It is important to have LGBTQ+ representation in cartoons & children’s media for many reasons. One is that the positive portrayal of LGBTQ+ characters increases acceptance and support for LGBTQ+ communities. Another is that TV should be echoing real life. Everyone deserves to be represented and be able to identify with characters from their favourite shows. There are lots of kids and youngsters out there who identify as LGBTQ+ and seeing themselves in a character will make it easier for them to understand how they are feeling and why it’s okay to feel like that.
Should Children Learn About LGBTQ+ in schools?
Learning about the LGBTQ+ community is essential. It is not exposing children or sexualising them, because if it was then surely that would be the same as teaching them about straight relationships.
We need to teach difference, equality and acceptance.
There are lots of different couples and families out there and we should see them all represented. Because not everyone in this world is a white, cis-gendered, able-bodied, man.
My 3 Fave Cartoons With LGBTQ+ Representation
Growing up in the ’80s & 90’s I can’t remember any LGBTQ+ cartoon characters. Maybe in the ’90s with things like Southpark, The Simpsons and Futurama but I mean cartoons for little kids!
So when I started watching cartoons again as an adult I was pleasantly surprised by 3 of my particular favourite cartoon shows.
LGBTQ+ Representation In Cartoons & Childrens Media
If you’ve never watched Steven Universe, once you’ve finished reading this blog go and watch it. It is an amazing cartoon!
Steven Universe has lots of LGBTQ+ characters in it, but not just characters … leading roles!
All of the Gems are non-binary to start with!
Can you imagine watching a cartoon with your non-binary child and they see a character that is just like them!
This actually happened to me in real life and it was awesome!
My favourite character in Steven Universe is Ruby. Ruby reminds me very much of myself so I think that is why I had an instant connection with them. Ruby is in a relationship with Saphire and once fused they make Garnet (who was my original favourite character until I met Ruby).
My favourite fusion in Steven Universe has to be Stevonnie, with one of my favourite scenes being the first time Steven & Connie fuse whilst dancing.
You can find all of the LGBTQ+ characters from Steven Universe here
She-ra and the Princesses of Power
This cartoon is so good. I loved the original She-Ra (yes I’m that old) so I was really excited for She-Ra and the Princesses of Power.
This show is so LGBTQ+ inclusive it’s amazing.
I have 2 favourite characters in this show and both are confirmed Bi-Sexual. These are Bow & Glimmer. Or if you ship them Glimbow!
Aroura the main character is a lesbian woman, a soldier and of course the legend that is She-Ra!
I’m not going to leave any spoilers but there is a revolutionary moment in this programme where we see an on-screen kiss.
Seriously if you haven’t seen it go watch it now!
You can find all of the LGBTQ+ characters here – but this link does contain spoilers!
The Owl House
A more recent cartoon The Owl House has so far had 2 seasons on Disney.
The Owl House has bi-sexual, lesbian, gay and non-binary characters.
The reason I love this show so much is that whilst it is set in the demon realm we have human characters and it feels like we are seeing that echoing of real life.
We have a same-sex couple in Willows’s dads. This is the perfect opportunity to teach children that not all couples are straight and that some families might have 2 mums, 2 dads or 2 parents.
We have school kids who are lesbian & bisexual. Again watching 2 girls blushing because they have a crush is the perfect opportunity to teach our little ones that this is normal.
Then we have Raine, this was another in real life moment where my kid said “OMG there is a character just like me” because Raine is non-binary.
Through cartoons, our kids will get the affirmation that they aren’t alone and it is completely normal to be themselves.
That makes me really happy!
The Best Bit
The best bit for me is that in these cartoons it doesn’t matter if you’re on the good side or the bad side everyone uses the correct pronouns!
Discuss this blog and all things sensory in our support group