She-Ra and the Princesses of Power is possibly the most LGBTQ+ friendly show I’ve ever seen. To summarize, She-Ra and the Princesses of Power is a remake of a popular 90’s He-Man spin-off. The new show has absolutely nothing to do with He-Man. Instead, the main character Adora is a soldier for the evil Horde, who finds a magic sword in the forest and becomes She-Ra. She then learns that the Horde is evil and helps unite the princesses in a rebellion against them. It is an epic tale of friendship and love. This show has the most LGBTQ+ representation I’ve seen in a show so far. In this show, nobody really has to come out or worry about acceptance because the world they live in is pretty accustomed to non-straight or cis characters.
One of the things that makes She-Ra so LGBTQ+ friendly is the diverse representation of the LGBTQ+ community. As far as I know, there are only two or three straight characters in the entire show and two of whom are married to each other. In particular, I really like how the show doesn’t make a deal out of characters who are LGBTQ+. They even made Adora, the main character, a lesbian. This character has one of the best enemies-to-lovers storylines I’ve ever seen. They also have a large variety of sexualities and gender identities, including (but not limited to) non-binary, trans (confirmed outside of the show), and polyamorous characters. Pretty much no one in the entire main group of heroes is straight. In most other cartoons that try to be LGBTQ+ inclusive, they tend to include at most two LGBTQ+ side characters, such as two same-sex parents, which is an admirable step towards inclusion. She-Ra went leaps and bounds past this mark.
Another thing that makes this show even more amazing is that it absolutely demolishes a lot of common tropes. It destroys the “token gays” trope by only having three straight characters instead of only two or three LGBTQ+ characters. The “token gays” trope is when TV shows or movies try to be diverse by adding an average of one LGBTQ+ character. Instead of burying their gays, the show kills a straight character. The “bury your gays” trope is exhibited when a show or movie most commonly kills off their LGBTQ+ characters. For example, Castiel, Charlie, and Dean, who are from the show Supernatural, are all LGBTQ+ or heavily implied as such. They all die at least once. I think Dean dies over 111 times over the course of the show. In most shows or movies with main female characters, they have at most two girls to a whole group of boys. She-Ra flips this expectation by making the main group of characters mostly female, with the exception of two male characters. In She-Ra, unlike many cartoons with female main characters, the female characters in this show have a variety of body types. Normally, when shows have female main characters, they tend to hypersexualize them and put them in skimpy clothing that makes no sense in a battle setting. In the 90’s She-Ra show, all of the female characters were oversexualized and wore clothing that would be useless when fighting. However in the new She- Ra show, the only character in a cropped top is a bisexual boy with two dads who actively hates non cropped shirts.
Adora and Catra, two of the main characters, have one of the most well written gay relationships I’ve seen on TV. All of the couples in this show are adorable together, but two of the couples that really stand out to me are Adora and Catra, and Spinnerella and Netossa. The reasons those two couples stand out to me is their relationships are remarkably well written and sweet. Adora and Catra have an amazing enemies to lovers storyline spanning 4/5 seasons. Netossa and Spinnerella are married, and from their first introduction, you can see that they are utterly in love with each other. After they are introduced into the show, they become pivotal characters in the later seasons.
She-Ra is LGBTQ+ friendly/inclusive because it represents LGBTQ+ characters in a non-stereotypical, personality-driven way. In many shows, they tend to make the only personality trait of LGBTQ+ characters the fact that they are LGBTQ+. She-Ra doesn’t do this, it instead gives LGBTQ+ characters actual personality traits that aren’t their sexualities. It also does away with all of the commonly used tropes, like “bury your gays”. The large variety of gender identities and sexualities makes the show easy to relate to for most LGBTQ+ kids and teens watching it. She-Ra includes multiple trans, lesbian and bi characters, including Adora, the main character, who is a lesbian. After taking all of the evidence into account, I now consider She-Ra and the Princesses of Power to have the best LGBTQ+ representation of any show or movie I’ve ever seen.
Editor's note: Madeleine Birke is a teenage member of PFLAG New Orleans. This is her first published article and all of the members thank her for this contribution!
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