LGBT children's television programming

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Rebecca Sugar, a creator devoted to creating LGBT children's media, speaking at New York Comic Con 2014

LGBT representation in children's television programming is representation of LGBT topics, themes, and people in television programming meant for children. LGBT representation in Children's programming was often uncommon to non-existent for much of television's history up to 2010's but significantly increased following.

Early children's programming addressing LGBT-related subject matter in the United States includes two episodes of CBS Schoolbreak Special. "What If I'm Gay?" originally aired on March 31, 1987.[1] The episode told the story of a teenage boy struggling to come to terms with his sexuality. It was nominated for three Daytime Emmy Awards, winning for Outstanding Direction in Children's Programming.[2] The 1993 episode "Other Mothers" featured a boy who was afraid that his friends would think he was gay because he has two mothers. The episode was nominated for five Daytime Emmys, winning for Outstanding Writing in a Children's Special, Outstanding Performer in a Children's Special (Justin Whalin) and Outstanding Sound Mixing in a Children's Special.[2] In 1986, HBO broadcast The Truth About Alex, which told the story of a high school athlete who discovers that his best friend Alex is gay.

LGBT representation on Nickelodeon[edit]

On June 18, 2002, children's cable network Nickelodeon ran a program entitled Nick News Special Edition: My Family Is Different. Produced by Linda Ellerbee's Lucky Duck Productions and hosted by Ellerbee, My Family Is Different featured children of gay and lesbian parents talking with children from households that oppose equal rights for gay and lesbian families.[3] This program was subject to much criticism from Christian organizations, such as the Washington-based Traditional Values Coalition, who believed the program pushed a "pro-homosexual agenda" and was not suitable for children.[4] Another organization that opposed this episode was the Parents Television Council who claimed they had no problem with same-sex parents but did not think it was appropriate for Nickelodeon's young target audience.[5]

Stephen Hillenburg holding the SpongeBob SquarePants bible in 2011

The confirmation of SpongeBob in SpongeBob SquarePants as asexual was not done directly in the show. In 2005, in response to criticism from Nile Rodgers' and his Christian fundamentalist We Are Family Foundation,[6][7][8] series creator Stephen Hillenburg described him as asexual, not gay.[9][10][11] He repeated this in 2002 when Focus on the Family, a Christian fundamentalist organization,[12][13] claimed that SpongeBob SquarePants was "homosexual propaganda,"[14] with Alan Sears, head of the Alliance Defense Fund, and James Dobson of Focus on the Family saying the same.[15][16] In 2016, it was revealed that Hillenburg instructed those working on the show that SpongeBob should never have a romantic relationship, since he is asexual (as all real-life sea sponges are) and is too innocent for it.[17]

Nickelodeon followed a similar path. On December 19, 2014, The Legend of Korra, another Nickelodeon show, aired their season finale, which showed Korra and Asami holding hands,[18] showing they are in a relationship.[19][20] As such, the show became one of the first western children's animation series to not only feature major LGBT characters, but also a lead LGBT character.[21][22] In the aftermath of series finale, which aired on Nickelodeon and Nick.com, there were debates about "queer representation in children's media."[23] Some noted that while the relationship between two bisexual characters, Korra and Asami, was built up during the course of the series, the words "I love you" were never uttered, nor did the characters kiss.[24] Similarly, Kya of Legend of Korra was shown to be lesbian in the graphic novel following the series finale.[25] In July 2019, Michael Dante DiMartino, one of the series creators, in an interview with EW, noted that while the show's crew had always believed Kyoshi was bisexual, her feelings toward women and men were actually only explored in the young adult novel and in the comics branching off of the series.[26]

On June 2, 2015, gay drag queen RuPaul guest starred as a snail in the episode "Costume Boxing!" of series Bubble Guppies.[27] The next year, Nickelodeon's Hey Arnold! was confirmed to have two gay characters. Eugene Horowitz and Mr. Robert Simmons were confirmed as gay in July 2016 by the show's creator show's creator Craig Bartlett, but not explicitly stated in the series.[28]

