The idea that queer people are not only allowed to live but thrive

With Steven Universe and She-Ra both having ended this year, PAPER invited showrunners Rebecca Sugar [non-binary, she/her/they/them] and Noelle Stevenson [non-binary, any pronouns] to sit down with one another and reflect on the legacies of their respective series, getting their start in comics, the state of representation in the animated field and where things go from here.

(No pullquotes because I would just end up pullquoting the entire article.)

posted by one for the books (2 comments total) 6 users marked this as a favorite

I began to think about what a difference it would make to have an LGBTQIA role model on the other side of the table — having a conversation about what it takes to have self-respect in a world that wants to kill you. What a difference it would make to grow up knowing that someone out there wants to talk about that, is experiencing that in the way that you’re experiencing that in real time, the way we experienced that when we were kids. That would have a huge impact.

I came out in 1990 in a decently-large city with zero gay bars, an entirely underground (and hard to find) gay underground, and only really insulting media depictions of gay men as effeminate swishes who were comic relief and all hair dressers and whatever blah blah blah. Today’s kids (and even adults, really) are going to have it so much easier, and I’m so very happy for that.

This article is a really great read. I haven’t watched either of these shows, but I’ve been hearing about them for years, and this conversation between the two showrunners is really nicely thought-through and insightful. Thank you!
posted by hippybear at 12:37 PM on August 9 [3 favorites]

I’ve said for a while that Steven Universe’s statre is going to grow over time, it’s not only groundbreaking in important ways relating to gender expression, but is also a great show. To see Cartoon Network telling Rebecca Sugar that they couldn’t have same sex characters in a relationship, while earlier this year trumpeting those same relationships in promotional materials, I guess it really the Age of Hypocrisy.

Also now how, by telling Sugar she couldn’t have gay or non-binary relationships in her show because it might get it pulled in other countries, Cartoon Network has essentially imported those countries’ backward morals into the US, allowing them to dictate the stories that can be told in the US. It might not fly there, so we can’t say it here!
posted by JHarris at 12:52 PM on August 9 [1 favorite]