Sorry Lumity, However Fandoms Want To Realise That Queer Rep Is not A Competitors

I grew up in a world the place LGBTQ+ illustration within the media I consumed was virtually non-existent. If it was current, such characters and themes would usually be marred by useless stereotypes and hurtful writing that both failed to grasp the queer expertise or actively sought to make enjoyable of it. Issues have modified, and far of that progress has been for the higher, however as illustration turns into extra widespread and fandoms develop in measurement and affect, infighting sadly begins to tug down the steps ahead these creators try to take.

Steven Universe was a considerable benchmark for queer rep in animation, making strides alongside Journey Time and The Legend of Korra as all of them sought to depict queer {couples} in a method that was normalised. Korra and Journey Time felt considerably extra truncated than Rebecca Sugar’s present, which was full of canon {couples}, queer themes, and storytelling that felt prefer it was written to resonate with that type of viewers. It was good for younger and previous viewers alike. I nonetheless bear in mind being blown away at Ruby and Sapphire’s wedding ceremony and the way the narrative was in a position to be trustworthy about two women loving each other, it even popped the extra masculine Ruby right into a gown so censors couldn’t presumably query her gender.

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This present set the inspiration for extra milestones like She-Ra and the Princesses of Power. Noelle Stevenson’s adaptation was queer from the outset, updating the ‘80s basic to function numerous physique sorts, non-binary characters, and a central lesbian relationship that was slowly constructed up throughout its 5 seasons. In the beginning of manufacturing the eventual romance of Catra and Adora wasn’t at all times assured, with Stevenson making an attempt his greatest to plant the seeds and hope that Netflix and Dreamworks would ultimately present sufficient wriggle room. He succeeded, and the present has turn into iconic amidst queer communities due to how groundbreaking it managed to be.


The Owl House adopted. When Dana Terrace’s present first started airing final 12 months a fandom shortly shaped round it, with many migrating from She-Ra and forming related expectations round what it would accomplish when it comes to queer illustration. Many thought the worst given it was being helmed by Disney, nevertheless it overcame expectations and gave us a canon romance between its two lead characters, the non-binary character Raine Whispers, and a number of background characters who fortunately establish as queer.

The present exists in a world without homophobia, which is a refreshing stance to take, and with all it managed to realize, the fandom round it has been huge. Having not too long ago been cancelled and its third season shortened to a trio of specials, its future stays unsure, main many to consider that Disney doesn’t consider it belongs in its brand and the queer rep was too progressive to stay afloat.

The Owl House

I think about the reality is much extra difficult, and there’s an opportunity we’ll by no means know the finer particulars, nevertheless it sucks. Nonetheless, that’s no motive to show in opposition to different exhibits that can proceed onward that additionally function LGBTQ+ characters. Amphibia’s third season is airing proper now, and whereas no concrete rep has been established between the primary characters – I’m nonetheless crossing my fingers for Anne and Marcy – a handful of supporting characters have attracted an lovely stage of consideration on-line. As a result of, you guessed it, they’re lovely.

Chemistry between Yunan and Olivia has been rampant, teasing {that a} full relationship between the 2 will blossom within the coming weeks. Homosexual lizard women – Amphibia is actually critical about giving us the products. Extra refined characters embody a duo of goofy inventors who assist Anne and firm in an earlier episode, discovering mutual love of their creativity whereas being the form of artful dorks I like to see in exhibits like this. Lastly, there have been two homosexual males in final week’s episode who had been seen all through quite a lot of enjoyable gags, their relationship being a state of being fairly than an in your face piece of illustration.


Seeing them work collectively and go on dates all whereas a bunch of chaos reigns round them was a stunning slice of romance, all culminating in a wedding proposal the place a candy message within the sky is foiled by an enormous clown balloon. Sharp comedic timing and candy dialogue assist this episode shine, and as anticipated, social media hopped on these homosexual little nuggets and shouted about them from the rooftops. I used to be proper there together with them, fawning over fan artwork and observations from the manufacturing crew that detailed how these little moments had been made attainable. It was wonderful, however the two homosexual males I discussed earlier had been instantly in contrast by some to Luz and Amity from The Owl Home.

One man had purple hair, whereas the opposite was a person of color, so I suppose these dots had been sufficient to ascertain some form of connection. If I squint I can see it? Both method, instantly evaluating each single slither of illustration to the homosexual witches isn’t factor. Lumity deserves to be positioned on a pedestal for all they’ve managed to realize, nevertheless it’s damaging to declare every part as a reference to their success or being lesser as a result of they don’t push boundaries in the same method. You don’t punch down on the progress that got here after you, that isn’t how shifting ahead works.


Queer illustration isn’t a linear path to acceptance. It’s messy and inconsistent, and we might want to succumb to failure as a lot as we rise to success. As a pansexual trans lady I can say with confidence that being queer could be a fucking nightmare typically. It’s a nerve-racking, joyous, euphoric, and unusual journey that’s totally different for everybody, however no person goes to have a clean journey, and anticipating that perfectionist method to be mirrored in illustration is bordering on ignorance.

Folks mocked The Final of Us Half 2 for placing queer characters by infinite distress, whereas others threw shade at Inform Me Why for being a sanitised method to the trans expertise. There isn’t a profitable, and forming invisible battlelines inside a neighborhood that’s nonetheless preventing for rights and recognition will solely end in extra confrontation. You don’t must put down others to justify your favorite fictional couple or declare that different examples of illustration are poisonous as a result of they grew to become earlier than, after, or throughout. Laws has proven that the world can so usually be set in opposition to us, so bickering amongst ourselves is meaningless.

Catradora Kiss She-Ra

I not too long ago got here throughout a TikTok that declared Catradora as poisonous as a result of it was apparently impressed by Stevenson’s relationship together with his companion and related life experiences, inserting Lumity above them when it comes to high quality and what they managed to realize. Why would anybody really feel the necessity to pit these two exhibits in opposition to each other, a lot much less carry the showrunner’s private life into the image to additional their very own agenda. What kind of mindset do you should need to be this defensive?

Media attracts on life experiences, whether or not it explores trauma, romance, or the expansion we search as human beings – in fact Stevenson was going to attract comparisons from that. Vocal minorities like this have brainworms, and are completely satisfied to tug probably the most well-meaning amongst us by the mud as a result of they have to shackle their identification to a chunk of media as an alternative of stepping out into the world and discovering themselves. I like The Owl Home – I bought a tattoo impressed by the present final week – and I’m heartbroken it’s been cancelled, however my love for Lumity isn’t mighty sufficient to brush apart debates that in the end snuff out illustration as a result of they’re keen to show all of it right into a useless contest.

The Owl House

Sadly I think about this form of discourse might be unimaginable to keep away from, and the one answer is to single these fools out and label them because the poisonous enablers they’re. The vast majority of followers I’ve interacted with throughout The Owl Home, She-Ra, and Amphibia fandoms have been pleasant, completely satisfied to introduce me to components of the fanbase I wasn’t conscious of or talked about they’d seen a few of my work previously, slowly however absolutely labelling me because the Queen of Queer Cartoons throughout the web. LGBTQ+ persons are great, messy, distinct, and have tales that may be explored in numerous other ways. Even when they aren’t what you anticipated or don’t attain the extent of earlier milestones, all are value celebrating.

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