Where to Find Gay and Bisexual Male Characters in Recent Children’s Cartoons: An Incomplete Overview

Where to Find Gay and Bisexual Male Characters in Recent Children’s Cartoons: An Incomplete Overview

It feels like every time two female characters become a couple in a cartoon for children, some people steer the conversation toward gay male characters in animation instead. Specifically, they claim that lesbians and bisexual women are over-represented in fiction compared to gay and bisexual men. In actuality, all kinds of LGBTQ identities are vastly outnumbered by heterosexual and cisgender characters.

As a lifelong fan of cartoons, a number of examples come to mind when others lament a lack of gay and bisexual male characters. They often appear in the same cartoons as lesbian and bisexual female characters: OK K.O.! Let’s Be Heroes, She-Ra and the Princesses of Power, Steven Universe, The Loud House, Twelve Forever, etc. No one’s obligated to watch or enjoy the source material, but people act as if they don’t exist. On one hand, I don’t want to derail news about lesbians. On the other hand, perhaps an informative resource could expand the conversation and prevent bad faith in the future.

Before we get to the list, let’s first establish that LGBTQ creators take precedent over fictional characters, whether they’re out and whether they have LGBTQ characters. In observance of Pride Month and in honor of Black Lives Matter, here are ten openly LGBTQ Black people in animation to start with. You can also find this list at the end of the article.

Now, here it is: an article of just what it says on the tin, created to answer “where are the gay/bi male characters?” in good faith. It’s not about gay and bisexual men behind the scenes, the history of queer-coding, or characters in animation aimed at adults. A little subjective analysis here and there, but aiming to mostly state the facts. As such, these are not recommendations or endorsements. This is not a comprehensive list of every single instance of gay and bisexual male characters in children’s animation, either. It is an overview of patterns within the last decade primarily from the United States, with illustrative examples for each category. (Unfortunately, some examples come from cartoons with allegedly abusive creators. The titles have been marked with an asterisk and you can read the allegations here.) It is incomplete without characters outside the Anglosphere (such as Henri and Masato from Hugtto! Pretty Cure), and does not claim otherwise. Feel free to add your own examples via comments, but please don’t frame it as if they’ve been forgotten or erased.

Censored

Even with the Hays Code retired in 1968, people working behind the scenes of television for children still often adjust to appeal to conservative audiences. In Gravity Falls creator Alex Hirsch’s words, “the truth is they’re scared of getting emails from bigots and they’re cowards. So they’re letting the bigots control the conversation.” Showrunners and crew members have been increasingly open on social media about the limitations they work under and the sacrifices they make.

Sometimes this involves toning down the vision for an episode to accommodate network demands. In the Clarence* episode “Neighborhood Grill” aired in 2014, Ms. Baker assumes Kevin is her blind date until he greets an unnamed man with cheek kisses. Writer Spencer Rothbell confirmed on Twitter that they originally planned for them to kiss on the mouth, but the scene was changed. (Sue and EJ, the lesbian mothers of main character Jeff, also never kiss on-screen.) You can still infer they’re meeting at a restaurant for their own date, but it’s not as obvious. Kevin and his boyfriend appear in later episodes of Clarence, but not at the forefront.

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Clarence

Even in Canada, which legalized same-sex marriage in 2005, gay and bisexual representation may be censored. Daniel Bryan Franklin and Charles Johnston were not allowed to have a gay main character in their Nelvana cartoon Detentionaire, which began development in 2009 and premiered in 2011. According to an interview with Johnson in 2014, the network was “giving [them] a lot of latitude already and said that in this case they weren’t ready for that in a cartoon.” The “latitude” from the network may refer to Detentionaire’s predominantly immigrant and racially diverse cast of characters, or their vision for an overarching story instead of standalone episodes.

In the Background

Network intervention may relegate gay and bisexual expression to unnamed characters or literal backgrounds. In 2020, the 101 Dalmatian Street episode “The DeVil Wears Puppies” has a blink-and-you-miss-it shot of two men about to kiss in the middle of a chase scene. Throughout She-Ra and the Princesses of Power (2018-2020), storyboard artists drew minor characters Kyle and Rogelio close together as a “background ship,” which was embraced by fans and later picked up by the writing staff as well. Background appearances can complement other LGBTQ instances in a series, whether subtextual or clear-cut.