On July 20, 2016, an interracial gay couple, Howard and Harold McBride, was introduced in an episode of The Loud House titled "Overnight Success."[29] This couple was described by Michael Rubiner, executive producer of the show from 2018 to present, as only natural,[29] Even so, the latter was censored by a South African broadcaster, DStv,[30] despite the fact that it was met with "overwhelmingly positive reaction."[31] They would be the first pair of married male characters to be depicted on a Nickelodeon series.[31][32][33] In later years, Luna Loud would be revealed as a bisexual girl who sent a love letter to a girl named Sam Sharp in the June 2017 episode "L is for Love".[34][35][33] Later on, Sam seems to feel similarly about Luna and appears to reciprocate Luna's feelings in that episode and others, with Lori describing them as beginning to date in the episode "Racing Hearts," though neither character calls their excursion a date throughout the episode.[36][37][38][36] Apart from this, in August 2019, the voice actor for Dana Dufresne, Maddie Taylor, revealed that the character had transitioned from a man to a trans woman, like herself, and said that the character would return in another episode within season 4.[39] However, Season 4 concluded on July 23, 2020 and no such episode or even appearance of Dana was shown. Additionally, the show featured two lesbian characters. In a February 2020 episode, Lainey, one of Lynn's roller derby team, is dating a girl named Alice.[40][41] In 2021, GLAAD noted that the Loud House features Luna Loud, a bisexual character, and Sam, her girlfriend, along with Howard and Harold McBride, "the two Dads of the protagonist’s best friend Clyde."[42]

In October 2017 it was reported that a kiss between two female characters, Zarya Moonwolf and Kitty Boon, on the Nickelodeon show, Mysticons, was in danger of being cut.[43] Despite this, the show showed the "development of a female-female romance," between Zarya, a main character, and her childhood friend, Kitty, known as "MoonBoon," culminating in romantic moments.[44] Months later, in August 2018, the show's creator, Sean Jara, confirmed the two as a couple, noting that only one version of the episode was created and that the show's creative team fought for a kiss, but lost even though they managed "to keep the integrity of the love story."[45] In later tweets, Jara said there is a "beautiful love story" between Zarya and Kitty in the show, referring to the interactions between the two characters in episode 37 ("The Princess and the Pirate"), stated the importance of showing "love between LGBTQ characters on TV," and said that the kiss was cut from the episode because of "systemic homophobia" in the kids television industry, crediting Rebecca Sugar for making strides.[45] He then opined on the continual battle for more LGBTQ representation, cited an Entertainment Weekly article about LGBTQ representation in cartoons,[46] and praised the battles for more representation which go on behind the scenes. He said this saying that Nick did not pick up the show for more than 40 episodes[47] and, once again, confirmed Kitty and Zarya as a lesbian couple.[48] Later, in September, Jara said that they treated the Kitty and Zarya relationship "like all the other relationships in the show."[49] He added that while he was nervous and aware of possible roadblocks, Matt Ferguson, the show's director, supported it, as did his writing team, with Ferguson adding that pushback came from not from people who were "evil" but rather from those who were "trying to do the best job at their particular job."

In 2019, Nickelodeon released Rocko's Modern Life: Static Cling, a television film and sequel to their 1993 series Rocko's Modern Life through Netflix. The producers worked with GLAAD to endure that the transgender character, in the form of cartoonist frog Rachel Bighead (known as Ralph Bighead in the original series) as well as a plotline involving her coming out to her parents, Ed and Bev Bighead, was respectful to the LGBTQ+ community and fit within the show itself.[50] The same year, in September, animated miniseries Middle School Moguls began airing on the channel. One of the characters was a non-binary fashion mogul named Wren.[51] Also, one character, Yuna, in the main cast, had two moms, who appeared in two episodes as secondary characters who give Yuna moral support, giving her the inspiration to finish her fashion designs.[52]

