Tag Archives: Cartoon

4 Queer, Radical Moments You Missed in SpongeBob

SpongeBob isn’t explicitly gay, but it is a queer show – at least, according to queer theorist Daniel Spielberger…and many furious Christian organizations.

The show has always raised a lot of eyebrows from LGBTQ viewers and conservative viewers alike. It has been accused of making children gay, and fat, and sex-crazed.

You be the jury. Is SpongeBob as queer+radical as conservatives fear?

1. SpongeBob and Patrick adopt a clam and prove that traditional gender roles lead to the degredation of families.

Why is it gay? SpongeBob and Patrick, two men, start a family together. Evil!

How is it corrupting children? It teaches children that people of the same sex can parent a child, and that when those people force themselves into traditional roles – SpongeBob becomes a housewife and Patrick gets a fulltime job – then families fall apart.

PATRICK: Oh! I wanna be the mom!

SPONGEBOB: I don’t think you can be the mom, because you never wear a shirt.

PATRICK: You’re right. If I was your mom, this would be kinda shocking. Just call me daddy!

2. When Mr. Krabs insults SpongeBob’s masculinity, SpongeBob is flattered.

Why is it gay? Mr. Krabs attempts to force traditional gender roles onto SpongeBob, who subverts these gender roles by embracing traits ascribed to women.

How is it corrupting children? It teaches children that misogyny is not okay. It also teaches boys that they can be pretty girls. Evil!

KRABS: That hat makes you look like a girl!

SPONGEBOB: Am I a pretty girl?

3. SpongeBob and Patrick ride a nearly naked David Hasselhoff through the ocean without doubting their masculinity.

Why is it gay? Two male characters are happily, eagerly riding on the naked back of a very toned man with no respect for heterosexual norms. If they rode on the back of a nearly naked woman, that would be understandable – men should assert sexually-charged masculinity at all times.

How is it corrupting children? It teaches children that they can physically interact with a person of the same sex out even if it “looks gay.” Children need to learn that if something looks gay, then it’s definitely evil and should be shamed!

SPONGEBOB: Oh no, how will we ever get back to Bikini Bottom now?

DAVID HASSELHOFF: I can take you there.

[Hasselhoff runs up in slow motion, Baywatch-style]

SPONGEBOB: Who are you?

DAVID HASSELHOFF: I’m David Hasselhoff.


SPONGEBOB: So, uh, where’s your boat?


[They ride away into the sunset on David Hasselhoff’s naked body]

4. SpongeBob gives Valentine’s Day gifts to everyone in Bikini Bottom, irrespective of gender, disproving the idea that only romantic love has value.

Why is it gay? Valentine’s Day is traditionally for monogamous, romantic love. However, this episode shows SpongeBob giving elaborate gifts to nearly every citizen of Bikini Bottom. This seems to suggest that SpongeBob has an affinity for queerplatonic relationships: emotionally rich and expressive relationships that blend the line between platonic and romantic/sexual. Or, SpongeBob could simply be asexual, valuing platonic relationships above all else.

How is it making children gay? It shows children that not everyone needs to fall in love to be happy. Evil!

FRAN: Hey SpongeBob, I just wanted to thank you for this box of chocolates.

SPONGEBOB: Uh, no problem, Fran.

PATRICK: And even though I was expecting more…

[A man with roses walks up]

DAVE: Thanks for the roses, SpongeBob. Happy Valentine’s Day.

SpongeBob: You too, Dave.

PATRICK: And not that it matters that we’ve been friends for so long…

[A woman walks by with a bike]

FEMALE FISH: Hey SpongeBob, thanks for the bike! [talking to Patrick] Can you believe this guy? I just met him this morning!

SpongeBob has been queering television screens since 1999. What’s your favourite (and gayest) moment from a children’s TV show? Leave your answer in the comments!

Cartoonist Alison Bechdel Countered Dad’s Secrecy About His Sexuality By Always Being Open About Hers

Since coming out as at the age of 19, graphic novelist Alison Bechdel has made it a point to be open about her sexuality.

