Did you grow up straight & gay anime on Netflix and tv? In this blog post, I will highlight shows with gay cartoon characters.
One of the first gay cartoon characters allegedly is Bugs Bunny; the first gay cartoon character is Clarence. There have been more than 200 cartoons with gay characters including Batman, Family Guy, and SpongeBob Squarepants. Just a few decades there wasn’t much representation of LGBTQ persons. Over time homosexuality has become more accepted and gay characters have been depicted in films and tv shows. I’m all about the gay community so yes, I’m doing another gay-centered blog post where I’ll be looking at shows with gay cartoon characters.
Where can you watch queer animated series?
You can watch lots of gay anime on Netflix, Revry, Amazon Prime, Revry, and Hulu. Revry is the biggest streaming service in the world for queer tv shows and movies. The gay anime on Netflix falls across different categories including action, adventure, and comedy. The streaming service is owned by Reed Hastings and is one of those streaming services that have a great lineup of gay anime including Q-Force and Super Drags. The code for Netflix gay content is 500.
Best gay cartoon characters: gay anime on Netflix & online
Stewie Griffin in Family Guy
Family Guy is another one of my favorite animated shows to watch. The show was created by Seth McFarlane and released in 1999 and is part of so many gay memes. The show is about the Griffin family. Each member of the family has an interesting personality: the father Peter Griffin is ignorant and doesn’t care who he offends with his jokes, the wife Lois is balanced, Brian is the friendly family dog, Stewie is the mischievous baby genius, and Meg & Brian are typical teenagers. What I like about the show is that it’s unfiltered and humorous. I remember I got a Christmas gift of the whole collection and binge-watched it for days.
Harley Quinn in Batman: Animated Series
Batman: Animated Series was one of my favorite cartoons growing up. I love watching superhero movies so I was fascinated with cartoons like Superman and Batman. Batman: Animated Series first aired in 1993. It was created by Bruce Timm and Radomski. The show focused on a wealthy man named Bruce Wayne who fights crime to avenge his parents’ death. The show’s setting is Gotham City which is full of criminals. What I liked about the show was its dark tone.
Harley Quinn is one of the female villains in Batman. She did have a relationship with the male villain Joker, which is a whole another big conversation. That was a toxic-ass relationship and she formed a more authentic relationship with another female villain Poison Ivy. There is no outward affection shown between Harley Quinn and Poison Ivy in Batman: Animated Series. However, in the show Harley Quinn there is an episode where the females kiss each other.
Northstar in X-Men
I love the X-men series. When I was a youngster I would watch the cartoon just about every day before I went to school. I don’t think any cartoon can match X-men. The storylines and pretty much every one of the characters engaged me. One of my favorite characters was Rogue. She was fierce, hot, and relatable.
I didn’t realize until now that X-Men had gay characters. Northstar is the first openly gay superhero in comics. And honey, he gives fierceness. He’s a hand-to-hand fighter that can fly. Unfortunately, Marvel never gave Northstar a major storyline. Hopefully, in the future, this changes. What I do like is that Marvel even showed a same-sex marriage between Northstar and his partner Kyle.
Waylon Smithers Jr. in Simpsons
Simpsons has to be one of the longest-running cartoon series on television. The show has aired as long as I’ve been living. It was released in 1989 and is produced by Matt Groening. The show is about a family of 3 kids and a silly husband and his calm wife living in the town of Springfield. Besides being entertaining and over-the-top humorous the show has many cultural and political references with episodes including Donald Trump becoming President of the United States, citizens fighting against the prohibition of alcohol, and pranks against President Bush.
Waylon Smithers is one of the several LGBTQ characters in the show. Waylon is a personal assistant to Mr. Burns, a wealthy man who owns a plant. Mr. Burns is that bitter boss we’ve all had who never seems happy and treats his workers like crap. Damn, I’m getting flashbacks. Anyway, Waylon Smithers is romantically attracted to Mr. Burns. In one episode he actually kisses Mr. Burns on the lips but later admits that he was being just being respectful. Chile, no other man kisses another man on the lips as a form of respect. Where they do that at?