In 2020, Nickelodeon debuted a new television show, Danger Force, which portrayed two dads of a lost child in which Danger Force was trying to find his parents.[42] The same show also featured all four members (two males, two females) having a crush on male heartthrob, Creston. On June 13, 2020, Nickelodeon promoted LGBTQ+ characters in their shows, highlighting SpongeBob SquarePants and The Legend of Korra.[53] While some said this "proved" that SpongeBob was gay, Stephen Hillenburg, back in 2005, said he considered SpongeBob to be asexual, with one writer for Out writing "it's important to realize that those who are asexual are queer as well and are just as welcome to dawn rainbows and celebrate Pride this month."[53]

In February 2021, Nickelodeon's Blue's Clues & You! featured an alphabet song in which the letter "P" stood for "P is full of Pride!" and featured multiple Pride flags.[54][55]

Betty Deville, mother of Phil and Lil DeVille, appears in the Rugrats reboot series, which began in May 2021. In the original series, she was married to a man Howard DeVille. In the reboot, Betty is a gay single mother.[56] Betty is voiced by openly queer actress Natalie Morales. Morales described the character as a "single mom with her own business who has twins" but still hangs out with her community and friends, even casually talking about her ex-girlfriend.[57]

In that same month, Blue's Clues & You featured a Pride Parade-themed song that was performed by Drag Queen Nina West.[58]

LGBT representation on PBS[edit]

In 2005, PBS planned to release an episode of the children's series Postcards from Buster in which the animated bunny, Buster Baxter, visits the children of two lesbian mothers. When education secretary Margaret Spellings stated disapproval of the planned episode, PBS withdrew plans for airing.[59] Spellings believed the episode to be inappropriate for children as well as a misuse of governmental funding that the show had received. Lisa Reilly (WGBH Member Services), stands by the episode stating that, "We believe, as do WGBH's educational advisers on this series, that the program is appropriate for our audience and fits the series' mission to introduce children to the rich and varied cultures that make up the United States, including kids living in a wide range of family structures."[60] Apart from Reilly's statement, then-PBS chief operating officer Wayne Godwin said the episode brought up an issue that was “best left for parents and children to address together at a time and manner of their own choosing,” while spokesperson Lea Sloan said it was “sensitive in today’s political climate.” Godwin also claimed that the episode conflicted with PBS's purpose. This rationale was criticized by FAIR for violating the "terms of its Education Department grant," calling what PBS did an act of "political pandering," and asking people to contact PBS, calling on them to "support programming according to their mandate, not political pressures."[61] Years later, Rebecca Sugar described Spellings' idea as "absurd," saying she recognized the challenges of creating LGBTQ+-friendly animation when she tried to enter the animation field.[62]

It wasn't until 2019 when PBS aired an Arthur episode titled “Mr. Ratburn and the Special Someone”, the Season 22 premiere, which featured Mr. Ratburn and Patrick marrying each other.[63][64] He and his husband are the first LGBT characters in the series.[65][66] Later, the episode was banned by some Alabama broadcasters.[67]

In 2020, an episode of Clifford the Big Red Dog aired on Amazon Prime Video and PBS Kids, titled “Dogbot”. It featured Dr. and Ms. Mulberry, the two moms of Samantha Mulberry.[68] Dr. Mulberry is voiced by Maggie Cassella, an openly lesbian actress. The episode was nominated for a GLAAD Media Award.[69]

LGBT representation on Cartoon Network[edit]

In the 2010s, Cartoon Network became one of the key places for shows with LGBTQ characters and storylines. Some reviewers argued that when Disney and Cartoon Network are compared, its "easy to see who actually cares about LGBT representation," noting that for shows on Cartoon Network, "LGBT characters aren't centered around their sexuality."[70] Others noted that the network hosted shows which were "strong champions for LGBT representation," like Adventure Time and Steven Universe.[71] However, the creator of Steven Universe, Rebecca Sugar was told point-blank by executives that queer romance could have ended their show.[72] In 2020, Cartoon Network aired the final episodes of the Steven Universe epilogue miniseries Steven Universe Future.[42]