In Montages

Background appearances may overlap with film montages or other scenes involving crowds of characters. The 2016 film Storks has a montage in which storks deliver newborns to numerous parents, including same-gender couples, for example. The 2013 teaser trailer for The BoxTrolls similarly uses the human puppets created for the film to depict various family structures, including a child with two fathers. No such human same-gender parents actually appear in the final film, except for the all-male clan of BoxTrolls that raise a human boy. Although people usually associate the term “queerbaiting” with unrealized romantic tension between characters of the same gender, this certainly qualifies. The trailer promotes a film with same-gender parents to LGBTQ people, only for none to appear (on top of a dissonant transmisgynistic subtext).

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Star Vs. The Forces of Evil

In the Star Vs. The Forces of Evil episode “Just Friends” aired in 2017, a scene of background concert attendees all kissing at once involves same-gender couples. In the final episode of Dawn of the Croods released in 2017, one of the couples who kiss in celebration are two minor character cavemen named Wal and Loo. The final episode of OK K.O.! Let’s Be Heroes from 2019 similarly has a montage of three weddings for couples implied throughout the series, including Nick and Joff (both men). These scenes show couples with different combinations of gender in succession or intermingled. Storks and the BoxTrolls teaser aim to represent beyond the heteronormative nuclear family specifically.

As Allegory

Whether due to network restrictions or creative thinking, allegories for gay and bisexual life can be found in children’s animation. Allegory and other forms of subtext can overlap with “queer-coding,” in which fictional characters come across as LGBTQ based on design or behavior (by accidental or otherwise.) Allegories tend to be intentional with extensive symbolism and resemblance to specific social issues, but also come down to literary interpretation.

The 2014 film Mr. Peabody & Sherman, adapted from the “Peabody’s Improbable History” segments of The Rocky and Bullwinkle Show about a scientist dog and his adopted human assistant, can be interpreted as an allegory for adoption and gay fatherhood. Humans judge Mr. Peabody and Sherman for being father and child, similar to discrimination against any family not biologically related. Sherman’s classmates bully him over his father and accuse him of being a dog, which specifically resembles the myth that gay parents cause their children to become gay through corruption or confusion. In the end Mr. Peabody and Sherman’s neighbors accept them and declare themselves as fellow “dogs” in solidarity, at which point the gay allegory gets awkward.

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The Lego Batman Movie

2017’s The Lego Batman Movie also employs allegory to portray bisexual fatherhood. The Batman franchise has a historic place in gay culture, and this movie is no exception. Rather than pederasty between Batman and Robin (who are adoptive father and son here), the homoerotic subtext lies between Batman and the Joker. Their rivalry operates as if they’re dating, though they disagree on the level of commitment. Robin doesn’t consider the Joker another father, but does have a tongue-in-cheek line about Batman and Bruce Wayne being his two dads (before learning they’re the same person). He’s happy at the idea, which goes against conservative ideas of a child being raised by one father and one mother, though he doesn’t literally have two fathers. Batman also gets flustered around Barbara Gordon, making him ostensibly bisexual, and they settle on being “platonic coworker buddies.” Harley Quinn gives the Joker relationship advice as a friend instead of being his love interest. The emotional climax instead hinges on Batman being emotionally vulnerable in his relationship with the Joker, with a heartfelt “I hate you” instead of a love confession.

As Subtext

The more screen time a character has in a television show, the more opportunities to convey their sexual orientation. For minor characters, this often amounts to subtext (“the unspoken or less obvious meaning or message in a literary composition, drama, speech, or conversation”). A character doesn’t state they’re in love with someone, but their behavior indicates so. The “Warren & Hypno, Sitting in a Tree” episode of The Rise of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles from 2019 pokes fun at subtext in cartoons by emphasizing how much Warren Stone and Hypno-Potamus care for each other without calling them boyfriends. Characters describe Warren as Hypno’s roommate, friend, magical assistant, and “it’s complicated” while they live together, cuddle, say they love each other, kiss on the head, etc.

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Rise of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

Subtext doesn’t exclusively refer to established romantic relationships between characters. The “Future Boy Zoltron” episode of Steven Universe from 2016 looks at Mr. Smiley and Mr. Frowny, who broke up a long time ago, for example. The dissolution of their comedy duo routine resembles a romantic break up, implying they were partners in both senses of the word. They reconcile, but don’t necessarily get back together. Lars and Stevonnie don’t date, but Lars getting flustered over a nonbinary character like Stevonnie in “Alone Together” from 2015 suggests he’s not straight. Male characters in She-Ra also get flustered around other boys–implying they have crushes–from Bow’s fanboying over Seahawk to Kyle emotionally clinging to Bow. In OK K.O., rivals Rad and Raymond call each other “hot” frequently in “Project Ray Way” from 2018. Whether or not they mean fashion sense, OK K.O. has men calling each other attractive without stigma.

