Because families come in all shapes and sizes and because we support more queer representation in children’s programming, we’re delighted that more same-sex parents have begun appearing in cartoons. After all, studies show that queer youth look to TV and movies to figure out their identities — and role models are very important. So we looked around and ‘re glad to present this round up of queer parents in cartoons.
Clarence, on Cartoon Network, is a story about a weird, fat kid in elementary school who befriends the other weird kids in his class — and it’s surprisingly inclusive. Clarence’s mom has a loving live-in boyfriend and Clarence’s friend Jeff has two moms. His moms, EJ and Sue (played by Orange Is The New Black‘s Lea Delaria and lesbian comedian Tig Notaro respectively), are loving and supportive — and honestly, no one really makes a big deal out of it. They’re just Jeff’s moms.
We don’t know too much about this next couple — and we won’t find out more until the movie comes out on June 17 — but the new trailer for Pixar’s Finding Dory has a quick scene with a pair of moms taking care of a toddler. When said toddler gets hit by a baby stroller, the moms turn around to discover that the stroller is carrying an octopus pretending to be a baby. Will Finding Dory be 90 minutes of this couple raising an octo-daughter? Let’s hope so. Finding Nemo fans would be upset, but what a step forward for representation!
Okay, technically the Crystal Gems in Steven Universe aren’t Steven’s moms, but they raise him like they are. And, well, technically, the Gems themselves are genderless, but they present as female, so that’s close enough to qualify as same-sex parents. But seriously — Steven Universe has been incredibly progressive in terms of queer sexuality and gender; Ruby and Sapphire are so adorably in love you guys, and Pearl’s love for Rose Quartz is clearly (and officially) romantic love. Besides, if you think we’re going to miss an opportunity to talk about Steven Universe, you’re sadly mistaken.
The Loud House
While this specific episode hasn’t aired in the United States yet, Nickelodeon’s new series The Loud House features a pair of gay dads. The Loud House is about Lincoln Loud, the only boy in a house with 10 sisters. The show’s been praised for not relying on sexist tropes for laughs, and Lincoln’s best friend is Clyde. Clyde’s dads show up in the episode “Overnight Success” — which has aired in Europe — but until the American Nickelodeon catches up, we won’t know too much about them. Right now, all we know is their names, Howard and Harold, but given The Loud House‘s reputation for smart, low-key comedy, we expect they’ll be awesome.
Of course, we all know about the #GiveElsaAGirlfriend campaign, but if that happens (and we hope it does), that’ll be in Frozen 2: Freeze Harder, and besides, as far as we know, Elsa’s not gonna be a mom in that one. But there is a pair of gay parents in Frozen 1: Freeze Relatively Hard, even if it’s a blink-and-you-miss-it cameo. When Anna and Kristof pop into Wandering Oaken’s Trading Post and Sauna, Oaken invites the two of them to his sauna, where his family is — and it looks like it’s Oaken’s husband, plus four children (you can catch them in the clip above at 2:11).
Sadly, when co-director Jennifer Lee was asked point-blank if Oaken was indeed gay, she hedged: “We know what we made, but at the same time I feel like once we hand the film over it belongs to the world so I don’t like to say anything, and let the fans talk. I think it’s up to them. Disney films were made in different eras… but this one was made in 2013 and it’s going to have a 2013 point of view.” But since we’re fans, we’re talking: Oaken is totally gay.