LGBT representation on Disney Channel[edit]

Alex Hirsch and Grunkle Stan puppet (character of Gravity Falls) at San Diego Comic-Con International 2013; Hirsch is the creator of Gravity Falls

On February 15, 2016, series finale of Gravity Falls, aired on the Disney Channel featured Sheriff Blubs and Deputy Durland confirmed as a gay couple.[73][74][75]

In 2017, Disney Channel in the United Kingdom aired a coming out scene on The Lodge, where Josh (Joshua Sinclair-Evans) explains to another character that girls are "not his type". The scene was the first coming out scene to be aired on a Disney Channel series.[76][77] Also in 2017, Disney the creators of Andi Mack had the character Cyrus Goodman played by Joshua Rush come out as gay in the episode titled "Hey, Who Wants Pizza?"[78] which was the first episode of season 2. In an effort to ensure the story arc was age appropriate for the network's young audience, Disney consulted with groups such as PFLAG, GLAAD, Common Sense Media, and The National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy.[79] In a 2019 episode titled "One and a Minyan", Cyrus became the first Disney character ever to say the word "gay" in its modern meaning when coming out to his male best friend, Jonah Beck (portrayed by Asher Angel). In the episode's finale, Cyrus held hands with the character TJ Kippen, and the two were confirmed to be a couple by various members of the cast and crew.

These were not the channel's first depiction of LGBT characters as Good Luck Charlie debuted the channel's first lesbian couple on January 26, 2014. The couple was introduced when the series' main character Charlie has a playdate with her friend Taylor. When Charlie's parents answer the door, they are shocked to find that "Taylor has two moms!" as Bob, Charlie's dad exclaims. While many celebrities tweeted their support (including former Disney star Miley Cyrus), conservative watch group One Million Moms was not quiet about their disapproval of the episode and launched an email campaign against the network. They were joined in support by other conservative groups such as Family Research Council.[80][81]

A number of other shows with LGBTQ characters aired on the Disney Channel and Disney XD. One of those was Star vs. the Forces of Evil. One character Jackie Lynn Thomas was bisexual. First she dated a male character[82] named Marco Diaz but ended that relationship due to his feelings for the protagonist.[83] Then, in the episode "Britta's Tacos", it is revealed that Jackie has a relationship with a French girl named Chloé. As such, it is clear that Jackie is bisexual.[84][85] The show, in March 2017, would make headlines with an episode entitled "Just Friends." The episode featured characters attending a concert and later concert-goers starting to kiss, "including several same-sex couples...in the background."[86]

In May 2020, Amber Leigh, a story revisionist for Rapunzel's Tangled Adventure revealed that Cassandra "Cass" was gay coded, with sapphic looks toward the story's protagonist, Rapunzel, and that some of these feelings are shown in the episode about memory loss.[87][88][89] She also said that there were many "queer women who boarded scenes [of] Cassandra," and that women-love-women vibes were ingrained in every drawing she did of the character.[90] These beliefs were also reflected by Klaudia Amenábar of The Mary Sue, calling Cass an "extremely gay-coded sword lesbian best friend" of Rapunzel.[91] Earlier in the year, the series creator of Tangled, Chris Sonnenberg, said he'd be willing to produce a spinoff show focusing on Cass, "if the call came."[a] The year before, in November, he called Cass a strong female character,[92] and talked about the "real friendship bond" between her and Rapunzel in September of the same year.[93] The following month, in June, Batgirl, Wonder Woman and a number of other heroes from DC Comics appeared in an image posted on the Twitter account of DC Kids for pride month.[94]