SpongeBob in Spongebob Square Pants
Spongebob Squarepants is a cartoon by Stephen Hillenbury that was first aired in 1999. The show is about a yellow sponge named Spongebob living underwater in a place called Bikini Bottom. I was about 13 years old at the time so I was still watching cartoons. And boy, I can tell you there were so many hidden adult themes. The fact that the show’s setting is a place called Bikini Bottom tells you that there are adult aspects of the cartoon. There was one episode where Spongebob and his best friend Patrick were in a daze and as a viewer, you would’ve gotten dizzy yourself looking at the screen. In actuality, Spongebob and Patrick were really high.
Spongebob is a gay character in the show. There have been suspicions that he was gay but it wasn’t confirmed till recently. Just this year during Pride month which is in June Nickelodeon released a picture of him with a rainbow flag in the character. Assumptions can be wrong but this photo tells it all.
Kora in Legend of Korra
The Legend of Korra is an animated Nickelodeon series that is now aired on Netflix. The show is set decades after Avatar. The series revolves around the female lead character Korra and her journey to become an Avatar. I love shows with female heroines because they are underdogs but always manage to defy societal expectations of how strong a woman can be. Korra can fight just as well as the other male fighters in the show.
This is not a queer animated series per se but there are female bisexual characters. Those characters are Korra and Asami. They start as friends but eventually have a same-sex relationship with each other. What’s interesting about the queer relationship is that they both were in heterosexual relationships.
Whether you’re queer or straight and an anime lover Legend of Korra is a show you will enjoy.
Robert Simmons in Hey Arnold
Hey Arnold is a Nickelodeon cartoon that aired in 1996. The show was created by Craig Bartlett and lasted for about 6 years. This was one of my absolute favorite cartoons. The show is about a football-shaped kid named Arnold who lives with his grandparents. The show is mostly kid-friendly but is comical and entertaining.
The gay character in Hey Arnold is Arnold’s teacher Peter Simmons. Peter never outright says he’s gay but hints are thrown in one episode “Arnold’s Thanksgiving”. Arnold and his classmate Helga go over to Robert’s house for Thanksgiving dinner. Robert’s family is there as well as Robert’s friend *coughs* Peter. Robert’s mother Pearl says she doesn’t know Peter was coming over for Thanksgiving dinner. Peter responds, “There’s a lot of things you don’t know”. Later on, Craig confirms that Peter and Robert were in a relationship.
Thelma in Scooby Doo, Where are You
The Scooby-Doo cartoon is one of the most popular cartoons ever have been created. It’s a franchise and business in that books, spin-off cartoons, movies, etc. have been created off the name Scooby-Doo. Of all cartoons reviewed in this blog post, Scooby-Doo is the most kid and family-friendly. The original Scooby-Doo cartoon was created in 1969 by Joe Ruby and Ken Spears. As a little kid, I was never as excited about the show as other cartoons.
Velma is one of the gay characters in the Scooby-Doo series. She was one of my favorite characters in the show. I always sensed the gayness in her. Come on!!! Look at her big sweaters and that haircut. This may sound stereotypical but that look gave it away. I remember that Velma and another main character Shaggy were supposed to be dating each other. But that relationship never really blossomed. Just this Tony Cervone, the producer of the new Scooby series, confirmed that Velma is a lesbian. Well, as I just previously mentioned I already knew she was gay.
Harold McBride in The Loud House
No, The Loud House is not about a bunch of smokers. It’s an animated series by Nickelodeon that was released in May 2016. The show is about a kid named Lincoln Loud who lives in a big family. The show is for kids but like a lot of cartoons, there are mature topics in the show. In the show, there are a couple of LGBTQ characters. Some of them are not open with their sexuality and gender identity but others are. One of the openly gay characters is Harold McBride.
Harold McBride is married to Howard McBride. Together, they raise their adopted child Clyde.
