List of LGBT characters in animation and graphic art

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This article is about animated characters. For live-action characters, see List of LGBT characters in film. For TV characters, see List of LGBT characters in television and radio.

The following is a list of LGBT characters in animation. This list includes notable gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender fictional characters in animated feature films, animated shows, manga, comic series, and graphic novels.

Harry Benshoff and Sean Griffin write that animation has always "hint[ed] at the performative nature of gender" such as when Bugs Bunny puts on a wig and a dress, he is a rabbit in drag as a human male who is in drag as a female.[1] In the 1950s, American comic books, under the Comics Code Authority, adopted the Comic Code which, under the guise of preventing "perversion", largely prevented the presentation of LGBT characters for a number of decades.[2]

Within the Japanese anime and manga, yaoi is the tradition of representing same-sex male relationships in materials that are generally created by women artists and marketed mostly for Japanese girls [3] while the genre known as yuri focuses on relationships between women.

LGBT characters[edit]

Character Show / Series Media Country of origin Notes
Pearl Steven Universe Animated television United States In the third Steven Bomb, it is made even more apparant that Pearl has attraction to another female character by the name of Rose [4] and has been confirmed by one of the show's writers.[5]
Princess Bubblegum Adventure Time Animated television United States On August 7, 2014, at a Barnes & Noble book signing for Martin Olson's book The Adventure Time Encyclopædia, Olivia Olson confirmed that Marceline and Princess Bubblegum had dated; which can explain their rivalry and why they had trouble getting along with the other in the past. Since the show airs in some countries where same-sex relationships are illegal, Marceline and Princess Bubblegum's relationship cannot be depicted on the TV series. Olivia stated that their relationship may be mentioned in the upcoming book, but had no further statements regarding the two.[6]
Marceline the Vampire Queen Adventure Time Animated television United States On August 7th, 2014, at a Barnes & Noble book signing for Martin Olson's book The Adventure Time Encyclopædia, Olivia Olson confirmed that Marceline and Princess Bubblegum had dated; which can explain their rivalry and why they had trouble getting along with the other in the past. Since the show airs in some countries where same-sex relationships are illegal, Marceline and Princess Bubblegum's relationship cannot be depicted on the TV series. Olivia stated that their relationship may be mentioned in the upcoming book, but had no further statements regarding the two.[7]
Mitch Downe ParaNorman Animated feature United States [8][9] Co-director Chris Butler said that the character's sexual orientation was explicitly connected with the film's message: "If we’re saying to anyone that watches this movie don’t judge other people, then we’ve got to have the strength of our convictions."[10]
Gobber the Belch How To Train Your Dragon 2 Animated feature United States Voice actor Craig Ferguson ad-libbed a line in which he mentions that he never got married for an undisclosed reason. Ferguson and director Dean DeBlois has said that it meant that Gobber is gay.[11][12]
Korra The Legend of Korra Animated television United States Was romantically involved with Mako in seasons 1 and 2, and in the 4th season's finale of the show started a relationship with Asami Sato. The creators confirmed her bisexuality.[13]
Asami Sato The Legend of Korra Animated television United States Was romantically involved with Mako in seasons 1 and 2, and in the 4th season's finale of the show started a relationship with Korra. The creators confirmed her bisexuality.[13]
Herbert Garrison (formerly Janet Garrison) South Park Animated television United States Originally presented as a closeted homosexual, the storylines have featured Garrison coming out as a gay man, then having a sex operation to become female (known as Janet Garrison), while female becoming a lesbian, then having another operation to become male again.[14]
Big Gay Al South Park Animated television United States [15] He is a stereotypical homosexual man known for his flamboyant and positive demeanor.[16]
The Alchemist The Venture Bros. Animated television United States [17][non-primary source needed] He is in an on-again, off-again relationship with Shore Leave.
