Whether they’re totally out of the closet or are more ambiguously gay characters, there are lots of gay and homosexual cartoon characters. From He-Man to Peppermint Patty, rumored gay cartoon characters got locked in the closet way before that gay rumor got Tom Cruise stuck in the closet on South Park. The proof is in this definitive list of the gayest cartoon characters ever.
9 Cartoons That Were Censored For Being Too Gay
For years, animated series have blazed a trail for LGBT representation. But breaking ground isn’t always easy—around the world, queer-friendly cartoons have been censored by networks and government agencies alike.
Below, learn about nine popular cartoons that fell prey to censorship.
MangaThe Japanese comics scene offers a special place for sex. Unlike the West, the East has an attitude towards sexuality which is a bit more tolerant and accepting. In Tokyo, it is not an uncommon sight to see respectable employees on their way to work in the subway reading a manga comic with sexual content. A quick survey will reveal that Japanese comic artists often combine well-written stories with sex and eroticism. Themes like bondage and sex between underaged youth are not considered taboo.
Gay ComixSome would say that there is no better way to get out of the closet (or amuse yourself whilst still in the closet) than by creating or reading gay comics. There is a wide variety in this genre as well: from the mainly sex-oriented comics by Tom of Finland to the elaborate stories by Ralf König, which portray life of German gay men in the broadest sense. Where lesbians are concerned, they can be found in abundance in mainstream, heterosexual pornography – but a few of them cater especially to lesbian and bi-sexual women.
Disclaimer and Closing CommentsThere are quite a few artists in the Comiclopedia that have participated in the erotic genre. It is not our intention to promote or endorse any sexually explicit comics or artists, but merely to educate our visitors about some of the artists who have done erotic comics, often against the social mores and prudish values which exist in many modern cultures.
“Postcards From Buster”
This PBS show was a spinoff of popular animated series Arthur. In 2005 episode “Sugartime!” Buster goes on a trip to Vermont, where he meets a lesbian couple who run a farm and make maple syrup. (At the time, Vermont was one of the only states to offer same-sex domestic partnerships.) Despite the very tame nature of the episode, Bush-era Education Secretary Margaret Spellings criticized the publicly funded network for “promoting the gay lifestyle.” She demanded the episode be pulled, and it only aired on a few stations nationwide.
“You can be assured that in the future the department will be more clear as to its expectations for any future programming that it funds,” Spellings told the show’s creators.
Beloved Japanese anime Sailor Moon originally depicted Sailor Neptune and Sailor Uranus as a lesbian couple who often shared tender moments and longing glances.
But when distributors took the show abroad, their relationship got altered: In France, Poland, Italy, and the U.S. portrayed the pair as “close friends” or “cousins.” One Russian network even rewrote Sailor Uranus as a man, and hired a male actor to provide the character’s voice.
In 2012, censors in Ukraine tried to ban SpongeBob Squarepants from airing, denouncing the series as a “real threat to children.”
The main gripe of the Ukraine National Expert Commission for Protecting Public Morality was the show’s alleged implications of homosexuality between SpongeBob and best friend Patrick. (The two sea creatures frequently hold hands.)
Officials also cited the show’s large gay fanbase as a reason to nix the series.
Cartoon Network broke new ground by including a gay couple in this cartoon series in 2014. But fans got irate when they learned a kiss between the two men was censored.
In the original cut, a man greeted his partner in a restaurant with a kiss on the lips. But in the version that aired, it was a chaste peck on the cheeks.
Cartoon Network did redeem itself: A June 2016 episode featured out actors Lea Delaria and Tig Notaro as the voices behind lesbian moms E.J. and Sue.
A proposed lesbian relationship on Disney’s Gravity Falls was nixed by wary higher-ups, who told creator Alex Hirsch he couldn’t include the couple, even for a brief cameo. The idea came from one of Hirsch’s storyboard artists, he told The Mary Sue in 2014, and it broke his heart to cut it.
“I wanted to set a precedent, and I argued that little things like this could mean the world to people and that anyone who was pissed off deserved to be pissed off,” Hirsch said. “But despite my greatest efforts, it finally came down to, ’Change the scene or we’ll cut it out of the episode ourselves.’”
Hirsch eventually included a gay couple in Gravity Falls: Sheriff Blubs and Deputy Durland, who made history in February 2016 as Disney’s first animated gay couple.
“The Legend Of Korra”
In June 2017, Kenyan officials made headlines after banning a half-dozen cartoon series they deemed “pro-gay.” The list included Nickelodeon’s The Legend Of Korra, the Avatar: The Last Airbender spinoff that concluded with an implied lesbian relationship between protagonists Korra and Asami. (The relationship was later explicitly confirmed in a comic book spinoff.)
Other series barred from the African country included Hey Arnold, Steven Universe, The Loud House, Gravity Falls, and Clarence.
“The Loud House”
In a July 2016 episode, Nickelodeon’s The Loud House briefly briefly featured a pair of married gay dads. It was heralded as a victory by LGBT advocates—but it was deemed “inappropriate” for South African audiences and nixed the scene. But since DStv serves all of Africa, viewers across the continent missed out on the scene.
“Nickelodeon strives to ensure that content respects the varying traditions and family values in each country,” a rep told News 24 Africa.
7 Times LGBT Television Was Censored Around The World