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, anime, 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]

Rick Sanchez Rick and Morty Animated television United States Rick has been stated to be pansexual by Justin Roiland, one of the show's creators and executive producers.[4] This was shown in the third episode of the second season, when Rick connects with Unity, an ex-lover who is a collective hive mind of assimilated individuals from the planet they occupy. Throughout the series, Rick's sexuality has also been heavily hinted at, mostly in his backstory.[5]
Berwald Oxenstierna "Hetalia: Axis Powers" Anime (based on manga) Japan Berwald is confirmed to be a homosexual by the show's creator Hidekaz Himaruya, and had feelings towards his friend Tino. Berwald is also the only character in the show to have a confirmed sexuality.
Crystal Peppers China, IL Animated television United States Crystal is a genuine transgender woman. It was implied she only had top surgery, as she had testicles up until "Coming Out of the Casket", when they're amputated by Steve and placed in a glass jar on his bookcase.
Stephanie Putty Moral Orel Animated television United States Stephanie is a lesbian character who's revealed to have fallen in unrequited love with their old high school best friend, Kim Latchkey. Kim used Stephanie in high school to get Kim's future husband jealous by pretending that she and Stephanie were dating (though Stephanie believed at the time that it was real). Stephanie's father, Reverend Putty, points out that Kim never cared about her and helps his daughter move on from her.[6]
EJ and Sue Randell Clarence Animated television United States EJ and Sue, who were introduced in “Jeff Wins”, the 29th episode of Clarence, are Jeff’s mothers.[7]
Mark "Dion" Jones Braceface Animated television Canada Canon gay male character.[8][9]
Pearl Steven Universe Animated television United States In the episode We Need to Talk, it is made very apparent that Pearl has attraction to another feminine-presenting character by the name of Rose Quartz[10] and has been confirmed by one of the show's writers.[11]
Ruby Steven Universe Animated television United States A member of the Crystal Gems who has a romantic relationship with Sapphire, whom she stays permanently fused with to form Garnet.[12] Also the co-executive producer, Ian Jones-Quartey, has confirmed that, according to human standards and terminology, calling Ruby a non-binary, feminine presenting lesbian would be "a fair assessment".[13]
Sapphire Steven Universe Animated television United States A member of the Crystal Gems who has a romantic relationship with Ruby, whom she stays permanently fused with to form Garnet.[12] Also the co-executive producer, Ian Jones-Quartey, has confirmed that, according to human standards and terminology, calling Sapphire a non-binary, feminine presenting lesbian would be "a fair assessment".[13]
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.[14]
Marceline the Vampire Queen 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.[14]
Mitch Downe ParaNorman Animated feature United States [15][16] 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."[17]
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 have confirmed this as meaning that Gobber is gay.[18][19]
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.[20]
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.[20]
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.[21]
Big Gay Al South Park Animated television United States [22] He is a stereotypical homosexual man known for his flamboyant and positive demeanor.[23]
Jean 6Teen Animated television Canada [24] A one-time character, that was revealed to be a lesbian. When questioned, Jean thought a main character was asking her out. She told her that she was a lesbian, but she had a girlfriend.
Kevin 6Teen Animated television Canada [25] A one-time character, Kevin revealed to be gay. When Kevin leaves his bag in her workplace by mistake a main character, Caitlin, starts to get a crush on him and leaves him a note. It turns out that he's been leaving secret notes for her for a while. Near the end of the episode, they meet and Kevin is disappointed to learn that Caitlin is a girl. Caitlin is confused by his reaction until another character explains that "Kevin plays for the other team", meaning he is gay.
The Alchemist The Venture Bros. Animated television United States [26][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.[27]
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.[28]
Waylon Smithers The Simpsons Animated television United States Smithers is portrayed as a semi-closeted gay man.[28] The season 27 episode "The Burns Cage" had Smithers officially come out as gay.[29]
Michiru Kaioh aka Sailor Neptune Sailor Moon Anime (based on manga) 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.[30]
Haruka Tenoh aka Sailor Uranus Sailor Moon Anime (based on manga 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.[30]
Isabella Yamamoto Paradise Kiss Anime (based on manga) Japan Isabella was assigned male at birth (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."[31]
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.[32]
Mairu and Kururi Orihara Durarara!! Anime Japan Mairu and Kururi, the sisters of the series antagonist Izaya Orihara, are portrayed as openly bisexual characters.
Daley Wong Bubblegum Crisis Anime Japan Daley is a sympathetically presented gay character.[32]
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.[33]
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.[34]
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.[35]
Northstar Uncanny X-Men #120
(first appearance)
Comic book United States Northstar was the first openly gay superhero in the Marvel Comics universe.[36]
Jessie Drake Marvel Comics Presents #150
(first appearance)
Comic book United States Jessie came out as a transgender girl in Marvel Comics Presents #151 and is the first openly transgender character in the Marvel Universe.
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.[37] 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.[38]
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.[39]
