We're so excited when we see further LGBTQ+ representation in cartoon series these days and many of us could only have wished that we had this opportunity throughout our childhood!
Although we are starting to see more frequent queer characters on our screens, Steven Universe creator Rebecca Sugar states that it's still very difficult to get LGBTQ representation on the air. She also points out that "by including LGBTQIA content and characters in G-rated entertainment for kids, you tell kids when they’re young that they belong in this world. You can’t not tell them that”.
We hope that as time progresses, representation of all identities and backgrounds are included within mainstream television, alongside all other parts of life for that matter! But for now, here are 10 awesome LGBT shows, characters and moments that are part of this generation.
In no particular order...
1. Star vs. the Forces of Evil
Not only is the character Jackie Lynn Thomas a staple representation of the LGBT community, having both dated boys and girls in the show; It has been widely speculated that this awesome lead character is indeed bisexual!
The most amazing insight from this show is the inclusion of the first ever gay kissing scene by Disney, including multiple genders kissing! Yes, although it was not a main scene and a background event, it is a great start for Disney in catching up with the rest of the world with LGBT inclusion in their shows.
2. Steven Universe
This cartoon made history headlines back in 2018 with the amazing lesbian wedding between Ruby and Sapphire! Steven Universe was the first animated television show to win a GLAAD award last year for their inclusion and ability to portray gender sexuality and identity so well!
In addition, the show does not hold back in identifying and tackling very complicated situations and topics such as anxiety, homophobia and domestic violence. The way in which Steven Universe can portray all of this whilst also being friendly to children is just amazing and we're happy for their achievements!
3. Adventure Time
Adventure Time began it's life as a series of strange and satisfying shorts, however since then it has now developed much further, with a deeper and more entertaining plot where lead character Finn and his adopted brother and shape-changing dog explore the post-apocalyptic land of Ooo.
Although there are certain censorship laws outside of the UK & US, the show doesn't shy away from tackling LGBT related topics, especially with the two main characters Princess Bubblegum and Marceline, who after much speculation kissed in the series finale in 2018!
4. Gravity Falls
Gravity falls follows 12 year old twins Dipper and Mabel Pines as they are dropped off in fictitious town of Gravity Fall, Roadkill County to spend their summer with Great Uncle Stan Pines who runs the tourist trap "Mystery Shack".
Within the show, there's a strong relationship between business partner characters Sheriff Blubs and Deputy Durland. It wasn't until the series finale in 2016 that fans got to confirm what they had assumed throughout, the embracing love between the two. Proclaiming they were "mad with power... and love!" ending the series on a great high and representing the LGBT community amazingly!
5. She-Ra and the Princesses of Power
She-Ra is the cartoon series that teaches us all to find power within our-self, believe in the good within people and to value our chosen family. There are close to 20 confirmed LGBTQ+ characters within She-Ra making it one of the most awesomely queer packed cartoon series around for the LGBT community, if you haven't watched it, you may think twice after reading this!
To quickly outline, this reboot of the 80s cartoon series has been updated so positively and creatively that it has become a staple series within the LGBTQ+ community! She-Ra follows teenage orphan Adora serving the horde who one day stumbles upon a magic sword, this transforms her into She-Ra, the Princess of Power. This prompts Adora into joining the Rebellion, and to rebuild the Princess Alliance, a collective of magical princesses. After which, you'll find 13 episodes of battles, powerful heart-whelming friendships and a lot of gayness!
Unlike other mentions in this list, She-Ra does not have any 'one off' LGBT episodes, the entire series is revolved around the inclusion of the community and love for one another regardless of identity or background. It truly is a strong staple for all cartoons in this generation and we hope that as time goes on more take note and adapt this change!
Clarence focuses on the daily life of Clarence Wendle who is a fun-loving and spirited 10 year old boy, alongside his best friends; Jeff and Sumo. The series takes place in the fictional town of Aberdale, California, located near San Diego. The show does well in each episode exploring new daily life situations and problems Clarence and his friends encounter.
Cartoon Network seems to be taking the lead with the inclusion of LGBTQ+ and their cartoon series Clarence is far from exemption to this! The show which is from the same creators of Adventure Time featured lesbian couple EJ and Sure Randell, Clarence's best friends parents.
7. Rocko's Modern Life
Netflix's Rocko's Modern Life included the cast of the 90s Nickelodeon cartoon hit as they come back to earth from outer space. Since leaving in 1996, a lot has changed such as the frenzy over the new "O-phone.
The change that had us all interested was the inclusion of transgender character Rachel. Formally known as Ralph, Mr. and Mrs. Bighead's daughter Rachel goes on a journey to find herself which can be relatable to many of us. One hard hitting scene is when Rachel comes out to her dad, who initially rejected her only to reconnect by the end of the special.
8. My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic
Throughout the endless episodes branching out from the franchise My Little Pony we've seen a lot. The most iconic and loving we've seen within relation to LGBT is through the introduction of lesbian couple Aunt Holiday and Auntie Lofty. The couple were first aired just in time for Pride Month too!
Writer and producer pointed out there is still a pushback in kids TV when it comes to LGBTQ+ inclusion but shows like Steven Universe are changing the ways! He goes on to state "My Little Pony has always been about friendship and accepting people (or ponies) that are different from you. So it just felt like something important to do,".
9. The Loud House
Loud House follows Lincoln Loud, the only boy and middle child in a family of 11 children living within the fictional town of Royal Wood, Michigan. Living with 10 sisters, Lincoln occasionally breaks the fourth wall to explain to viewers the chaotic condition and sibling relationships of the household.
Most iconic was the 2016 episode "Overnight Success" which was the first depiction of a gay married couple on Nickelodeon and featured interracial gay couple Harold and Howard McBride. What makes this even more awesome is that the episode aired just after same-sex marriage was legalised in all 50 US states!
10. Danger & Eggs
This cartoon show is centered around lead character D.D, a child daredevil, alongside Philip, a safety oriented mutant egg experience a constant series of enjoyable and chaotic adventures as "they do stuff". It's a hard show to summarise, even the theme tune includes "it's kind of hard to explain".
Danger & Eggs was also the first Emmy-Award winning cartoon created by a trans woman, Shadi Petosky; The show is aimed at a slightly younger demographic as others before in this list, but that doesn't stop it being crammed with good morals, including trans, gay and lesbian characters whilst also covering various other LGBT topics!
Although we have only included 10 this time round, there are far more out there and the list is positively and constantly growing with time!
Let us know in the comments if we missed your favourite!
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