The most recent episode of Disney Channel's "The Owl House" revealed that one of its main characters is LGBTQ.
Following the episode, series creator Dana Terrace tweeted, "I'm bi! I wanted to write a bi character, dammit! Luckily my stubbornness paid off."
While LGBTQ representation in animated, all-ages programming has vastly improved over the latter half of the 2010s, explicitly queer main characters are still somewhat scarce.
Warning: Spoilers ahead for the "Enchanting Grom Fright" episode of "The Owl House."
"The Owl House" helped Disney Channel make a major step forward in terms of LGBTQ representation, as its latest episode revealed that one of the series' main characters was LGBTQ, io9 reported.
"The Owl House," created by Dana Terrace, follows Luz, a Dominican-American teenager who travels through a magic portal in a new, magical world, where she attends school and trains as a witch's apprentice. While Luz and Amity are initially at odds in the series, their relationship later thaws.
In "Enchanting Grom Fright," as io9's Julie Muncy summarizes, Amity and Luz's school holds "Grom" — a kind of prom event, except the "Grom Queen" must fight a monster that takes the form of their worst fear.
Amity is originally selected as Grom Queen, but asks Luz to take her place. Eventually, Amity is forced to confront her fear, when the monster reveals that she was scared of asking Luz to Grom, depicted in a non-platonic fashion.
The two eventually defeat the monster through a dance sequence and attend Grom together, although Luz remains unaware of Amity's intentions.
—the owl house out of context (@theowlhouseOOC) August 8, 2020
Series creator Dana Terrace tweeted about the episode, saying that she was initially told by "certain Disney leadership" that she was not able to represent "any form of bi or gay relationship on the Channel."
"I'm bi! I want to write a bi character, dammit! Luckily my stubbornness paid off and now I am VERY supported by current Disney leadership," Terrace tweeted.
—Dana Terrace (@DanaTerrace) August 9, 2020
"Enchanting Grom Fright" marks the most prominent LGBTQ representation in any of Disney Channel's animated programming.
The network has previously featured queer storylines in shows like "Andi Mack," which featured a coming out plot for one of its central characters. Other LGBTQ characters have had one-off or background appearances in shows like "Star vs. The Forces of Evil," "Doc McStuffins," and "Good Luck Charlie."
The fight to bring LGBTQ stories to animated programming has played out in a major way across the latter half of the 2010s, with shows like Nickelodeon's "The Legend of Korra," Cartoon Network's "Steven Universe," and Netflix and Dreamworks' "She-Ra and the Princesses of Power" making major strides.
LGBTQ media advocacy group GLAAD reported in its 2020 "Where We Are On TV" report that representation in daytime kids and family television — which isn't synonymous with animated content, but frequently overlaps — has been "growing rapidly" in recent years.
—GLAAD (@glaad) August 9, 2020
It's not always easy: in a 2018 interview with Entertainment Weekly, "Steven Universe" showrunner Rebecca Sugar said that bringing LGBTQ characters to the screen was "impossible" when they started making the show in 2011, but that it had "become possible over the last many years of working really hard to do this."
"Gravity Falls" showrunner Alex Hirsch, who voices a character on "The Owl House," praised the recent episode, saying that he had been forbidden from including any kind of explicit LGBTQ representation in "Gravity Falls."
—Alex Hirsch (@_AlexHirsch) August 9, 2020
Hopefully, "The Owl House" is a harbinger of further LGBTQ stories to come on Disney Channel.
Read the original article on Insider