Another Disney show also featured LGBTQ characters: Star Wars Resistance, which aired from 2018 to 2020 on the Disney Channel and Disney XD. In this animation, Orka and Flix run the Office of Acquisitions on the Colossus, with Orka doing the negotiations.[95] Justin Ridge, an executive producer for the show, said that it's safe to call them a couple, adding "they’re absolutely a gay couple and we’re proud of that" on the Coffee With Kenobi podcast.[96][97] Additionally, in DuckTales, Indy and Ty were the guardians of Violet Sabrewing and the foster fathers of Lena Sabrewing, slated to be recurring characters,[98] with episodes broadcast on Disney XD and previously on the Disney Channel. Later, on September 29, 2020, Samantha "Sam" King, a writer for the Season 3 episode of DuckTales, "They Put a Moonlander On the Earth!", confirmed that Lieutenant Penumbra is a lesbian character.[99] However, King wished it had been more overt and said that people should continue to ask for better representation. On March 17, 2021, two days after the broadcast of the series finale of DuckTales, storyboard artist Sam King, admitted that, although she did not wish to "become "Word of Board Artist" on every headcannon and ship", she would permit fans to "assume I think every character except, like, Lunaris, is LGBTQIA+ in some shape or another."[100]

There were also a few shows which aired on Disney Junior. For instance, Doc McStuffins, featured a lesbian (and interracial) married couple, Thea and Edie, voiced by openly lesbian actresses Wanda Sykes and Portia de Rossi respectively.[101][102][59] These two characters would be the first same-sex couple featured in a Disney Junior pre-school series. A few years later, an episode of T.O.T.S., "Seas the Day," aired on the same channel. In the episode, a baby dolphin named Donny is adopted by a dolphin lesbian couple.[103] Additionally, in December 2018, the creator of Big City Greens, Chris Houghton, on Tumblr, confirmed that Alexander and Terry are a couple,[104] although protagonist Cricket Green does not seem to realize that they are gay throughout the series. Alexander is loud, rather effeminate and bossy, and Terry is silent and an introvert. They both appear to be hanging out each other in a few episodes such as "Gridlocked", "Fill Bill", "Barry Cuda", and "Trailer Trouble". Alexander is voiced by John Early, an openly gay actor. In their 2020–2021 report, GLAAD noted that DuckTales featured two dads, Indy and Ty Sabrewing, in an episode "Challenge of the Senior Junior Woodchucks!", while some episodes centered on "an alien named Penumbra" who the episodes' director and writer confirmed as a lesbian, and the show The Owl House made headlines this summer for a bisexual character named Luz, and her friend Amity, who is lesbian and has a crush on her, both of whom have a "romantic storyline."[42][b]

Sign from First Nepal Pride Parade in June 2019

Despite these positives, Disney executives did not always receive LGBTQ characters and relationships positively. They, for instance, axed a proposed lesbian relationship in Gravity Falls, at the same time that Gumball was censored for supposed "homosexual overtones" by various countries, and the National Expert Commission of Ukraine on the Protection of Public Morality in Ukraine advised the banning of SpongeBob SquarePants on the grounds that it promoted homosexuality.[30][19] As such, Disney has been criticized for its approach to LGBTQ representation as compared to Cartoon Network.[70]

In 2022, the reboot The Proud Family: Louder and Prouder will air on Disney+. In the upcoming series, Barry and Randall Leibowitz-Jenkins are the adoptive parents of Maya Leibowitz-Jenkins. They are an interracial gay couple.[105]

LGBT representation in The Owl House[edit]