OK K.O. features one of the longest running and most elaborate cases of subtext with Lord Boxman and Professor Venomous, the two main antagonists. The show describes their relationship as one of “business partners” while they’re enamored with each other, move in together, co-parent their collective children, live out a family sitcom parody, and even temporarily break up. Like Warren and Hypno, they’re together in every sense without using the words “marriage” or “husband.” Venomous and Boxman’s previous relationships with women place them under the bi umbrella, which doesn’t invalidate their partnership.

Through Word of Gay

Fans use the term “word of gay” to describe when a creator explains their character is LGBTQ outside the source material, such as in interviews or on social media. This can arguably include gay characters in animated adaptations of novels and comics, such as Harold in 2017’s Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie. In the twelfth and final Captain Underpants book published in 2015, Harold meets his future self who is happily married to a man with children. The film and The Epic Tales of Captain Underpants TV series (2018-) have no “indication” of Harold being gay, but they don’t contradict it by adding a female love interest for him either.

Sometimes, word of gay serves to “confirm” subtle portrayals of gay and bisexual men after the fact. The official artbook Steven Universe: Art & Origins published months after “Future Boy Zoltron” describes Mr. Smiley and Mr. Frowny as lovers, for example. In a 2016 charity stream taking questions from fans, Gravity Falls showrunner Alex Hirsch affirmed that the inseparable minor characters Sheriff Blubs and Deputy Durland are a gay couple. After the cancellation of OK K.O.! Let’s Be Heroes, showrunner Ian Jones-Quartey took to Twitter to establish the sexual orientations of some male characters: pansexual Lord Boxman, bisexual Professor Venomous, and fluid Rad. The characters were already clearly interested in men and/or in relationships, but not the specifics.

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Gravity Fall‘s can(n)on couple

“Word of gay” can happen pre-release as well. Before the release of How to Train Your Dragon 2 in 2014, openly gay director Dean DeBlois described minor character Gobber as gay to the press. During the film’s production, Gobber’s voice actor Craig Ferguson ad-libbed a line about “one other reason” he didn’t get married besides potentially bickering with his spouse. DeBlois kept the line to imply Gobber being gay, believing “it’s nice to treat it as just a passing notion that isn’t something that people have to get so up in arms about.” However, the moment goes by so quickly people may not realize Gobber refers to his sexuality at all. As even Entertainment Weekly points out, the audience may assume dragons ate his private parts. It’s hard to say the world of How To Train Your Dragon accepts LGBTQ people when Gobber is the only gay citizen and/or gay marriage is illegal even by the third and final film.

In Short Films

Gay and bisexual male characters can be found outside the mainstream in animated short films. Animation students and graduates often share their projects online, as easy to find as searching “LGBT animated short film” on YouTube. In a Heartbeat (2017), an animated short about a gay boy attempting to hide his crush on a classmate, stands out for its computer generated animation and millions of views on YouTube. In 2015, Hulu released an animated short adaptation of Daniel Errico’s The Greatest Knight Who Ever Lived, a picture book about a knight who chooses to marry a prince instead of a princess. Unlike other Hulu originals, watching the short does not require a Hulu subscription.

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In a Heartbeat

Disney and Pixar have also recently produced Out, an animated short about a gay man hiding his relationship from his parents, through their SparkShorts program. Pixar has acknowledged its LGBTQ employees in the past, such as an “It Gets Better” video for the Trevor Project in 2010, but has only started releasing films with LGBTQ characters in 2020 with Onward. Unlike theatrical Pixar shorts or early SparkShorts films, Pixar released Out exclusively on Disney+ behind a subscription paywall.

As Side Characters

Whether notable one-off appearances or scattered throughout episodes, definitive gay and bisexual men can be found as side characters. Animated TV shows introduce characters in the background and build up to focus episodes regardless of sexuality, such as the citizens of Beach City in Steven Universe. If a TV show ends prematurely, they may not get to all the characters they wanted to spotlight.