The Loud House is a queer animated series that’s enjoyable to watch. There is a movie version on Netflix.
Big Gay Al in Southpark
Southpark brings back some of my college memories. The show was released in 1997 and is produced by Trey Parker and Matt Stone. The show is about a bunch of young kids living in South Park, Colorado. It is very much an adult show with over-the-top humor. Many parents and other groups of people have complained against the show because of its adult references and poking at different groups of people. It was even banned in China. And yes, he’s even made fun of the gays.
Big Gay Al is one of the gay characters in South Park. There are different types of gays including trade, twinks, fem, etc. In the LGBT world, he would be called a butch queen which is a masculine-looking man who’s very flamboyant. He was the definition of flamboyance with his pink shirt and handkerchief around his neck. There were huge complaints about Big Gay Al in the gay community as stated in the article, “Big Gay Al’s BoatRide” by playing to the stereotype of gays being very feminine.
Adora in She-Ra and the Princess of Power
This is another LGBTQ anime that represents the whole LGBTQ community. There are gay cartoon characters, lesbians, bisexuals, transgender, and nonbinary individuals. The show was originally created in 1985 and was rebooted in 2018. The show’s creator is a transgender woman. She-Ra is about an orphan named Adora who fights against an evil named the Evil Horde. The Evil Horde once was her ally but she goes against them once she learns their evil ways. Adora is able to transform into a higher being named She-Ra and has superstrengths. Adora’s squad members are Bow and Glimmer. Bow has a crush on Glimmer and they end up kissing on the show.
What I love about the show is the visibility of the LGBTQ characters and LGBTQ relationships. Adora is a lesbian who ends up in a same-sex relationship with her female friend Chatra, a Gemini, and Bow is bisexual and has two gay dads. There is another gay relationship between the characters Kyle and Rogelio. You even see characters of the same gender kissing each other. Growing up this was totally unheard of on a children’s cartoon series.
She-Ra is a fantasy gay anime series on Netflix that both adults and children can watch. There are 5 seasons and there are rumors of a 6th season. From the first episode, you’ll get hooked. There are universal themes of love, friendship, and evil.
Rayla in The Dragon Prince
Dragon Prince is a fantasy animated series on Netflix. The show is about human princes named Callum and Ezran and elf named Rayla who tries to bring peace between two worlds, Xadia and the Human Kingdoms. My favorite character is Rayla. She’s such a badass. She’s agile and clever and can fight better than Callum and Ezran.
Dragon Prince is appropriate for kids unless you ask a homophobe. The show has some LGBT elements to it.
Yuka in Blue Period
Blue Period is a Japanese gay anime series on Netflix. The show is about a genderfluid character named Yuka navigating his way through high school and life. Genderfluid means not conforming as male or female. The fact that Yuka is genderfluid makes the plot very interesting.
One of the most touching moments is in episode 3. Yuka goes out with a guy who’s under the impression that Yuka is a girl. When the guy finds out Yuga is not biologically female he rejects her. Yuka breaks down and vents to her friend that it’s hard to date. They state that they have a hard time dating females because they are only seen as the gay best friend. Yuka states that it’s also difficult to date men because of their sexuality. This is a reality for many gay men. Feminine gay men are seen as besties to many other females and are disregarded as intimate partners by masculine gay men because of their femininity.
Lemon in Super Drags
This show truly reflects the diversity of the LGBTQ community featuring persons of the whole LGBTQ spectrum.
Super Drags is a new LGBTQ cartoon series on Netflix. The show is Brazilian with English subtitles. As the name suggests the show is about superheroes who are drag queens. Drag culture is a big part of the LGBTQ+ community. However, drag persons are still not as respected as masculine homosexual men, even among the LGBTQ community. A drag queen is a person who dresses up in feminine clothes and impersonates a woman. I’ve seen drag queen performers at brunches and shows and always enjoyed myself. As I thought, the drag queens in Super Drags are very comedic and entertaining. I would suggest not to let your kids or young nieces and nephews watch this show since there is adult and sexual content. For instance, in the first episode, one of the main drag queens tries to prevent a bus from falling off a cliff by using a huge condom.
