I’m sure I’m not alone in feeling like there weren’t very many queer role models when we were growing up–at least, not very many obvious ones. Many of my contemporaries would recall feeling as children that there was no one in the world who looked like them, or expressed themselves the way they did. Now, as an adult, I cannot help but raise an eyebrow as I ponder the odd behavior of a number of cartoon characters. Now I realize I wasn’t so alone after all. Obviously, it’s the guys who get outed the most–America loves a good gay scandal. But what about the ladies? In a completely arbitrary order here are eight lesbian cartoons I watched as kid. Though some may surprise you, I actually expect a lot “ah, duhhhh” responses. I guess I do tend to be the last to know…
Peppermint Patty and Marcie (Peanuts)
The classic lesbian pioneers if you will. They deserve a better spot, were they not so overrated. Honestly, I remember wondering whether Patty was actually a boy or a girl. The flip flops, shorts, button up shirt, and crisp haircut all hint at the flannel and combat boots that are to come. What’s that you say? She had a crush on “Chuck”? Get real. Patty was into beating boys at sports, actually just plain dominating them and Charlie Brown was just the most submissive in the playground. But Patty’s heart belonged to best gal pal Marcie, why else would the bespectacled girl refer to her master as “sir”?
Someone ask Snoopy for a leash.
Wilma Flintstone and Betty Rubble (The Flintstones)
Someone explain to me why these two knockout babes would marry two oafs with toes that resembled gourd potatoes? Well, back in the stone age some things were still taboo (although the person who takes offense at the thought of these two getting it on is beyond me….). So they did the next best thing, marry two guys who spend half their day at work and the other half with each other. Wilma and Betty could spend their days in each other’s company, gossiping, exchanging recipes, complaining about the ineptitude of their husbands without raising any suspicion.
Pass the lipstick please.
Didi Pickles and Betty Deville (Rugrats)
Kids of the nineties remember this couple. Actually they don’t, I mean who would have guessed, these two have nothing in common! Bingo. Strong, empowered Betty and meek, prissy Didi barely got along as friends, let alone secret lovers. That’s exactly what they want you to think. Fact, their husbands are shmucks, one is locked all day in the basement, the other in the kitchen. Fact, their children have daily play dates, while their mothers are in the house, but nowhere to be seen.
How long can two women drink coffee?
Francine Frensky and Muffy Crosswire (Arthur)
So am I saying that just because two girls are best friends they have to be lesbians? Not necessarily, but our next couple does pile up the evidence… Francine is as butch as they get; sports, drums, scraped knees, baggy jeans, you name it, and if you ask me, Francine is definitely into Muffy’s muffin. Muffy is a different case, as girly as can be, this pillow princess hangs out with Frankie just to tick off daddy. She’s totally straight, this is just a special friendship.
Who you think you’re fooling, Muffy?
Helga Pataki and Phoebe Heyerdahl (Hey Arnold!)
You got to be kidding right? Helga, who’s sole purpose in life is her love for Arnold? I don’t doubt Helga is obsessed with Arnold, but I also don’t doubt that her feelings are very much unrequited. What is a lovesick unibrowed tomboy to do but find comfort in her steadfast best friend: quiet, bookish Phoebe. She listens to Helga’s rants, she puts up with her tantrums, she dries her tears with gentle hands. And she asks for nothing in return. Helga might just be frustrated, but Phoebe is definitely in love.
Buttercup (The Powerpuff Girls)
Well, Duh. This chick’s tough, easily the strongest of her sisters. She wants not to kiss boys but beat them up. And she’s angry, really angry. Maybe she just hasn’t found the right guy?
Try saying that to her face and see what happens…
Velma Dinkley (Scooby Doo)
Doesn’t she kind of look like Marcie? Is it the thick glasses? The ‘unique’ fashion’ sense? The unfortunate haircut? The fact that she is strong enough to carry three adults and a great dane on her shoulders? Not really. The real evidence has flaming red hair and is so hot, most of us still have an embarrassing crush on her: Daphne Blake. Why else would a human computer hang around 3 idiots and a mangy dog but for the opportunity to look for her glasses under a babe’s skirts? Scooby Doo’s mysteries were the stage for one of the most uncomfortable love triangles on television. Velma had eyes only for Daphne, Daphne had eyes only for Fred and Fred had eyes for no one but himself.
whoever said orange was the new pink was seriously Velma.
Sandy Cheeks (Spongebob Squarepants)
It’s all right if you didn’t notice, what with Spongebob and Patrick holding hands and skipping around and all. But level-headed Sandy is pretty out there too; and she makes a good role model. The strongest, smartest and furriest critter in Bikini Bottom, Sandy is into contact sports, marine biology and bull riding.
Plus I’m not really sure she is aware Spongebob is a boy.