During its series run, The Owl House has dropped subtext and hints that several characters, like Luz Noceda and Amity Blight, within the show are LGBTQ+.[106][107] On July 7, 2020, series creator Dana Terrace implied this, when responding to a fan who posted a screenshot from the upcoming episode "Enchanting Grom Fright" on Twitter which showed one of the characters in the show, Amity Blight, putting her hands on the shoulders of Luz Noceda, the show's main protagonist, and looking into Luz's eyes.[108] Claiming "there is no heterosexual explanation" for Amity's action, Terrace responded, "there really isn't".[108] On August 8, 2020, the episode, written by Molly Ostertag,[109] aired, and it featured a scene in which Luz and Amity dance together while casting spells to defeat "Grom," a demon that manifests as their deepest fears. The animation supervisor for the show, Spencer Wan, referred to their intimate dance as "the gay thing"[110] and the first time he got to "do anything even remotely queer.".[111]

LGBT representation on Amazon Video[edit]

In 2017, Amazon Video premiered the animated video series Danger & Eggs, for what would become its only season.[112][113] Even so, it would break barriers with the amount of representation. The show, co-created by a trans woman named Shadi Petosky,[114] was filled with LGBTQ+ characters: a femme "brown-skinned energetic creative" named Reina,[115] a genderqueer character named Milo, who uses they/them pronouns[116][117] Furthermore, the voice of Milo, an agender model named Tyler Ford said their character is an "accurate representation" of them.[115] The show's final episode introduced the dads of Corporate Raider Jim,[116] and a new trans teen, Zadie, who sings about acceptance and helps the series protagonists understand the meaning of a chosen family.[118] Unfortunately, by February 2018, the future of Danger and Eggs was uncertain. As Petosky put it at the time, she felt that the show was in limbo, with the loss of the crew, without "much concern or enthusiasm" about the show, saying it "it just slipped through the cracks."[119] She lamented that the show's fate is up the new executive team on the show and predicted the show would probably be cancelled as a result. In June 2021, the Mayor, a recurring character in the series, was confirmed as a trans woman.[120]

Another Amazon Video series Pete the Cat, premiered in 2017 with a New Years' special. The character Sally Squirrel has two fathers Syd and Sam, both voiced by openly gay actors Jim Parsons and Jesse Tyler Ferguson respectively.[121][120]

In 2019, Amazon Video premiered The Bug Diaries which centers on three young bugs writing diaries. Worm has two mothers Mama Worm and Moma Worm. Mama Worm is voiced by openly lesbian comedian Wanda Sykes.[121][120]

LGBT representation on CBBC[edit]

In November 1994, Byker Grove featured the first gay kiss on UK children's television.[122] It broached the subject of "coming out" when Noddy Fishwick kissed his close friend Gary Hendrix at the back of a cinema. This scene caused outrage in the British tabloids and calls for producer Matthew Robinson to be sacked.[122] However the BBC strongly backed the storyline, which received countrywide support from gay teenagers, many teachers, and parents.[123] The 2004 series saw the character of Bradley agonising over his sexuality and eventually coming out as gay to his girlfriend Sadie, after a romantic holiday together had failed to live up to their expectations.

On 5 January 2013, The Dumping Ground aired an episode that centered around a child, Gus Carmichael (Noah Marullo), being adopted by a same-sex couple. In the episode, it was debated whether or not the couple should be allowed to foster Gus. After the debate, the same-sex couple were able to adopt Gus.[124]

In 2013, creator of The Sarah Jane Adventures, Russell T. Davies, expressed his desire to implement a coming out scene for Luke Smith (Tommy Knight) if the series had continued past the fifth series. A boyfriend for the character, Sanjay, was written but never seen in the series. The idea was suggested by the CBBC network itself, but due to the death of cast member Elisabeth Sladen, the series ended prematurely.[125]

In June 2020, Jamie Johnson character Dillon Simmonds (Patrick Ward) came out as gay, having previously been displayed as heterosexual. The storyline was highlighted for being introduced during pride month.[126] On the storyline, CBBC stated: "Coming out isn't always easy, but by being a supportive ally we can hopefully create a safe space for the people we care about to be themselves".[127]

