LGBTQ characters in kids’ TV animation

LGBTQ characters have appeared in adult-oriented Western TV cartoons for some years now, largely dating back to the 90s and characters like Smithers in “The Simpsons.” However, this decade’s seen LGBTQ characters start to appear in cartoons aimed at kids.

Below’s a list of some such characters. Note the examples here are fewer versus kids’ comics—it’s still early days for kids’ TV.

I’m limiting this list to Western animation. Examples also must be clearly depicted on-screen as openly LGBTQ characters (not: stated as such after the show’s cancellation; vague references or innuendo; stereotypes; etc.).

“Superman: The Animated Series”

The WB, 1996-2000

While the show didn’t explicitly say anything about Maggie Sawyer, they did depict her partner from the comics at the time, Toby Raynes, in one two-part storyline. A few scenes show Toby by Maggie’s hospital bed.

“Adventure Time”

Cartoon Network, 2010-2018

Similar to “Korra” below, the show finally confirmed two of the characters’ sexualities (Marcella the Vampire Queen and Princess Bubblegum) in its series finale. Fortunately, the show has its own comic spin-off.

“The Legend of Korra”

Nickelodeon/Nick.com, 2012-2014

Legend of KorraKorra” ran on Nickelodeon as a sequel to 2000s series “Avatar: The Last Airbender.” Similar to “Adventure Time,” the show’s series finale finally allowed its star to openly show her affection toward another female character. Fortunately, this is followed up on in the currently-published comics based on the show.

“Doc McStuffins”

Disney Junior, 2012-present

A fourth season “Doc McStuffins” episode, “Emergency Plan,” taught viewers about how to prepare a household for an emergency (such as a fire or earthquake). The household here is a dollhouse, in which live the Doll family—two women, Thea and Edie, and their two children.

“Gravity Falls”

Disney XD, 2012-2016

In yet another series finale revelation (hmm…), “Gravity Falls” confirmed two supporting characters, Sheriff Blubs and Deputy Durland, were in love with each other.

“Steven Universe”

Cartoon Network, 2013-present

Steven Universe” has featured same-sex relationships. The most prominent one is Garnet, the permanent fusion of two Gems named Ruby and Sapphire who’re in love with each other.

“Clarence”

Cartoon Network, 2014-2018

Clarence‘s friend Jeff has two Moms, named EJ and Sue.

“The Loud House”

Nickelodeon, 2016-present

Lincoln Loud‘s best friend, Clyde, has two Dads, Howard and Harold McBride. There’s also Lincoln’s sister Luna, who’s shown attraction to boys and girls. Luna’s interest in the latter formed the focus of a whole episode, about an ambiguously worded love letter.

“Danger & Eggs”

Amazon Video, 2017

“Danger & Eggs” is a series released in 2017 on Amazon Video about two best friends, adventurous Danger and a cautious, anthropomorphic egg named Phillip. The season finale is set at a Pride festival.

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