As previously mentioned, Kevin and his boyfriend appear intermittently in Clarence, while the audience knows they’re gay from “Neighborhood Grill.” Terry and Alexander, who have been confirmed a couple by writer Chris Houghton, similarly appear in Big City Greens as part of the rotating populace of the city. In “Valentine’s Dance” aired in 2019, Cricket points to them as an example of “dudes enjoying boy stuff, having friend adventures forever” while they dance and blush together. The riff on the “guys being dudes” Vine (which LGBTQ people jokingly quote to describe homoeroticism in real life) makes Cricket the butt of the joke for thinking romance and hanging out with boys are mutually exclusive. Nick Army and Joff the Shaolin Monk appear together in the locale of OK K.O., including dancing with each other in “Plaza Prom” and as a parody of Edward Scissorhands in “Plaza Film Festival,” culminating in an episode dedicated to them and an on-screen wedding.

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OK K.O.! Let’s Be Heroes

While some side characters have recurring appearances, some have fewer. In the Summer Camp Island episode “Feeling Spacey” from 2018, Oscar and Hedgehog visit a planet where the inhabitants aren’t obviously gendered, with the exception of their king (i.e. a male ruler). Another alien named Puddle referred to “they” confesses their secret love to the King in song (surrounded by rainbows, no less). The King returns their feelings, which saves the day and returns all emotion to their planet. Puddle and the King alone, i.e. as a couple, reappear in the season two episode “Space Invasion” to visit Oscar.

As Mentors

Some gay and bisexual side characters serve as mentors or role models to the main characters, such as Mack and Beefhouse in Twelve Forever* from 2019. For protagonist Reggie who doesn’t believe in love due to her parents’ messy divorce, Mack and Beefhouse provide an example of a loving couple who openly communicate with each other to resolve conflict. Reggie and her friends look up to them as individuals and as a power couple. The “Be a Team” episode of OK K.O. from 2018 similarly uses Nick and Joff as an example of healthy relationships to K.O. and friends. Nick and Joff tell each other “I love you” as an example of team-building and go home together holding hands, implying they’re life partners as well as teammates.

In 2019, the 22nd season of Arthur opened on Mr. Ratburn getting married to a chocolatier named Patrick with “Mr. Ratburn and the Special Someone.” Anyone marrying their strict teacher surprises Arthur and friends, regardless of gender. It marks the first time the Arthur franchise has directly acknowledged LGBTQ people since the “Sugartime!” episode of Postcards from Buster from 2005. Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings pulled “Sugartime!” from local Public Broadcasting Service stations and threatened to withdraw federal funding from PBS for the episode’s positive portrayal of married lesbian mothers in Vermont. Some PBS stations aired the episode, but the controversy kept Arthur away from LGBTQ issues for years. Returning with a gay elementary school teacher rebukes Margaret Spellings and everyone who opposes LGBTQ people in education.

As Parents

Specifically, side characters may be parents of an established character. In 2016, the press promoted the “Overnight Success” episode of The Loud House* as having the first interracial gay parents in animation (on Nickelodeon). Howard and Harold McBride appear briefly to drop off their son Clyde to his first ever sleepover. Howard and Harold McBride have since appeared in multiple episodes about their son Clyde (one of the main characters and best friend to protagonist Lincoln), characterized by their over-protectiveness as fathers.

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The Loud House

More gay and bisexual fathers in children’s animation have followed since “Overnight Success,” whether recurring characters or exclusive to one episode. Examples include a pair of ghostly fathers in “Ghost the Boy” of Summer Camp Island from 2018, husbands Ethari and Runaan who raised Rayla as foreshadowed in the first season of The Dragon Prince* and featured in the 2019 episode “Ghost,” villainous step-fathers Lord Boxman and Professor Venomous of OK K.O.! Let’s Be Heroes (2017-2019), Violet and Lena’s fathers Ty and Indy introduced in the DuckTales episode “Challenge of the Senior Junior Woodchucks!” from 2020, and Mira’s adoptive fathers revealed in the second season of The Hollow (2018-).

Parent characters are a staple of children’s animation, as the main characters are almost always kids living with their parents. Children’s animation also rarely has romance at the forefront–especially the younger the demographic and characters–which often leaves parents as the only couples to be found. Parents are a common form of representing gay and bisexual men as a result, though some viewers find it repetitive. Children’s animation has a history of two male characters raising a child together (Drake and Launchpad in Darkwing Duck, Timon and Pumbaa in The Lion King, Tuddrussel and Larry 3000 in Time Squad, etc.), which used to be one of the closest things to finding gay and bisexual men. In a way, such characters honor and legitimize that legacy. More importantly, inclusion of same-gender parents defies conservative beliefs against them.

