I know the feeling Garnet.
Screenshots and Gifs taken by me, Gifs created using GifYouTube
SPOILER WARNING: This rant contains spoilers forÂ Clarance, The Legend of Korra and Steven Universe, if you havenâ€™t caught up on these shows than this may spoil things for you.
One rant I had originally planned on writing is about how there have been a lack of positive LGBTQ+ representation in childrenâ€™s media, specifically kids TV showsâ€¦ but then these events happenedâ€¦
To be honest I have not seen this show, but putting aside from the fact the creator/former showrunner Skyler Page was revealed to be a sexist creep, Iâ€™ve heard a lot of good things.Â One of them being a moment in which it shows two guys lovingly kissing another guy on the cheeks, to which one of the characters (Who was expecting a date) doesnâ€™t react with disgust instead saying â€œWell thatâ€™s good.â€Â Itâ€™s a brief moment that doesnâ€™t explicitly say theyâ€™re gay but still speaks a lot of volumes and probably the closest thing we have to an intimate moment between two gay characters.Â There is also supposedly a moment which showâ€™s a character having two moms but I havenâ€™t seen that one yet.
So the sequel series of Avatar: The Last Airbender came and gone, sadly with Nickelodeon screwing it over in its last two seasons.Â But one thing that a great many seemed to be overjoyed with is how they decided to close off the romantic stuff that sadly was a pain in its early seasonsâ€¦ pair the characters who had the most chemistry together.Â Korra and Asami Sato werenâ€™t exactly the first attempt at romance on this show considering they first had a love triangle with a bland broody plank, but I think the writers got much better spark writing interactions between the two women than they ever had with Mako.Â And it pretty much sailed right into the sunset as the final moments of the series were with Korra and Asami going into the spirit world holding hands looking lovingly into each otherâ€™s eyes, much like the last moments of Avatar were of Aang and Katara finally resolving a series-long romantic tension.
This is definitely rare because you would think that the show would have taken the atypical route and had one pair with Mako, in fact that is how Book One ended with him and Korra, and was going to be the end of the series had Nickelodeon not ordered three more seasons.Â Itâ€™s one of those things the creators decided to do and at least I feel it worked, even if admittedly it isnâ€™t quite perfect, even they donâ€™t think so either.Â As much as itâ€™s great to see a canonical pairing of two bisexual characters there seems to be forces at work in this country (by which I mean network censors), who would never allow something to be explicitly said of such a pairing in a childrenâ€™s cartoon.Â We only get silent stares and loving kisses on the cheeks because I would imagine there would be fear that the show would be shut down by a bunch of conservative reactionary jackasses.Â And this show has really seemed to just throw a lot of censor rules out the window as there are some brutal (albeit brief) deaths and not beating around the bush to serious consequences of actions.Â When it came to the final canon pairing though, there still seems to be that stigma in which they canâ€™t go far with it.
On the other hand speaking of censorship being thrown out the windowâ€¦
Stevonnie, Fusion Dancing and Steven Universe
Right now fresh on a lot of peopleâ€™s minds is the Steven UniverseÂ episode â€œTogether Aloneâ€ in which the titular character is being taught how to gem fuse yet ends up being a reflection of both gender identity and anxiety.Â To lay it down (And I already put up the SPOILER warning) Steven and his friend/implied love interest Connie fuse to make a non-gender binary coded teenage-looking character named Stevonnie (Coined by Amethyst), ends up being the attraction of not just males but females, isnâ€™t referred to any sort of gender pronouns, and is designed to inhabit the characteristics of both male and female where they donâ€™t lean heavily to either side.Â What works so well is not just seeing these two lovable dorks finding both the positives and the negatives of literally being one and the same, but how it brings together some commentary about people who choose not to associate with a gender binary and what sort of reaction they may face.
Steven Universe in general seems to be pushing boundaries all the time, even earlier in the episode itself showing how gem fusion can be a littleâ€¦ heated, if it wasnâ€™t enough subtext with Garnetâ€™s dance moves in â€œCoach Stevenâ€, certainly can be read with how Garnet and Pearl end up demonstrating a fusion to Steven.Â With all the sexual and romantic tension read between the Gems, that doesnâ€™t even seem to count as subtext.
Then there is another challenge to gender norms in Steven himself, he does have the interests of a little boy, but he also doesnâ€™t frown upon anything girly, he even has a Sailor Moon manga in his drawer at one point.Â Not to mention he looks up to three powerful women, excited at just about everything they do and excited to learn from them, literally having stars in his eyes in the process.Â In fact a lot of these representations are really positive and not frowned upon.Â There is a lot that is going on thatâ€™s positive with Steven UniverseÂ and I hope it only continues to be great in pushing that sort of boundaries in childrenâ€™s television.
In fact I hope many modern childrenâ€™s cartoons are able to push against the stigma of what is and what isnâ€™t allowed.Â That they can handle in a mature subject matter such as sexual orientation and gender identity.Â It will certainly piss of the PTCâ€™s of the world, but I would rather they get pissed than having networks to bend to their regressive wills every-time homosexuality is portrayed in a positive light.
If this makes me an SJW, then I donâ€™t even know what the hell the term is.
End of Rant