When we were growing up, there were very few out characters in TV and movies. But maybe there was more of a representation of queer figures than we realized.
1. Spongebob from Spongebob Squarepants
Spongebob, our flamboyant friend from under the sea, has long been rumored to be gay. His close friendship with Patrick and his affinity for bothering Squidward (the old conservative who lives next door) definitely make you wonder.
2. Darlene from Roseanne
Yeah, we bet you do, Darlene. Darlene dated a couple of boys in Roseanne, and even got pregnant at one point, but it was pretty clear she wasn’t really into them. Darlene was a complete tomboy, totally uninterested in doing anything that her popular and boy-crazy older sister did, and dressed in a uniform of flannel and baseball caps. Of course, Sara Gilbert did come out a few years ago as gay, making all of our dreams come true.
3. Phil and Lil from Rugrats
Phil and Lil were the coolest bug-loving ambiguously-gendered twins on television. Sure, Lil wore the bow and Phil wore the blue shorts, but otherwise they were basically indistinguishable. And remember their gender non-conforming mom? Yeah, this was one queer family.
4. Nakoma from Pocahontas
Beyond her super-gay haircut (just take a look at those short bangs), Nakoma was obviously in love with Pocahontas. She had the kind of tension with Pocahontas that only a girl in love with their straight friend could have. And her puppy eyes when John Smith and Pocahontas kiss are too much to handle. Warning: looking up her name on tumblr definitely results in lesbian cartoon porn.
5. Shawn from Boy Meets World
Sure, Shawn was everybody’s favorite ladies’ man. He may have enjoyed dating a bunch of girls, but his heart was always set on Cory. He understood that his “best bud” belonged with Topanga in the end, but he loved Cory in a way that goes deeper than friendship. He even went so far as to tearfully crash Cory and Topanga’s wedding, and force Cory to tearfully reassure him that they wouldn’t stop being close. Of course.
6. Jules from Bend It Like Beckham
Does this even need an explanation? The whole movie is pretty gay, to say the least, but Jules’ response to Jess dating Joe is clearly just anger that their story line got in the way of what should really have happened at the end of this movie. We know how you feel, Jules.
7. Daria from Daria
Daria is one of the queerest characters out there. She constantly gets super jealous of anyone Jane spends time with that isn’t her. It’s pretty indicative that the two boys she is “interested” in are Trent, Jane’s brother, and Tom, Jane’s boyfriend. Coincidence that these are the two boys who are closest to Jane? I think not. Poor Daria, looking in all the wrong places for Jane’s attention. We’ve all been there.
8. HIM from Powerpuff Girls
HIM was by far the best villain in the Powerpuff Girls. He was ambiguous in all senses of the word, and it was amazing. It’s too bad that he was presented as the worst and scariest villain of all time, because he truly was a queer icon — HIM dressed in heels, pink frills, and make-up.
9. Lisa from The Simpsons
Oh, Lisa Simpson, TV’s favorite queer feminist hero. Lisa has a lot of feelings, is a vegetarian, yells at people about homophobia, and wears a beret at times. None of us were surprised when Lisa was shown in gay relationships in the future.
11. Sailor Neptune and Sailor Uranus from Sailor Moon
Okay, this might be cheating, because in the original Japanese version of Sailor Moon, these two were officially dating. But in the US version, they changed the script to refer to them as “cousins.” As if. Sailor Uranus regularly cross dresses, and Sailor Neptune is one of the coolest queer femmes out there.