The “Reunion” episode of She-Ra from 2019 has one of the more layered portrayals of same-gender parents. She-Ra takes place in a fantastical world without concepts like gay or straight, but still conveys LGBTQ themes. “Reunion” combines introducing Lance and George as Bow’s fathers with an allegory for coming out of the closet. In lieu of closeted LGBTQ people, Bow keeps being a Rebellion soldier and ally to Princesses secret from his family. Lance and George have no heteronormative pressures on their son, but assume he’ll inherit the family library and keep up their scholarly tradition. Bow worries about not being the well-behaved librarian his fathers expect and keeps his “real self” hidden in fear of rejection, but they accept him when the truth comes out.

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She-Ra and the Princesses of Power

The Bravest Knight TV series (2019-), as seen in the header of this article, has Cedric as its main character in a notable exception to fathers as side characters. Taking place after the original picture book and animated short, Sir Cedric and his husband Prince Andrew raise their daughter Nia with stories of how Cedric became a knight. Each episode combines representing gay children and adults by opening and ending on Cedric and Andrew as adults, with flashbacks to Cedric’s childhood taking up most of the runtime. Openly gay actors T. R. Knight and Wilson Cruz voice Cedric and Andrew respectively.

Through Coming Out

Coming out scenes are the “clearest” way to convey a character is gay or bisexual. In 2012’s ParaNorman, minor character Mitch doesn’t quite come out as gay, but says he has a boyfriend all the same. He’s oblivious to Courtney’s flirting throughout the film, and she finally realizes why when he mentions his boyfriend at the very end. Audience reactions to Mitch being gay put ParaNorman’s message to not judge nor bully others to the test.

In the Kipo and the Age of Wonderbeasts episode “Ratland” from 2020, Kipo confesses she likes Benson and he comes out as gay. Kipo gets embarrassed for misreading his signals, but takes it well and they remain friends. In the second season of The Hollow from 2020, protagonist Adam comes out as gay to his friends Kai and Mira in the episode “Hollow Games.” His coming out follows foreshadowing in the first season from 2018: Adam brushing off the assumption he likes Mira, being disinterested in Vanessa in contrast to Kai’s infatuation, etc.

In all three cases, other characters mistake the boys for straight and they come out to clear up any misunderstanding. Although it creates an opportunity to establish a character’s identity that feels “natural,” they arguably center heteronormative society instead of their relationships with other boys. With Kipo and The Hollow continuing, it remains to be seen how and if Benson and Adam being gay will be relevant in the shows going forward.

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Kipo and the Age of Wonderbeasts

As Main Characters

Benson and Adam are lead characters in their respective shows, unlike Mitch. Gay and bisexual main characters can also be found in The Bravest Knight, Voltron: Legendary Defender, and Young Justice Outsiders though they don’t have coming out scenes.

Yes, it’s time to talk about Voltron: Legendary Defender (2016-2018) and Shiro, its gay main character. In June of 2018, San Diego Comic Con screened the first episode of Voltron’s seventh season ahead of its Netflix release on August 10th. In “A Little Adventure,” a flashback shows a tense conversation between Shiro and a new character named Adam about the former’s future as a pilot. Audience members audibly picked up on the subtext of Adam’s concern, and showrunner Lauren Montgomery confirmed them once being significant others. Shiro falls under the mentor character category as the original leader of Team Voltron and an aspirational figure to his fellow Paladins, while Adam is a side character. Adam later dies in “The Last Stand, Part 2” and Shiro marries another minor male character in “The End is the Beginning,” both episodes from 2018.

While fans and critics initially celebrated Shiro being gay, they later criticized Voltron for the death of Adam. Shiro remains a main cast member, but the combination of a “bury your gays” storyline and Voltron’s tendency to kill off dark-skinned characters soured many fans toward the show. Voltron uses Shiro, its only confirmed LGBTQ character, in a history-making gay wedding scene in which he kisses his husband. However, it also has Shiro misgender a queer-coded alien with a joke in the vein of “did you just assume my gender?” in “Clear Day.” Overall, the cons may outweigh the pros.

