How Do You Detect Signs Of LGBTQ Content In Kids Shows?

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Well-Known Member
Jan 5, 2014
This topic has been on my mind for awhile, but last night's series finale for Adventure Time convinced me to make this post. Anyway, when it comes romance, or teasing potential romances in kids shows, whenever it's made explicit, it's usually between a boy and a girl (such as Aang and Katara on Avatar The Last Airbender, Jake and Rose in American Dragon Jake Long, and Oscar and Bea in Fish Hooks, just to name a few) since that's seen as the norm. With the vast landscape of children's media being more accepting of LGBTQ content, it makes you wonder how you can detect signs of it without being potentially teased. I want to bring up a few tangential, but related points:

1. When it comes to adult animation, it can be more open about showing it since adults are generally more understanding of this type of content than kids and teenagers are. Think shows like Family Guy, American Dad, or The Simpsons.

2. When it comes to LGBTQ content for kids shows, the creators will usually say what characters are in this type of relationship behind the scenes, but it can almost never be mentioned directly on screen or it will take time to be confirmed on screen.

Take for example, the Marceline/Bubblegum pairing on Adventure Time. The fact they were once in a relationship has been mentioned behind the scenes, and with this knowledge, viewers were able to see their relationship grow and evolve, culminating with the kiss in the series finale. However, let's say you didn't know this information, or viewed their interactions as strictly platonic. The kiss might come across as out of left field.

3. For a show that predominantly features a specific gender, the homoretic subtext tends to be greater for the character of the dominant.

Take for example, DC Superhero Girls. The show's Ho Yay page on TV Tropes is filled with moments of interactions the girls have that could be perceived as potentially romantic, such as Batgirl and SuperGirl, or Harley and Ivy. However, if you didn't see it that way, the closest the show has to teasing romance is with Wonder Woman and Steve Trevor.

There are more points to talk about I know, but these are the ones that came to mind. With that said, what do you think?

DC Super Hero Girls / Ho Yay - TV Tropes

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