In July 2020, CBBC aired an episode of The Next Step featuring two teenage girls kissing. Prior to the scene, characters Cleo (Dani Verayo) and Jude (Molly Saunders) were written to confess their feelings for each other, and begin a relationship together.[128] The scene made history as the first same-sex kiss to be aired on the channel.[129] Amidst both praise and criticism, the BBC defend the scene by stating: "CBBC is proud to reflect all areas of children's lives, including age appropriate representation of same sex relationships". Eloise Stonborough of LGBT charity Stonewall described the scenes as "an exciting moment for LGBT representation", and praised the series and CBBC for improving "understanding of what it means to be lesbian" for young viewers of The Next Step.[130] The moment generated over 100 complaints, to which the BBC defended it, saying: "We believe that the storyline, and the kiss, was handled with sensitivity and without sensationalism, following as it did the portrayal of Jude and Cleo's developing relationship and I am afraid we do not agree that it was inappropriate for the audience age".[131]

In August 2020, CBBC transmitted an episode of Mystic where character Caleb Burford (Joshua Tan) comes out as gay to Issie Brown (Macey Chipping). The scene was described as "groundbreaking" by Digital Spy.[132]

LGBT representation on Discovery Family[edit]

Lauren Faust 2014 with SPFF Figures; Faust is the creator of My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic

My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic on Discovery Family had a range of representation as well. It included two characters, Lyra Heartstrings and Sweetie Drops, who propose to one another in the season 9 episode "The Big Mac Question,"[133] and in the series finale, "The Last Problem," they are shown as married in a newspaper clipping.[134] Also, King Sombra is was confirmed by series writers Michael Vogel and Josh Haber as bisexual[135] while Aunt Holiday and Auntie Lofty are aunts to the young pegasus Scootaloo and are her guardians while Scootaloo's parents are away.[36] The pair were identified as a lesbian couple by one of the show runners, Michael Vogel. According to Vogel, he and writers Nicole Dubac and Josh Haber agreed to establish the two in their first appearance in the book as a lesbian couple, though without explicitly stating as such, so that they could establish this within the shown itself. Vogel stated they felt they could show that what elements make up a family is only determined by love, and not traditional roles.[136] The epilogue of the final episode hints that Rainbow Dash and Applejack are a domestic couple. Animation writer John Haber, producer Michael Vogel, and storyboarder Jim Miller said that it is up to fans to interpret whether they are in a relationship, but hinted at it as a possibility.[137][138][139] The official European Spanish My Little Pony Facebook page referred to Big McIntosh as Cheerilee's querido in May 2013,[140] and in March 2016 Lauren Faust confirmed that one character in season 1 of My Little Pony was trans, but never specified which character she was talking about.[141][142] Years later, in May 2019, storyboarder, and show director of My Little Pony: Equestria Girls, Katrina Hadley, expressed her support for "Appledash".[143] A few months later, a storyboarder and co-director of the original My Little Pony series, Jim Miller, confirmed that Marble Pie found a special "somepony" for herself.[144]

In September 2019, My Little Pony: Equestria Girls began showing on YouTube. The show featured Sunset Shimmer, who has an ex-boyfriend, Flash Sentry, and crushes on Twilight "Sci-Twi" Sparkle in the human world. Katrina Hadley, storyboarder, assistant director on My Little Pony Equestria Girls: Legend of Everfree and co-director of Equestria Girls specials, said it was "pretty obvious" Shimmer was bisexual.[145] Apart from Shimmer, Rarity and Applejack were said to be on the edge of becoming a couple. Hadley described their conflict as a "little like a lovers quarrel" and that internally the staff were shipping both characters, opening the door for a romantic reading of both characters.[146][147]

Independent LGBT children's media[edit]

In September 2007, Dottie's Magic Pockets became the first available show for children in gay and lesbian families.[148]

International LGBT children's media[edit]

"Rodney Guy", a segment on the Japanese children's series Ugo Ugo Ruga, which ran from 1992 to 1994, and created by Rodney Alan Greenblat, the artist of PaRappa the Rapper, features same-sex marriages between Wonder Gal and Officer Gal, and Sport Guy and Handy Guy in one sketch.

