Hollywood has pushed a concerted, industry-wide effort for years to place LGBTQ-related entertainment into programs aimed at young audiences, often times in cooperation with gay rights group GLAAD.
GLAAD has spent years lobbying Hollywood studios to increase the representation of LGBTQ characters in various programing. The major TV networks, including Nickelodeon, PBS, Cartoon Network, and others, have joined that effort. Now nearly every TV series, animated or live-action, has added gay characters.
Here are thirteen TV shows and characters aimed at young audiences pushing the LGBTQ agenda.
She-Ra and the Princesses of Power (DreamWorks Animation)
One of the most recent examples is seen in the She-Ra cartoon series. She-Ra has won the GLAAD Media Award for Outstanding Kids & Family Programming for its LGBTQ representation onscreen.
SpongeBob SquarePants (Nickelodeon)
— Nickelodeon (@Nickelodeon) June 13, 2020
Nickelodeon celebrated Pride Month in 2020 by tweeting images of a rainbow SpongeBob. The network also featured images from shows including The Legend of Korra.
Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated (Warner Bros. Animation/Cartoon Network)
Last July, the makers of Scooby-Doo made a show of confirming that the character Velma is a lesbian. Activists have repeatedly assumed that the sensible-shoe-wearing character is either gay or bi-sexual. But co-creator Tony Cervone wrote: “Velma in Mystery Incorporated is not bi. She’s gay. We always planned on Velma acting a little off and out of character while she was dating Shaggy because that relationship was wrong for her, and she had unspoken difficulty with the why.”
— kolbi 💗 (@PixieSphere) April 4, 2020
Last April, Disney revealed a gay character in DuckTales named Violet, who is presented as a child with two gay dads. The two dads wear shirts saying, “I’m With Dad” with arrows pointing left and right.
My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic (Discovery Family)
My Little Pony introduced a lesbian pony couple in June of 2019. The episode, entitled “The Last Crusade,” was praised by series writer and producer Michael Vogel who said that his “first priority” is to push the LGBTQ agenda “on everything I work on.”
MR RATBURN IS GAY ?!? IM CRYING pic.twitter.com/e9A4ZnnGa2
— MOVED TO GATTSKIN (@gattsplat) May 13, 2019
In May 2019, PBS children’s show Arthur featured a gay wedding scene in its season premiere. The episode, entitled “Mr. Ratburn and the Special Someone,” shows aardvark Arthur’s third-grade teacher Mr. Ratburn tying the knot with another male aardvark. When Arthur and his friends find out their teacher is getting married, they assume that he is getting married to a female rat named Patty.
Adventure Time (Cartoon Network)
In one episode, released in Sept. 2018, of the eight years of Adventure Time, Princess Bubblegum and Marceline the vampire — two main characters — are seen kissing on the lips.
Andi Mack (Disney Channel)
In 2017, this live-action series was hailed for featuring a coming-out storyline. Ultimately, the storyline ended with the character Cyrus Goodman (Joshua Rush) announcing that he is gay.
The Loud House (Nickelodeon)
Producers of The Loud House featured a same-sex couple as early as July of 2016 when a child character named Clyde McBride was revealed as having two dads. Later, in 2017, another character, Luna Loud, revealed herself to be a lesbian.
Clarence (Cartoon Network)
This series follows the title character’s adventures but in June of 2016, it also featured a friend named Jeff who has two mothers. In addition, the lesbian characters have appeared numerous times, assisting Clarence with his adventures.
Steven Universe (Cartoon Network)
In April 2016, gay activist website Pride labeled Steven Universe one of the queerest kid’s shows on TV because most of the characters are presented as gay. Episodes have also featured lessons on homophobia, anxiety, and domestic violence.
The series is essentially about two kids living in their great uncle’s tourist business. In October 2016, the show’s two police characters were presented as participating in a gay relationship with one another.
Blue’s Clues (Nickelodeon)
Popular kid’s show Blue’s Clues has teamed up with drag queen “Nina West” in a video aimed at celebrating Gay Pride Month.
Star Vs. The Forces of Evil (Disney XD)
Animated series Star Vs. The Forces of Evil featured Disney’s first same-sex kiss in 2017. The series ran from 2015-2019.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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