It was a decision she made consciously as a reaction to her father – who was gay and closeted – who sadly died four months after Bechdel came out.


Talking Fresh Air‘s Terry Gross, Bechdel says

In many ways my life, my professional career has been a reaction to my father’s life, his life of secrecy. I threw myself into the gay community, into this life as a lesbian cartoonist, deciding I was going to be a professional lesbian. In a way, that was all my way of healing myself.”

Also read: ‘My Old Flame’ by Alison Bechdel

In 2006, Bechdel’s “healing” took the form of a graphic novel called Fun Home, in which she details her own coming out, and how she grappled with her father’s death, which she suspects may have been a suicide.

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Fun Home has since been turned into a Broadway play, which recently won five Tony Awards, including the award for best musical.

Bechdel says seeing her life story put to music was a visceral experience:

I was kind of blown away. I was not at all prepared to hear the music. … It was much more emotional than I had been anticipating.”

Listen to her interview below, where Fun Home lyricist Lisa Kron and composer Jeanine Tesori join Bechdel in a conversation about the play.

Broadway To Have its First Ever Lesbian Lead Character Next Month

Broadway is to have its first ever lesbian lead character from next month.

Award-winning musical Fun Home, about family, sexuality and acceptance will open at the Circle in the Square Theatre on April 19, following an extended run off-Broadway.

The musical is based on the graphic memoir Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic by Alison Bechdel. The coming-of-age musical revolves around Bechdel’s dysfunctional family and relationship with her late father, who as a closeted gay man who ran a funeral home and taught English in rural Pennsylvania.

The musical, a finalist for the 2014 Pulitzer Prize for drama, begins previews at the Circle in the Square Theatre on April 19 after a sold-out, extended run Off Broadway.

Also: Book Review | Fun Home – A Family Tragicomic by Alison Bechdel

Director Sam Gold told Reuters:

“It is the first lesbian lead character in the history of musical theater and that is a story that needs to be told. It feels like a very good time in our culture to give voice to that character.”

Tony nominee Lisa Kron has adapted the book and provided lyrics to Jeanine Tesori’s music.

The non-linear play will star three actresses as Bechdel. Beth Malone will play the adult version, while Emily Skeggs and Sydney Lucas will play younger versions.

“All of these things are swirling around Fun Home as we tell the story of the detrimental cost of shame, and that is ultimately what this is about, and the redemption that comes from forgiveness and living in truth.”

Beth Malone

Tony winner Michael Cerveris will play father Bruce Bechdel.

“I think people are able to identify with the struggles of these characters, the aspects of being a family. They are not focusing solely on Alison’s or Bruce’s sexual orientation.”

Michael Cerveris

‘My Old Flame’ by Alison Bechdel

Alison Bechdel is a cartoonist, best known for the long-running comic strip ‘Dykes to Watch Out For’.

She began ‘Dykes to Watch Out For’ as a single drawing labeled “Marianne, dissatisfied with the morning brew: ‘Dykes to Watch Out For’, plate no. 27”.

Over the years Bechdel’s comic strip involved into multi-paneled strips introducing a regular cast of lesbian characters – Mo and her friends, and a serialised storyline. ‘Dykes to Watch Out’ For was the origin of the “Bechdel test,” which has become a frequently used metric in cultural discussion of film.

Since Dykes to Watch Out For, Bechdel has produce other graphic memoirs, ‘Fun Home’ and ‘Are You My Mother?’. The focus of ‘Are You My Mother?’ was Bechdel relationship with her mother, and ‘Fun Home’ chronicles the her childhood in rural Pennsylvania, United States, focusing on her complex relationship with her father.

Bechdel is featuring in the The New Yorker, and their love-stories-themed Summer Fiction Issue.

This new comic – ‘My Old Flame’, has Bechdel reflecting on an old flame. Bechdel came out as a lesbian at age 19 and her sexual identity are a large part of the core message of her work.

“The secret subversive goal of my work is to show that women, not just lesbians, are regular human beings.”

Alison Bechdel

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