Some of the most fun a fan can have when watching a television series is discovering how the characters relate to them and their experiences. For those of us who came out before LGBTQ+ characters were as prevalent as they are today, it was a struggle to find characters we could identify with. Now, with progressive networks like Nickelodeon and Cartoon Network increasing LGBTQ+ visibility in their programming, characters both past and present are finally able to come out.
From Gargoyles‘ Lexington to The Legend of Korra‘s Kya, there are more LGBTQ+ characters than most people may realize. While some were closeted for cultural reasons, others simply weren’t straight all along –– you just didn’t need to know it until you did. With more creators opening up about their characters’ sexuality, you’re sure to find a few surprises among these nine cartoon characters you didn’t know where part of the LGBTQ community.
1. Lexington, Gargoyles
According to Gargoyles creator Greg Weisman, Lexington, the Manhattan Clan’s technical specialist, is in fact gay. However, that wasn’t the initial plan. Greg discussed the evolution of Lexington’s sexuality, stating:
“We didn’t plan it from the beginning. We didn’t say, ‘Okay, here’s the big heavy-set character and here’s the gay character.’ Over time, we learned more about the characters. And towards the end, it occurred to us that Lexington was gay but that he didn’t know it. It wasn’t ‘liberal Hollywood’s’ plan. It was just the way the character played out.”
Weisman, however, was unable to explore Lexington’s sexuality once he’d figured it out. While Lexington’s orientation has since been hinted at in comics years after the series’ end, it never came up on screen.