Ray Gillette Archer Animated television United States Ray is shown as a gay man who likes having sex.[18]
Bug Gribble King of the Hill Animated television United States Dale Gribble's father, Bug Gribble has come out and participates in the gay rodeo circuit.[19]
Waylon Smithers The Simpsons Animated television United States Smithers is portrayed as a semi-closeted gay man.[19]
Michiru Kaioh aka Sailor Neptune Sailor Moon Japan Was in a relationship with Sailor Uranus. This was changed in the English version of the anime, where they were made 'cousins.' In the re-release of the original anime, the English version keeps their lesbian relationship.[20]
Haruka Tenoh aka Sailor Uranus Sailor Moon Japan Was in a relationship with Sailor Neptune. This was changed in the English version of the anime, where they were made 'cousins.' In the re-release of the original anime, the English version keeps their lesbian relationship.[20]
Isabella Yamamoto Paradise Kiss Anime (based on manga) Japan Isabella was born male (named Daisuke), but lives as a female. Robin Brenner calls the character "one of the most realistic and accepting portrayals of a transgender character in manga."[21]
Alielle Relryle El-Hazard Anime Japan Alielle is presented as a comical character who makes other women uncomfortable because of her open attraction to them.[22]
Daley Wong Bubblegum Crisis Anime Japan Daley is a sympathetically presented gay character.[22]
Robbie and Larry Crapston Villas Stop-motion animation England The series was one of the first animated series on British television to present openly gay characters.[23]
Thomas Werner, Julusmole Bayhan ("Juli" or "Yuli"), Eric Fruehling Thomas no Shinzō Manga Japan Set in a German boys boarding school, the story relates how, after Thomas' suicide, an upper classman, Yuri, finds a love letter Thomas wrote to him, and then meets a new student, Eric, who looks just like Thomas.[24]
Mo Testa Dykes to Watch Out For Comic strip United States Mo is a semi-autobiographical representation of the creator Alison Bechdel who started the strip in because she wanted to see representations of her life that were not available in the media at the time.[25]
Northstar Uncanny X-Men #120
(first appearance)
Comic book United States Northstar was the first openly gay superhero in the Marvel Comics universe.[26]
Norbert Brommer and Walter "Waltraud" Der bewegte Mann and Pretty Baby: Der bewegte Mann 2 Comic Germany In the series created by Ralf König, Norbert gets a crush on Axel Feldheim, a man who begins questioning his sexuality after breaking up with his girlfriend. the Der bewegte Mann comics became some of the most popular comics in Germany during the 1980s.[27] Norbert's flamboyant friend Walter goes by the feminine version "Waltraud".
Patty Bouvier The Simpsons Animated television United States The character Patty officially came out in the episode "There's something about Marrying" which was one of the episodes that carried the occasional warning of content that might be unsuitable for children.[25]
Saddam Hussein South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut / South Park Animated film,
animated television
United States Within South Park series and film Saddam Hussein is presented as a gay man. He is shown having a relationship with Satan in hell where Hussein wants a more sexual relationship but Satan wants an emotionally fulfilling partner.[28]
Hothead Paisan Hothead Paisan:Homicidal Lesbian Terrorist Comic strip United States Created by Diane DiMassa, Hothead Paaisan's presentation was cathartic to lesbians, but so graphically violent that the strip was banned in Canada.[29]
Brother Ken bro'Town Animated television New Zealand Brother Ken is the principal of the school and is fa'afafine a Samoan concept for a third gender, a person who is born biologically male but is raised and sees themself as female. Because the concept does not readily translate, when the series was broadcast on Cartoon Network Latin America, a decision was made not to translate Samoan words and just present them as part of the "cultural journey".[30]
Andy Lippincott Doonsbury Comic strip United States Andy Lippincott was the first openly gay character to appear in a mainstream comic strip in 1976.[2]
Jasper Family Guy Animated television United States Jasper is a dog who is Brian Griffin's gay cousin. Jasper marries his partner Ricardo in the episode "You May Now Kiss the... Uh... Guy Who Receives."[31]
Terry Bates, Greg Corbin American Dad Animated television United States Life partners
Rick and Steve,
Dana and Kristen
Rick & Steve: The Happiest Gay Couple in All the World Animated television United States / Canada A stop motion animation program from Logo TV. During the series, Rick and Steve have a baby with the lesbian couple Dana and Kristen.[32]
Jolene Gertrude Rodriguez aka Tomato "Mad Dog" Rodriguez Flaming Iguanas,
They Call Me Mad Dog!,
Hoochie Mama
Illustrated graphic novels United States The works by Erika Lopez follow the adventures of Tomato Rodriguez, a bisexual Puerto Rican American woman.[33][34]
Kate Kane as Batwoman 52 (#7) Comic series United States When DC Comics rebooted their universe with the series 52 in 2006, they reintroduced Batwoman as Kate Kane and identified her as a lesbian,[35] making her the highest profile lesbian in the DC universe.[36]
Holly Robinson Catwoman vol. 3 #1 (issue where her open lesbian identity begins) Comic series United States Holly Robinson is a friend of Catwoman and was one of the few openly lesbian characters in the early 2000s DC world.[37]
Him The Powerpuff Girls Animated television United States The villain known as Him, portrayed as a cross-dressing devil wearing high heels and fishnet hose with a computer modified falsetto voice, was identified in the Huffington Post as "The Most Disturbing Villain In Cartoon History".[38]
Ranma Saotome Ranma ½ Manga Japan Ranma falls into a cursed spring which causes him to turn into a female every time he is splashed with cold water and remain as such until he is doused with hot water.[39]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Harry Benshoff; Sean Griffin (2005-10-13). Queer Images: A History of Gay and Lesbian Film in America. Rowman & Littlefield Publishers. pp. 74–. ISBN 9780742568570. Retrieved 1 January 2015. 