In 2018, John Hart of Gays With Kids, wrote about how 16 Hudson, which aired on TVOKids beginning in 2018, featured episodes with a character who had two dads.[149]

Notelist[edit]

  1. ^ Chris Sonnenberg stated this in a March 3, 2020 tweet
  2. ^ The Owl House is also mentioned on page 15 of the same report which says "one noteworthy cable series which introduced new queer women characters and made headlines was Disney Channel’s animated family show The Owl House. The August episode “Enchanting Grom Fight” set up the romance between magical students Luz and Amity as they share a dance to defeat a monster, and it is revealed that Amity wanted to ask Luz to the school’s version of prom."

See also[edit]

References[edit]

Citations[edit]

  1. ^ What If I'm Gay?
  2. ^ a b Awards – CBS Schoolbreak Special
  3. ^ GLAAD 2002[permanent dead link]
  4. ^ Lowry, Brian (11 June 2002). "NICKELODEON UNDER FIRE FOR A SPECIAL ON GAY PARENTS". Sun Sentinel. Retrieved 15 April 2018.
  5. ^ "NICKELODEON GETS LOTS OF ATTENTION WITH GAY SPECIAL". The Hollywood Reporter. 25 June 2002.
  6. ^ "Conservative Christian Groups Attack Children's Video". January 21, 2005. Archived from the original on February 23, 2021. Retrieved June 11, 2021.
  7. ^ Stone, Judi; Iranyi, Ralph E. (August 14, 2010). "The Family: a Secretive Christian Fundamentalist Organization". Salem-News.com. Archived from the original on September 8, 2013. Retrieved June 11, 2021.
  8. ^ Sharlet, Jeff (August 12, 2009). "Jeff Sharlet on "The Family: The Secret Fundamentalism at the Heart of American Power"". Democracy Now! (Audiovisual). Interviewed by Amy Goodman. New York: Democracy Now!. Archived from the original on February 21, 2021. Retrieved June 11, 2021.
  9. ^ "Camp cartoon star 'is not gay'". BBC News. October 9, 2002. Archived from the original on April 19, 2020. Retrieved March 29, 2020.
  10. ^ "Camp cartoon star 'is not gay'". The Age. January 29, 2005. Archived from the original on April 25, 2020. Retrieved March 29, 2020.
  11. ^ Ellis, Adam (December 2, 2013). "19 Kids Show Characters Who Were Totally Gay Heroes". BuzzFeed. Archived from the original on March 18, 2020. Retrieved March 29, 2020.
  12. ^ "Foundational Values". Focus on the Family. Archived from the original on October 20, 2020. Retrieved 19 October 2020. . The Bible itself, as the inspired and infallible Word of God that speaks with final authority concerning truth, morality, and the proper conduct of mankind, is the sole and final source of all that we believe.
  13. ^ "A Dozen Major Groups Help Drive the Religious Right's Anti-Gay Crusade". Intelligence Report. Southern Poverty Law Center. April 28, 2005. Archived from the original on February 21, 2021. Retrieved June 11, 2021.
  14. ^ Emmett, Neil (November 20, 2014). "A History of the 'Gay Agenda' in Animation". Cartoon Brew. Archived from the original on March 20, 2020. Retrieved April 25, 2020.
  15. ^ "History of the Anti-Gay Movement Since 1977". Intelligence Report. Southern Poverty Law Center. April 28, 2005. Archived from the original on January 21, 2021. Retrieved June 11, 2021.
  16. ^ Moser, Bob (April 28, 2005). "Anti-Gay Movement Reacts to Decision Overturning Arrest of Two Texas Men for Having Sex". Intelligence Report. Southern Poverty Law Center. Archived from the original on June 2, 2021. Retrieved June 11, 2021.
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