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.[40]
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".[41]
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."[42]
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.[43]
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.[44][45]
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,[46] making her the highest profile lesbian in the DC universe.[47]
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.[48]
Iceman (comics) All-New X-Men Comic series United States All New X-Men (#40) contains the pivotal moment where Iceman/Bobby Drake (as a younger version of himself) is informed by Jean Grey that his thoughts reveal his homosexuality. The scene plays out with Bobby wondering why his older self (the one in present-day X-Men comics) dated women for so long; he ponders bi-sexuality before being told, unequivocally, that he is in fact gay.[49]
Kevin Keller (comics) Archie Comics Comic series United States Kevin Keller is a fictional character that first appeared in Archie Comics, Veronica #202. Kevin was first eyed by Veronica who did not realize he was gay. He has since become a part of the gang.[50]
Wiccan and Hulkling Young Avengers Comic series United States Exchanges between Wiccan and Hulkling had led to speculation that the two teens had a much more intimate bond than mere friendship.[51] Allan Heinberg confirmed this speculation, stating that his intent was to reveal the relationship, and he was surprised that his subtle clues were picked up on so quickly. Kieron Gillen showed their relationship explicitly throughout his run on Young Avengers.
America Chavez Young Avengers Comic series United States America Chavez is an openly gay character and was even raised by two mothers. She is also attracted to teammate, Kate Bishop.[52]
Prodigy Young Avengers Comic series United States David is an open bisexual and comes out to Hulkling after kissing him in Young Avengers (2013).
Noh-Varr Young Avengers Comic series United States Noh-Varr has stated that he had experiences with Kree of the same sex at the end of Young Avengers (2013), to which Kate Bishop replied "Am I the only one on the team who is straight?"[53]
Deadpool Marvel Comics Comic series United States Wade Wilson is pansexual.[54]
Anthy Himemiya Revolutionary Girl Utena Anime Japan Anthy is stated to be romantically involved with Utena, another woman, by the director Kunihiko Ikuhara.[55][56] The characters are seen kissing both in the TV show credits and the movie.
Utena Tenjou Revolutionary Girl Utena Anime Japan Utena is stated to be romantically involved with Anthy, another woman, by the director Kunihiko Ikuhara.[55][56] The characters are seen kissing both in the TV show credits and the movie.
Juri Arisugawa Revolutionary Girl Utena Anime Japan Juri is explicitly in love with her female classmate, Shiori, in both the TV series and movie. She is described as "homosexual" by the creators in the DVD booklet.[57]
Sakura Kinomoto and Tomoyo Daidouji Cardcaptor Sakura Anime (based on manga) Japan The creators have stated that the reason that the series protagonist Sakura does not return her friend Tomoyo's feelings is not because Tomoyo is another girl as Sakura does not see gender as barrier for her romantic attraction. She simply doesn't have romantic feelings for Tomoyo in particular.[58] Demonstrating this, Sakura confesses that she has a crush on a female teacher in the series.[59]
Touya Kinomoto and Yukito Tsukishiro Cardcaptor Sakura Anime (based on manga) Japan The creators have confirmed that Yukito and Touya (both male) are a couple.[58] They are stated to be in love within the series itself.[60]
Shuichi Nitori Wandering Son Manga Japan The protagonist of Wandering Son, Shu, is a transgender girl.[61] Shu is attracted to and dates women throughout the series and when she officially comes out as a girl, her girlfriend Anna states "I guess this means I'm a lesbian" [62]
Miyuki Yu Yu Hakusho Anime (based on manga) Japan Miyuki is a character from the manga/anime Yu Yu Hakusho. She is a transgender member of the demon triad, a group of demons warriors that work for the Toguro Brothers. Appearing to be a beautiful young woman, Yusuke discovers while fighting her that she is physically male.[63]
Wolfram von Bielefeld Kyo Kara Maoh! Anime (based on light level) Japan In another dimension called Shin Makoku, love between the same gender is not rare at all. Wolfram became Shibuya Yuuri's accidental fiance after Yuuri slaps him on his left cheek for insulting his mother which actually is a traditional proposal amongst the nobles in Shin Makoku. Although he did not approve of being the Maoh's fiance at first, he changes his mind when Yuuri's demon side kicks his butt in battle. He soon grows very protective over Yuuri, yelling at anyone who comes too close to him. He is especially jealous of Konrad.[64]
Ymir and Krista Lenz Shingeki no Kyojin Anime (based on manga) Japan The official website mentions Ymir is in love with Historia (Krista)[65]

Also at the series panel for Animagic 2014, producer George Wada confirmed that Ymir and Krista are a couple[66]

Zoisite and Kunzite Sailor Moon Anime (based on manga) Japan Zoisite and Kunzite, both powerful generals who work under Queen Beryl from the Dark Kingdom are an openly gay couple in the series.[67]

Though, in some dubs on other countries, Zoisite's gender was changed to female for his feminine appearance and to make them a heterosexual couple instead; and in other dubs, they are changed into brotherly figures because of the closeness of their relationship.

Bucky and Pronk Oryx-Antlerson Zootopia Animated feature United States Bucky and Pronk are an anthropomorphic kudu and oryx respectively, who are loud and argumentative neighbors to main protagonist Judy Hopps. Given their differing species and sharing a hyphenated surname, they have been interpreted as a married same-sex couple.[citation needed]
Howard and Harold McBride The Loud House Animated television United States First appearing in the episode "Overnight Success," Howard and Harold are the fathers of Clyde McBride.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

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