A Gay Couple on TV Isn’t Gonna Turn Your Kids Gay
Posted on November 28, 2022
Steven Universe (2013), created by Rebecca Sugar, is a show that’s personally touched me in strengthening my sexuality. It’s a children’s show that ran on Cartoon Network from 2013-2019, which cultivated a strong fanbase that primarily consists of the LGBT community and its allies.
Throughout the show there were intense loving and hateful relationships illustrated in its 6 years of running. Rebecca Sugar made sure to include LGBT representation within the relationships portrayed, with gay couples shown giving verbal affection, kissing, and even getting married.
It was the first cartoon to showcase a lesbian wedding. Sugar went the extra mile to make sure it wouldn’t be blurred as a friendship or a straight relationship, by putting both characters in attire that indicated they were feminine presenting. Sugar did that and much more to make sure the children watching her show were raised with the knowledge that LGBT couples do exist, and can be happy doing so.
Everything seems great, right? Actually, homophobes will make sure to let you know that it’s in fact not. Steven Universe has developed extreme controversy since its release, with the main complaint being its LGBT representation. Parents that eavesdrop on their children’s television could quickly see how queer couples and characters are heavily portrayed in each episode, as Sugar ensured no one could miss just how gay the show is.
The main argument these parents and other homophobes have is that children watching these shows will see these happily thriving couples and “turn gay.” As someone who grew up knowing they were gay before a television was ever put in front of them, I, and other queer people, could strongly disagree with this argument.
There are great dangers in shoving a queer kid into a box where they could only be heterosexual, and the damages could sometimes be irreparable. A lifelong cloud of internalized homophobia is what follows many people day by day, as they were never given the option to explore their sexuality.
The only thing that a beautiful show like Steven Universe could do is lift queer children’s spirits and gift them the liberty to explore who they are without being told they could only be heterosexual.