Recently an online campaign was started by Chicago gay rights activist Lair Scott in an attempt to get the creators of Sesame Street to marry the characters of Bert and Ernie, in celebration of the legalization of gay marriage in New York. However, despite many considering the puppets as a gay couple, the producers of Sesame Street released a statement that quelled the rumours:
“Even though they are identified as male characters and possess many human traits and characteristics (as most Sesame Street Muppets do), they remain puppets, and do not have a sexual orientation.”
However, Bert and Ernie aren’t the only fictional characters from our childhood who have attracted attention due to their sexual ambiguity. Here are 4 more that are supposedly trapped inside the closet.
Family Guy’s evil genius Stewie Griffin may only be one year old, but when you consider that his young life has largely consisted of plotting the murder of his mother and attempting to take over the world, being a closeted homosexual isn’t exactly the most far-fetched facet of his personality.
The show’s creator Seth MacFarlane has already ‘outed’ the character in an issue of Playboy magazine, saying that he once devised an episode where Stewie “does come out”, but the writing team decided it was “better to keep it vague” and have Stewie never openly admit to his orientation.
An episode where Stewie deals with his burgeoning homosexuality wouldn’t exactly be shocking to fans of the show that have seen the character, among other things, ride the family’s dog Brian whilst dressed in bondage gear and indulge in homoerotic fantasies involving his muscular teddy bear Rupert.
We’re not talking the new age rebel without a cause Robin here. We’re talking the submissive, campy Robin from the old TV series and the early comic books. Although rumours surrounding Robin’s homosexuality have largely been gathered from comic strips taken out of context and Burt Ward’s effeminate portrayal of him, Robin’s apparent homosexuality could really just be attributed to the fact that he is fighting crime alongside the uber-straight Batman, whose heterosexuality is so apparent that he makes dressing up like a bat and playing cops ‘n’ robbers with a guy wearing make-up seem like the most masculine thing in the world.
On a scale of 1 to George Michael, just how gay is He-Man? Oh he’s pretty gay. Sporting a bob haircut, a huge phallic sword and an “interesting” choice of attire, He-Man’s clear homosexuality is made even more apparent when you consider the fact that his alter-ego Prince Adam’s getup somehow looks even more camp than He-Man’s fur Y-front/boots and chest strap combination. When your everyday garb consists of a tight pink unbuttoned shirt, purple tights and a bob haircut, it’s fair to say that Battle Cat is the only pussy that He-Man is interested in.
Perhaps the most famous closeted gay cartoon character, Mr Smithers’ ability to hide his homosexuality in The Simpsons in its 20+ years tenure is admirable, if a little pointless. With a love of all things Malibu Stacy and a barely concealed admiration for his elderly superior Mr Burns, Smithers is quite clearly gay and his sexuality has been alluded to many times by the inhabitants of Springfield. However, like Seth MacFarlane with Stewie Griffin, the writers have never portrayed him as “out and proud”, perhaps because of the plentiful jokes that stem from him wanting to bone his 119-year-old boss.