalent example, in the show “The Loud House”, the character of Luna Loud has shown romantic interest in both males and females, notably in two episodes where she shows romantic attraction to her brother’s male tutor, and in a later episode where she sends a love letter to a girl named Sam.

And the latest addition, starting in 2020, was “The Owl House”, a show about a girl named Luz Noceda entering a world of magic and myths and training to become a witch (any of you Vermillion Sky readers may recognize this as a main source of inspiration). One of Luz’s fellow witches-in-training is Amity Blight, who starts out as a rival to Luz but quickly develops a romantic crush on her, often getting flustered and blushing when Luz shows her any affectionate treatment. This was further confirmed in an episode late in season one, where it is revealed that Amity was planning to ask Luz to prom. Series creator, Dana Terrace, has also been dropping hints of Amity and Luz’s orientation on her social media for a while, such as saying, “There are queer kids in the cast,” before a Reddit AMA where she revealed fully that Amity is a lesbian and Luz is Bisexual.

Those are the examples I have found in my time and personal experiences, but I am sure there are a ton of other shows. I hope this helps you find some new, inclusive shows to watch.

 

Featured image by Lindsey Becker

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