I’m doing a lot of Netflix watching right now, and I came to an interesting revelation while watching and researching Gargoyles.
For whatever reason (yes I know the reason, shush up), children’s cartoons are, for the most part, not allowed to have openly-LGBT characters. Lexington is a prime example of this. While the character doesn’t need to be homosexual to be interesting, it’s crazy to think that such an idea would not get some type of development. I mean, the gargoyle Broadway once shot Elisa Maza and they created a story arc over that. It’s not like the show avoided controversy.
And this isn’t an uncommon occurrence, especially with cartoons going from east to west, so to speak.
Dragon Ball Z has a couple of these characters. One of them is General Blue, one of the leaders of the Red Ribbon Army. In Japan, General Blue is revealed to be gay. However, this fact didn’t make it over in the Western translation. For some reason, FUNimation didn’t think it would translate into the American version of the show.
The character Otokosuki, on the other hand, was allowed to come West for some reason. In case you were wondering, Otokosuki which means “Man Love” in Japanese. The character’s homosexuality and crush on Trunks was a running joke.
As a side note, why the hell is it OK to make Otokosuki a joke but completely cut out General Blue’s sexual orientation? Was is not funny enough for people? Can homosexuality only be a punchline in cartoons? I’ll never understand crap like that.
East to West cartoons are not the only cartoons who have missing sexual orientation. In X-men, both Mystique and Northstar are focused characters. However, if you only watched the television show, you’d have no clue that Mystique is bisexual and Northstar is gay. It just doesn’t come up, but Cyclops and Jean Grey? That’s shoved down your throat.
Up until recently, homosexual cartoon characters don’t get much focus or acknowledgement. Even in adult cartoons, gay characters get treated more like jokes then serious characters.
As we’re moving closer to equality in most aspects of life, can we finally get a homosexual cartoon character that isn’t a joke just for joke’s sake? I would appreciate it, thanks.