Queer Characters in Children’s TV
Over the past couple of decades, the media has made leaps and bounds in LGBT+ representation, and with the abolition of Section 28 in 2003 in the UK, that representation has slowly started appearing in children’s TV. As a new generation begin growing up, it’s brilliant to see how far we’ve come and know that these children will have positive LGBT+ icons in their life from an early age! In this blog, we take a look at some of the characters who are making waves…
Bert and Ernie – Sesame Street
Although we met Bert and Ernie in 1969, they weren’t ‘outed’ until 2018, when former writer Mark Saltzmen told press he’d based them on the relationship he had with his long term male partner. Although initially queer coded as ‘confirmed bachelors’ for the longest time, children now can watch them in the knowledge that living with another man is totally acceptable.
Sheriff Blubs and Deputy Durland – Gravity Falls
Although many viewers speculated that this pair in Gravity Falls were an item, it wasn’t until the series finale that the pair confirmed their love for each other. Whilst critics were disappointed that they only came out in the very final episode, it’s still progress that they even exist at all – and, on repeat viewings, it’s great to know they’re an item!
Cyrus Goodman – Andi Mack
Cyrus holds the mantle of being the first live action Disney character to come out in a Disney Channel show, when he finally admitted his feelings to friend TJ. The show had seen him grow from a shy and anxious boy to a confident and mature teen as he gradually accepted who he was.
Mr Ratburn – Arthur
The long running animation series began its 22nd season with the information that teacher Mr Ratburn is gay – and not only that, the episode saw him marry his long term partner Patrick. Many were quick to point out that it would’ve been an impossibility when the show debuted in 1998, proving just how far we’ve come!
Mr and Mr Crabs – Hey Duggee
Whilst most the of the show listed are aimed at slightly older children or teenagers, Hey Duggee is firmly positioned at a pre-school audience – and with the introduction of Mr and Mr Crabs the show has proven its commitment to diversity. The focus has never been on the two male characters meaning the show has taken an approach that includes without sensationalising.
Have we missed any? Tell us about your favourite LGBT+ characters in the comments below!