It seems like something straight up impossible. Gay animation. How could this happen? Well, in this article we’re going to take a closer look at the history of gay characters in animation and figure out why it is so hard for them to get anywhere on the screen
Animators and the Art of Honesty
Animation has long been a medium for telling stories, but for a long time, it was largely considered an apolitical platform. This all changed in 2015 when the animated TV show “BoJack Horseman” aired its first episode and introduced us to the character of Todd Chavez, a gay man. The show quickly became known for its honest portrayal of homosexuality, and it kickstarted a new era of gay animation.
Since then, we’ve seen other shows like “The Legend of Korra” and “Rick and Morty” tackle similar themes with similarly positive results. While there are still some haters out there who insist that gay animation is only intended to make children feel happy about their sexuality, the vast majority of viewers seem to appreciate these shows for their honest portrayals of diversity.
So what does this mean for the future of gay animation? If recent trends are any indication, it looks like things are only going to get better. In fact, we might even be witnessing the emergence of a new genre: “gay anime”. And that’s something we can all be proud of!
What is the Difference Between a ‘Gay’ Cartoon and an ‘LGBT’ Cartoon?
There is a distinction between “gay” cartoons and “LGBT” cartoons. Gay cartoons are those that focus on or feature characters who are exclusively homosexual. LGBT cartoons, on the other hand, focus on or feature characters who may be homosexual, bisexual, or transgender in some way.
This distinction has been around for a while. In 1978, the American cartoonist Bill Watterson created the character Calvin and his companion Hobbes in the comic strip “Calvin and Hobbes.” Watterson’s intent was not to create a gay cartoon, but rather to explore the idea of friendship and social dynamics. Consequently, Calvin’s sexual orientation did not feature prominently in the series.
In contrast, TV shows like “The Simpsons” and “Family Guy” have long been known for their LGBT content. The former show has featured numerous gay jokes and scenes over the years. While the latter has featured several lesbian couples.
While these shows may not be considered strictly “gay” cartoons by some people. They are generally accepted as such by members of the LGBT community. This is because they feature characters who are openly gay (or at least non-heterosexual). Which is more than can be said for many gay-
How Does LGBT Television Differ From Gay Television?
It is no secret that the LGBTQIA+ community has been making waves on television. Lately with shows like “Queer Eye” and “The Crown.” However, despite all of these strides, there is one major difference between LGBTQIA+ television and gay television. The latter has always been associated with specific sexuality. For example, “The Simpsons” features many Springfield residents who are prominently gay. This is why the show has been credited for helping to popularize the concept of gay TV.
This isn’t the case for LGBTQIA+ television, which is why it can be difficult to label certain shows as “gay.” For example, “The Mindy Project” features a bisexual protagonist but is not typically considered to be LGBT-oriented. Similarly, “Master of None” focuses on a Muslim-American protagonist but does not feature any explicitly LGBTQIA+ scenes or characters. This lack of association could be due to the fact that many LGBTQIA+ people do not identify as exclusively homosexual or heterosexual; instead, they may identify as pansexual, omnisexual, or transgender-identified.
Nonetheless, this diversity makes LGBTQIA+ television an important