If you’re looking to watch mature gay anime on Netflix check out Super Drags.
Sam Merriweather in Q-Force
This is another gay anime on Netflix that delivers! it was released in September 2021. Q-Force is an action-adventure show about a gay man named Sam Merriweather who lives in West Hollywood, a popular gay destination. Sam is a secret spy who’s part of a gay group called Q-Force. The “Q” stands for queer. The q-force group includes a black queer woman named Deb who has a wife and a gay twink actually named Twink.
The first episode starts with Sam graduating from the cadet academy. Sam appears straight to his heterosexual peers but there’s a turning point. During the graduation ceremony Sam comes out as gay and from there, his career suffers. This reflects reality. Historically, in both private and government jobs your career can go so downhill if you’re found out that you’re gay. Because Sam is not respected for his sexuality he has to do things low-key in order to do his job as a spy. He even has to add a straight man to the q-force group.
Sadly, the show only lasted one season since the gay community because of the LGBTQ stereotypes like the gay cartoon character being overly flamboyant and materialistic. What I like about this anime is that there is an openly gay couple.
Chip in Chip and Potato
Chip is another LGBTQ-friendly animated kid series on Netflix. I’ve watched his show with my nephew and can say that it’s appropriate for young children. You can easily tell that the show is gay-friendly since there is a rainbow flag on the show’s poster. The rainbow flag represents LGBTQ pride.
Chip and Potato is about a female pug named Chip and her mouse Potato. Potato is disguised as a toy which is why Chip hides the mouse. I can’t tell of Chip’s sexuality but I did notice an openly gay zebra couple on the show.
Past LGBTQ representation in animated shows
There have been tons of LGBTQ characters in cartoons. Most of the time it’s been implied. There have been lesbian, gay, and even transgender animated characters in both adult and kid cartoons. There have been two main problems with past LGBTQ representation in the media.
- LGBTQ characters weren’t really shown. There was actually a rule by Hollywood implemented in the 1930s stating that homosexual characters were shown it was very implicit. For instance, Bugs Bunny is a character that has been around for a few decades. But it didn’t really have there been speculations about his sexuality. Growing up I can count on both hands the number of times I saw queer characters on television and in film.
- Homosexual characters have been portrayed as overly flamboyant and one-dimensional. The times I’ve watched tv shows and movies I often saw queer characters who were very feminine. don’t have an issue with that but we exist in all types. And so, people look at television and film and justify stereotypes of LGBTQ persons based on what they see. As a queer black child, I myself actually thought other homosexuals and bisexual men were overly feminine because of how they have been portrayed in the media. Of course, as I got older I exposed myself to the LGBTQ community and learned that the gay community comes in all personality types including, femme, butch queen, and masculine.
Despite the number of LGBTQ shows on Netflix and cable heterosexual white men dominate the tv screens. I don’t have any issues with heteronormativity and straight actors. I’m not trying to push a gay agenda. I don’t believe that every show and film has to have lead gay characters. But there needs to be LGBTQ representation in the media. When people see positive images of gay characters on television and in films, they are more likely to tolerate homosexuality.
LGBT content is skyrocketing at this day and age. Streaming services like Netflix and Hulu have been pumping out LGBT movies and shows across all genres including comedy, action, and adventure. For about $10 you have access to this content on Netflix.
What’s good to hear is that gay cartoon characters have become more prominent. I can remember watching cartoons as a kid and never thought about this. Tv show creators would not create openly gay cartoon characters to prevent getting backlash from homophobic parents and viewers. Gay anime on Netflix like Q-Force and Super Drags would’ve caused such an outrage among parents while I was growing up. These shows have persons of different genders and sexualities such as trans and queer which I’m still learning about.
In today’s time, homosexuality is more accepted so you’ll find more openly gay cartoon characters than ever before. You’ll even have characters but non-binary and non-gender-conforming characters. There still is backlash but it’s