  2. ^ a b Booker, M. Keith (2010-05-11). Encyclopedia of Comic Books and Graphic Novels [2 volumes]: [Two Volumes]. ABC-CLIO. pp. 246–. ISBN 9780313357473. Retrieved 2 January 2015. 
  3. ^ Publishing, Here (2003-10-14). The Advocate. Here Publishing. pp. 86–. Retrieved 1 January 2015. 
  4. ^ http://www.avclub.com/tvclub/steven-universe-we-need-talk-220984
  5. ^ https://twitter.com/mcburnett/status/611651923100307456
  6. ^ http://www.buzzfeed.com/skarlan/adventure-time-actor-confirms-princess-bubblegum-and-marceli#.gtkjdoAX4
  7. ^ http://www.buzzfeed.com/skarlan/adventure-time-actor-confirms-princess-bubblegum-and-marceli#.gtkjdoAX4
  8. ^ French, Nancy (August 22, 2012). "ParaNorman Has Gay Sub-Plot". National Review. 
  9. ^ Ryan, Mike (August 13, 2012). "'ParaNorman': The Movie You May Not Be Planning To See, Though You Should". The Huffington Post. 
  10. ^ "The Film Strip: ‘ParaNorman’ Says You Can be Weird but Bullying is Not Ok.". Eurweb.com. Retrieved January 7, 2013. 
  11. ^ "'How To Train Your Dragon 2' Character Gobber The Belch Will Come Out As Gay". The Huffington Post. Retrieved 26 December 2014. 
  12. ^ "'How to Train Your Dragon 2': Is Gobber really gay? -- SPOILERS". EW.com. Retrieved 26 December 2014. 
  13. ^ a b Konietzko, Bryan. "Korrasami Is Canon.". Co-Creator's Blog. Tumblr. Retrieved 22 December 2014. 
  14. ^ Thompson, Dave (2014-08-01). South Park FAQ: All That's Left to Know About The Who, What, Where, When and #%$ of America's Favorite Mountain Town. Applause Theatre & Cinema Books. pp. 78–. ISBN 9781495002076. Retrieved 31 December 2014. 
  15. ^ Director: Trey Parker (uncredited) Writers: Trey Parker/Matt Stone (September 3, 1997). "Big Gay Al's Big Gay Boat Ride". South Park. Season 1. Episode 4. Comedy Central. 
  16. ^ Weinstock, Jeffrey Andrew (2008-09-11). Taking South Park Seriously. SUNY Press. pp. 155–. ISBN 9780791475669. Retrieved 31 December 2014. 
  17. ^ Director: (Jackson Publick) Writer: (Doc Hammer) (September 3, 2006). "Fallen Arches". The Venture Brothers. Season 2. Episode 21. Adult Swim. 
  18. ^ Lambe, Stacy. "10 Qs: With Archer's Ray Gillette on Sochi, Beyonce & Rent Boys | Out Magazine". Out.com. Here Media Inc. Retrieved 26 December 2014. 
  19. ^ a b Johnson, Jo. ""We'll Have a Gay Old Time!": Queer Representation in American Prime-Time Animation from the Cartoon Short to the Family Sitcom.". In Ellidge, Jim. Queers in American Popular Culture. Praeger, ©2010. pp. 255–280. ISBN 9780313354571. 
  20. ^ a b "Sailor Neptune and Uranus Come Out of the Fictional Closet". The Huffington Post. Retrieved 26 December 2014. 
  21. ^ Brenner, Robin E. (2007-06-30). Understanding Manga and Anime. Greenwood Publishing Group. pp. 99–. ISBN 9780313094484. Retrieved 31 December 2014. 
