From Peppa Pig to The Simpsons: The 9 best cartoons for LGBT representation
LGBT+ representation is rife in the animated world of cartoons, from queer characters in The Simpsons to Rocko’s Modern Life: Static Cling‘s sensitively handled transgender storyline.
Even the most nostalgic and oldest children’s shows are becoming trailblazers for on-screen mainstream LGBT+ inclusivity and frankly, PinkNews are here for it.
Here are the best LGBT cartoons to get loud and proud about.
1. The Simpsons
Celebrating its 30th birthday this year, it’s arguably the most iconic cartoon out there.
Throughout its 29 seasons, the show has not been without controversy, striking criticism for insensitive queer caricatures.
However, we aren’t putting Matt Groening’s head on the chopping block just yet because in the episode ‘Homer’s Phobia’, Homer embarked on a journey of inclusive enlightenment and ended up becoming a gay ally.
Plus, filmmaker and gay icon John Waters made a guest appearance which (almost) makes up for the questionable depiction of Waylon Smithers.
2. Steven Universe
This adored animation from Cartoon Network has an inclusive quirky universe of gem-people.
The most ground-breaking LGBT+ storyline being the love of Ruby and Sapphire, an adorable lesbian couple that brought about the first same-sex proposal and same-sex wedding on a mainstream children’s show.
Producer Rebecca Sugar didn’t stop there – the character Garnet is made entirely from the strong, bad-ass power of lesbian love.
3. Rocko’s Modern Life: Static Cling
Rocko’s Modern Life is a 90s classic that has had a recent but fleeting comeback in a one-episode special for Netflix with a ‘woke’ twist.
When the recent episode graced us with a sensitively handled transgender storyline of Ralph leaving home to become Rachel, our hearts were full.
Rachel returns home and confronts her parents about her decision dropping the line: “I’m not your son, I’m your daughter and I’m finally happy.”
No, we weren’t crying, you were!
4. Adventure Time
The Land of Ooo might be filled with evil but it is also brimming with LGBT+ inclusivity.
Another Cartoon Network series, this show told the difficult lesbian love story between Princess Bubblegum and Marceline.
Just like most real-life lesbian love stories, the pair took a long time to admit their love for each other but finally, the fans got that long-awaited kiss.
Airing first in 1996, Arthur has entertained generations of children but, in its premiere episode of the 22nd season, producers decided to fly the rainbow flag.
The episode was titled ‘Mr Ratburn and the Special Someone’, making everybody’s favourite teacher/cake lover a gay icon!
They took it a step further, showing the most adorable wedding to Mr Ratburn’s husband Patrick.
All that’s left to do is celebrate the holy matrimony – with cake of course.
6. She-Ra and the Princesses of Power
Ever since its release date, She-Ra and the Princesses of Power presented us with big gay energy.
The show has never shied away from telling beautiful queer narratives or focused plots around the problems of toxic masculinity.
But the show became a whole lot gayer in season two when it was revealed that Bow, one of the main characters, has two dads.
Not only was the depiction perfect capturing the dads as openly proud and loving, but it was also a moment of needed representation of queer people of colour in cartoons.
7. The Legend of Korra
The sequel series to one of the most loved animated series ever, The Legend of Korra disappointed cartoon-loving queers as it took a long time to become LGBT+ inclusive.
It took up until the last minute of the last episode to be exact.
Fans sigh a breath of relief as their beloved Korra breaks the love triangle choosing the girl, Asami over the boy, Mako.
8. BoJack Horseman
Of course, we have to talk about everybody’s favourite depressed horse who makes terrible decisions.
Four words: Wanda Sykes and Issa Rae.
The iconic pair bring fierce intersectional representation to BoJack Horseman, appearing as a lesbian couple in a scene with only lesbian couples of colour in the background.
Even in the liberal world of cartoons, ace representation is limited, so we take our hats off to the producers for giving BoJack Horseman and his asexual best friend, Todd.
9. Peppa Pig
It is no surprise that the gay’s favourite gal has made it onto the list, OINK!
Peppa Pig has quite simply shocked the nation dropping her studio album, My First Album.
In particular, the gays of Twitter loved her track Rainbow, inferring that it is symbolic of her love towards the LGBT+ community.
Even Grammy Award-winning Iggy Azalea reacted to Peppa’s new career in music by creating a jealous twitter feud.
It’s over for me now. https://t.co/pWfsAgUbUz
— IGGY AZALEA (@IGGYAZALEA) July 16, 2019
Watch more on LGBT+ TV shows and cartoons on PinkNews‘ YouTube channel.
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