Animation has come a long way in recent years. Before, most animation was relegated to kid’s shows or little segments during larger TV shows. That all changed in the 90s and the birth of the animated TV show age started.
This wasn’t the only thing to happen during that time, it was also during this time that more LGBTQ+ characters began to appear on television.
At first, these characters could be a little offensive, but as time went on and people became more sympathetic to the LGBTQ+ cause itself, these characters slowly became more than one dimensional jokes.
Now, with so many cartoons and LGBTQ+ characters out there, it should surprise no one that there are now some well written and beloved TV characters who LGBTQ+ as well. In this article, we will explore a few of them for your benefit.
1. Sapphire And Ruby From Steven Universe
We couldn’t have a list about LGBTQ+ without putting at least one in from Rebecca Sugar’s masterpiece ‘Steven Universe’.
Steven Universe is about a boy raised and fighting alongside a group of aliens called the Crystal Gems, who are a universally female presenting race.
Ruby and Sapphire are two very different gems who love each other dearly, which causes them to fuse together (hence why they are together) and form Garnet, the current leader of the Crystal Gems, who serves as Steven’s adoptive mum figure who we all love.
2. Nigel Ratburn From Arthur
The teacher of Arthur’s class who was always depicted as stern, but disciplined and friendly, even though the students of Arthur’s class regularly complained about his work, they have always shown that deep down they know Mr Ratburn is only doing what’s best for them, and they know he cares about them.
Although his personal life was kept secret, he eventually gets married to Patrick, with the wedding being the first gay wedding in a show aimed at young audiences.
3. Marceline From Adventure Time
The vampire queen has not always had the easiest life and despite being fun and playful, she has either been abandoned by the people she loves, or they cease to exist with her immortal body continuing on.
As such, it makes us happy to know that she has been able to turn to another seemingly immortal being (Princess Bubblegum) for love and affection.
They struggled with their feelings in the beginning, but their relationship has continued to endure and that is just lovely.
4. Amity Blight From The Owl House
Amity Blight is a complex character with a great redemption arc throughout the show. Originally, she starts as a bit of a bully, but once you realize her circumstances, you see that she is mainly the product of her environment.
An awful home life and forced to abandon any friendships she had, it wasn’t until she met Luz that she began to come out of her shell and realize her own LGBTQ+ identity.
5. Sheriff Blubs And Deputy Durland From Gravity Falls
The two incompetent arms of the law are the best friends in the town of Gravity Falls.
While their policing skills in the strange town are nothing to think much of, their friendship has been confirmed in a charity stream by show creator Alex Hirsch and storyboard artist Dana Terrace to be more romantic in nature, confirming what most fans suspected all along.
6. Adora From She-Ra and The Princesses Of Power
The guardian of Etheria and one of the leaders of the rebellion against Hordak and Horde Prime, She-Ra is not a woman to mess with.
While the whole show is wonderfully queer in almost every aspect, the main force of emotions that viewers will experience is the relationship between Adora and her best friend Catra.
It is a painful affair that is driven by the love both women feel for each other and the betrayal they feel towards each other’s actions.
7. Gobber The Belch From How To Train Your Dragon
The Vikings of Berk are some of the fiercest and toughest people in the DreamWorks franchise, which is why the protagonist, Hiccup, never really got any support from them at the start of the series, except from Gobber, the blacksmith.
The unmarried man served as a support for Hiccup, even if he didn’t understand the boy, and it has been revealed he was unmarried because he was the first gay character of the franchise, who also acts as the right-hand man to the village’s chiefs.
8. Rick Sanchez From Rick And Morty
The cantankerous, lunatic, genius scientist Rick Sanchez may be a complete deviant in all manners, but he is also surprisingly open-minded towards sexuality.
The creator of the show, Justin Roiland, has confirmed that Rick is pansexual – someone who is attracted to all genders – which shouldn’t surprise anyone considering he was in an intense relationship with the hive consciousness Unity that took over a planet.
He might not be a role model or someone that the LGBTQ+ community needs, but he is a part of it.
9. Todd Chavez From BoJack Horseman
BoJack Horseman is a story about our own actions and emotions, how they affect ourselves and others, and how hard it is to come to terms with them.
Todd Chavez is one of the main characters, and he is one of the nicest and most forgiving people in the show, which is why him coming to terms with his broken friendship with BoJack and his own asexuality is a beautiful, cathartic, and heart-breaking story to watch unfold.
10. Korra From The Legend Of Korra
The Avatar series is pretty intense, and both shows in the series go well beyond the scope of what you expect for a child’s show.
In the Legend of Korra, Korra struggles intensely with her identity as both the avatar, a bender, her relationships, and her place in the world.
Her love for Asami is beautiful and crushing at points, before it is realized and both take a trip to the spirit world together – even if Nickelodeon refused to show us a final kiss.
11. Double Trouble From She-Ra
Going back to She-Ra again for the next character, but it is a show chock-a-block with LGBTQ+ characters, and Double Trouble is completely unapologetic about their representation.
They are a completely non-binary, without having the show explain that about them. In fact, there is never a straight answer about Double Trouble’s assigned gender at birth, only that they are themselves, which is fantastic representation.
The fact that they can shape-shift into whomever they want is even better, because you may never know their assigned birth gender and so it doesn’t really matter.
12. Willow’s Two Dads (Gilbert And Harvey) From The Owl House
Like She-Ra, The Owl House has far too much representation to not talk about, with even the background characters getting a look in. Willow is one of Luz’s best friends and, although she herself is not queer, her dads certainly are.
They are rarely seen in the show, but they have both been shown to be loving and supportive parents that both take great care of her – even quitting their jobs to home-school her after she was expelled from school.
13. Peridot From Steven Universe
In Steven Universe, fusion is used to represent sexual identity and orientation without being explicit and through one character there is a great representation for asexuality: Peridot.
Although she started off as a villain, she eventually becomes a friend and ally of the Crystal Gems.
Peridot begins to explore her own identity for the first time outside of her work – something many a queer person will understand – and when she asks for advice on fusion, she comes to understand that it is something for other people but not for her, helping people watching the show understand asexuality through her eyes.
14. Velma Dinkley From Scooby-Doo
Before anyone says anything, yes this is a new development, we all know this wouldn’t have flown in the 60s when Scooby-Doo first aired.
However, it’s high time Velma deserved some love of her own, she’s been basically holding up the team for 60 years!
Originally, it was planned for Velma to be lesbian in the 2002 Scooby-Doo movie – as James Gunn has pointed out – but it took until 2020 for Velma to officially come out of the closet, much to the joy of all fans.
15. Bob From Bob’s Burgers
The gentle father of the Belcher family, Bob is a man who does not sacrifice on his principles and even when it looked like his kids burned down the restaurant that was their livelihood, he tried his best not to shout at them, so they wouldn’t feel scared about telling him things.
But he has displayed on more than one occasion a proclivity towards bisexuality, especially in the Turkey in a can episode when the butcher flirts with him. He would never explore his sexuality as he loves his wife, Linda, far too much.
Cartoons have become prominent in the world of media, and thankfully their rise to prominence has included further representation for the LGBTQ+ community.
This trend has not only been met with interest but love and adoration by most people watching, which will keep the LGBTQ+ characters coming.
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