#RepresentationMatters: 4 LGBTQIA+ Cartoon Characters We Love

C’Mon Representation! 4 Cartoon Characters LGBTQIA+ Folx Can Identify With

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Michael from Louder and Prouder/YouTube
Michael from Louder and Prouder/YouTube

As society progresses, it has become apparent that media representation has a major impact. Audiences are enjoying more content that includes characters they can identify with. Both past and current cartoons have represented many groups within the LGBTQIA+ community.

On this list, some have been speculated, while others have been explicitly identified. Nevertheless, this piece includes personalities everyone can relate to. Here are four cartoon characters LGBTQIA+ folx can resonate with!

1. Velma Dinkley: “Scooby Doo! Mystery Incorporated” & “Trick or Treat Scooby-Doo!”

Credit: Warner Bros. Animation

In Velma’s earliest depictions, she acts on a love interest who happens to be a man. As more iterations of Scooby-Doo were released, she was depicted as a woman interested in other women. Rumors swirled online about Velma’s sexuality in Mystery Incorporated. She was confirmed to be bisexual after the show’s producer, Tony Cervone, stated that Velma’s relationship with Marcie Fleach was intended to be romantic. In the most recent film, “Trick or Treat Scooby-Doo,” Velma is an explicit lesbian.

Aside from her sexuality, Velma is a brilliant young woman. She has always pursued science, which television shows do not portray. Her sexuality, interests, and intelligence are relatable for many young girls.

2. Michael Collins: “The Proud Family”

Credit: The Nostalgia Guy/YouTube

Michael is a recurring character on the Disney Channel original series The Proud Family. The show centered around Penny Proud, her family, and friends, including Collins. He is also featured in the cartoon’s reboot, The Pordu Family: Louder and Prouder.

In the original series, Collins was explicitly flamboyant and enjoyed spending time with the girls instead of the boys. He was also an excellent dancer and cheerleader, as he was seen choreographing the cheer team’s routine in one episode. While he never stated he was gay, the show did address the bullying that LGBTQIA+ members receive in school. His sexuality was later confirmed in the reboot series, and he received a complete makeover.

3. Spongebob: “Spongebob Squarepants”

Credit: Nickelodeon/YouTube

Spongebob Squarepants has been a beloved cartoon character for many years. Due to his to some of his characteristics, Spongebob has sparked rumors of being gay.

While it was never stated within the show, Spongebob’s creators confirmed him to be a part of the LGBTQIA+ community. According to People, in 2005, Stephen Hillenburg stated Spongebob is asexual, not gay. The cartoon character may be interested in romance but does not care to be a part of it. Hillenburg also based Spongebob’s sexuality on science, as real sea sponges reproduce asexually.

4. Eugene Horowitz: Hey Arnold!

Eugene — Hey Arnold/YouTube
Eugene — Hey Arnold/YouTube

Eugene Horowitz is a recurring character on the Nickelodeon ’90s cartoon “Hey Arnold!” He is part of Arnold’s class and friend group but often runs into misfortune mainly because he is a jinx. Though his sexuality was never stated on the show, many believed they were subtle hints at him possibly being gay. In one episode, his room was revealed to be painted with rainbows and unicorns, providing a subtle hint. The show’s creator, Craig Bartlett, stated Eugene is a “proto-gay” as he is uncomfortable being romantic with girls.

These characters were the building blocks of animated LGBTQIA+ portayals on television. In a lot of ways these characters have helped educate all viewers as representation is necessary for the continued advancement of understanding and acceptance of the queer community.

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