As for Young Justice, showrunner Greg Weisman describes Kaldur as bisexual. Indeed, Kaldur has a female love interest named Tula in the first two seasons and a boyfriend named Wyynde in Outsiders (season three). Sexual orientation and identity cannot be assumed from the dating history of real people, but writing a fictional character’s interest in multiple genders across time can “code” them as bisexual. Weisman credits the transition from TV to subscription streaming for “more freedom and more flexibility to write the character the way we wanted to.” Kaldur and Wyynde refer to each other as partners and appear together multiple times, including a reunion kiss in “Quiet Conversations” from 2019.

kaldurwyynde
Young Justice Outsiders

Technically Kaldur, Shiro, and Adam are all members of a central team in TV shows without a singular protagonist. The vast number of Young Justice characters and rotating lineups make “main characters” difficult to determine, but Kaldur counts as one based on his role as leader and a founding member of the Team. As of Outsiders, Kaldur leads the Justice League but still collaborates with the Team. The number of episodes featuring Kaldur have decreased since leaving the Team, whereas permanent founding members Dick and Connor have not. With that in mind, Kaldur could no longer be considered a main character by the confirmation of his bisexuality, but will be included as a bisexual lead for the purposes of this article.

With the exception of Cedric in The Bravest Knight, all the above characters are notably not white. The Bravest Knight has a gay man of color in its main cast with Prince Andrew, though he is not the protagonist. Other shows have one confirmed LGBTQ character and multiple characters of color in the central cast (Artemis in Young Justice, Hunk in Voltron, etc.). Some have minor LGBTQ characters of color (Wyynde, one of Mira’s fathers, etc.) Gay and bisexual leads overall appear in shows with racially and ethnically diverse characters (which does not necessarily reflect the voice cast or crew members).

In the Future

Animation has a long development and production process. For all we know, more characters are on the way. With lack of behind the scenes knowledge, I can’t definitively say where representation will go in the future. There are certainly roadblocks to inclusion (censorship, homophobia, etc.), some of which people like me outside the industry don’t even know.

With that said, I personally predict that gay and bisexual male characters will increase in number and prominence the same way female characters have in the last five years. Male characters currently appear in similar numbers and patterns to lesbian and bisexual female characters from 2013 to 2015: subtext eventually confirmed (Princess Bubblegum and Marceline in Adventure Time), parents of major characters (Sue and EJ in Clarence), allegory (stigma against Garnet for being a fusion in Steven Universe), the occasional main couple (Korra and Asami in The Legend of Korra), etc. Representation of lesbian and bi women increased over time, propelled by lesbian and bi women working in animation. Openly bisexual Steven Universe creator Rebecca Sugar has described the development as “in 2011, it was impossible and it has become possible over the last many years of working really hard to do this.”

Steven Universe caused a ripple effect on LGBTQ representation in children’s animation, including gay and bisexual male characters. Ian Jones-Quartey and Toby Jones, showrunners of OK K.O., “owe a huge debt to [Steven Universe] in terms of pushing through not just representation, but the idea of getting to be honest about a character and who these characters are and what they would do” (quotation edited for clarity). Gravity Falls creator Alex Hirsch also cites Steven Universe as an example of when “a creator or a network decides to try to go a little further and do something maybe other networks have been scared to do, suddenly we’ve opened up that space.”

With any luck, gay and bisexual men working in children’s animation will steer projects and bring about characters the way Rebecca Sugar, Chris Nee, Noelle Stevenson, Dana Terrace, and more have. That’s not to say gay and bi men aren’t already out there; they are. There’s openly gay Hamish Steele’s upcoming project to look forward too, for one. That’s not to say gay and bi men are obligated to create with LGBTQ characters and themes, either. Nico Colaleo is an openly bi showrunner, whether or not Too Loud! (2017-) or Ollie & Scoops (2019-) have bi male characters.

Before You Go

As much as this article focuses on fictional characters, uplifting creators takes precedent (without forcing or pressuring people to come out of the closet). In observance of Pride Month and in honor of Black Lives Matter, here are ten openly LGBTQ Black people (according to interviews, tweets about their identity, pride flags in profiles, etc.) in animation to check out:

2 thoughts on “Where to Find Gay and Bisexual Male Characters in Recent Children’s Cartoons: An Incomplete Overview

  1. Forefather shoutout to Richie from Static Shock (based on a minor gay character from the comic upgraded to main sidekick in the cartoon, confirmed as closeted after cancellation due to censorship) and Lexington from Gargoyles (confirmed after cancellation, had a boyfriend in the comics continuation of the series, though they got a lot less on-page affection/progression in their relationship than het couples).

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