June is LGBTQ Pride Month. Back in 2015, I wrote a post summing up various LGBTQ-oriented posts I’d written to then-date; however, that post is starting to look a bit long in the tooth. So, here’s an updated post about LGBTQ characters in cartoons.
To read every post I’ve tagged “LGBTQ,” check here.
LGBTQ cartoon characters in kids’ media
Recent years have seen more gay and lesbian characters appear in kids’ media, including cartoons and comics.
As of this writing, with the revelation of PBS’ “Arthur””s Mr. Ratburn as gay (and married), pretty much every major cartoon outlet I can think of now has at least one gay/lesbian character.
LGBTQ people of color in cartoons
- 10 LGBTQ people of color cartoon characters
- Cartoonists of Color Database and Queer Cartoonists Database
Non-White LGBTQ people exist, of course. While a lot of media (including some LGBTQ media) seems to equate being gay with being White, that’s obviously not true.
Related to the above, a cartoonist named MariNaomi runs two online cartoonist-related databases: one for LGBTQ individuals, and another for people of color. Both offer search filtering functions to look up creators in either or both categories.
Same-sex weddings in cartoons
Cartoon characters shown marrying someone of the same sex range from Northstar of the X-Men to the aforementioned Mr. Ratburn. Unsurprisingly, same-sex weddings are much more common in comics, where they’ve become normalized at this point.
GLAAD Media Award comics winners
The LGBTQ-oriented media watchdog group GLAAD annually gives out a GLAAD Media Award for an outstanding mainstream comic book depicting LGBTQ characters and themes.
The winners over the past decade:
- 2010: “Detective Comics”
- 2011: “X-Factor“
- 2012: “Batwoman“
- 2013: “Kevin Keller“
- 2014: “Young Avengers”
- 2015: “Rat Queens“
- 2016: “Lumberjanes“
- 2017: “The Woods“
- 2018: “Black Panther: World of Wakanda“
- 2019: “Exit, Stage Left: The Snagglepuss Chronicles“
A few LGBTQ cartoons have addressed, or at least touched on, relevant political issues.
Kyle’s Bed & Breakfast
A “Kyle’s” storyline during the 2014 Winter Olympics (held in Sochi, Russia) saw several of the characters attend. One character, Michael, staged a protest against Russia’s anti-LGBTQ policies during his performance as an Olympic skater.
In “Kevin Keller” #10 (October 2013), Kevin went up against the leader of “12 Million Moms” (one guess who it’s parodying). The group’s leader had seen Kevin kissing his boyfriend at Pop’s; all of this somehow led to Kevin ending up on Ellen DeGeneres’ talk show. On the show, Ms. DeGeneres points out to the leader of “Moms” that contrary to its name, the group barely has membership in the triple digits.
The Nib is a site that carries left-leaning/progressive political cartoons by various creators, including LGBTQ cartoonists.
- A list of 10 of my favorite LGBTQ cartoon characters (as of 2017).