  22. ^ a b Poitras, Gilles (2001). Anime Essentials: Every Thing a Fan Needs to Know. Stone Bridge Press, Inc. pp. 49–. ISBN 9781880656532. Retrieved 31 December 2014. 
  23. ^ Norris, Van (2014-08-01). British Television Animation 1997-2010: Drawing Comic Tradition. Palgrave Macmillan. pp. 221–. ISBN 9781137330949. Retrieved 31 December 2014. 
  24. ^ Duggan, Anne E. (2013-10-15). Queer Enchantments: Gender, Sexuality, and Class in the Fairy-Tale Cinema of Jacques Demy. Wayne State University Press. pp. 115–. ISBN 9780814338544. Retrieved 31 December 2014. 
  25. ^ a b Elledge, Jim (2010). Queers in American Popular Culture. ABC-CLIO. pp. 1–. ISBN 9780313354571. Retrieved 1 January 2015. 
  26. ^ Misiroglu, Gina (2012-04-01). The Superhero Book: The Ultimate Encyclopedia of Comic-Book Icons and Hollywood Heroes. Visible Ink Press. pp. 112–. ISBN 9781578593958. Retrieved 1 January 2015. 
  27. ^ Gordon, Ian; Jancovich, Mark; McAllister, Matthew P. (2007). Film and Comic Books. Univ. Press of Mississippi. pp. 222–. ISBN 9781578069781. Retrieved 1 January 2015. 
  28. ^ Runions, Erin (2014-03-01). The Babylon Complex: Theopolitical Fantasies of War, Sex, and Sovereignty. Fordham University Press. pp. 185–. ISBN 9780823257362. Retrieved 1 January 2015. 
  29. ^ Charney, Maurice (2005). Comedy: A Geographic and Historical Guide. Greenwood Publishing Group. pp. 129–. ISBN 9780313327148. Retrieved 1 January 2015. 
  30. ^ Johnson, Derek; Kompare, Derek; Santo, Avi (2014-08-01). Making Media Work: Cultures of Management in the Entertainment Industries. NYU Press. pp. 57–. ISBN 9780814764558. Retrieved 1 January 2015. 
  31. ^ Watson, Jamie Carlin; Arp, Robert (2011-07-26). What's Good on TV: Understanding Ethics Through Television. John Wiley & Sons. pp. 182–. ISBN 9781444343014. Retrieved 2 January 2015. 
  32. ^ Clarke, Victoria; Ellis, Sonja J.; Peel, Elizabeth; Damien W. Riggs (2010-04-01). Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Queer Psychology: An Introduction. Cambridge University Press. pp. 276–. ISBN 9781139487238. Retrieved 2 January 2015. 
  33. ^ 2-3, EPUB. Encyclopedia of Hispanic-American Literature, Second Edition. Infobase Learning. pp. 327–. ISBN 9781438140605. Retrieved 2 January 2015. 
  34. ^ Smith, Sidonie; Watson, Julia (2002). Interfaces: Women, Autobiography, Image, Performance. University of Michigan Press. pp. 406–. ISBN 9780472068142. Retrieved 2 January 2015. 
  35. ^ BRYAN ROBINSON (June 1, 2006). "Holy Lipstick Lesbian! Meet the New Batwoman". ABC News (American Broadcasting Company). Retrieved 2 January 2015. 
  36. ^ Booker, M. Keith (2014-10-30). Comics through Time: A History of Icons, Idols, and Ideas [4 volumes]. ABC-CLIO. pp. 1512–. ISBN 9780313397516. Retrieved 2 January 2015. 
  37. ^ Bajac-Carter, Maja; Jones, Norma; Batchelor, Bob (2014-03-14). Heroines of Comic Books and Literature: Portrayals in Popular Culture. Rowman & Littlefield Publishers. pp. 166–. ISBN 9781442231481. Retrieved 2 January 2015. 
  38. ^ Lauren Duca (2013-11-18). "Definitive Proof HIM Is The Most Disturbing Villain In Cartoon History". The Huffington Post. Retrieved 2 January 2015. 
  39. ^ Camp, Brian; Davis, Julie (2007-08-01). Anime Classics Zettai!: 100 Must-See Japanese Animation Masterpieces. Stone Bridge Press. pp. 301–. ISBN 9781933330228. Retrieved 7 January 2015.