Disney Channel’s Animated Sorcery Adventure The owl house was unapologetically and proudly queer, so much so that I didn’t realize our hero Luz and his girlfriend, Amity, hadn’t actually kissed, well, until the last episode.
**Spoiler for The owl house.**
Amity attempts to stop her mother from helping the big bad remove the magic from the show’s world and finds herself pinned to the ground, unable to help Luz. However, Luz decides to go help her sweet potato. The two embrace and share an on-screen kiss that’s so good it gets an animation quality boost.
It’s sweet and right in the middle of the episode, so even after that there’s more intrigue! And more of them call each other girlfriends. As someone who has watched the growth of LGBTQ representation in children’s animation, the kiss between Luz and Amity is a huge deal.
A kiss between two girls – teenage girls – calling each other girlfriends, and that moment comes before the end of the show or during the emotional climax is a normalizing thing. For so long, gay kissing has been hidden in the background or just shown as a “blink and you miss the moment” in the finale. And to think that I had been happy with just kisses on the cheek until now.
Korrasami (Korra and Asami in The Legend of Korra) was able to end the series holding hands in a very Sapphic moment, but was unable to kiss until the comics that followed. Bubbline (Marceline and Princess Bubblegum in adventure time) received a kiss, after years of subtext, in the final episode, and we didn’t get more kisses until distant lands on HBO Max. Same She-Ra and the Princesses of Power, with its overtly odd supporting characters, couldn’t fully confirm Catra and Adora until the final episode. Sapphire and Ruby in Steven Universe also found themselves gendered differently in other international dubs.
And even with that, we see a lot more representation of wlw relationships than mlm relationships, and they’re still overwhelmingly cis. The owl house ends with a few more episodes because it wasn’t “on-brand” enough for Disney, and part of that is how shameless the series has been, not to mention leaning into the darkness of the islands boiling. It’s frustrating to see shows like The owl house get your knees cut under them to deliver the same kind of romantic portrayal as the other shows. The proud family, Kim possibleand so many other shows deal heavily with romance and romantic tension.
As Disney leans into its queer fandom, with a pride collection for the first time, following their tensions with the Florida Republican government, what does it mean when the company can’t properly support creators? LGBTQ? If Disney is truly committed to supporting the queer community, then they need to ensure, going forward, that works created and featuring us aren’t canceled sooner.
And they can also stop pretending that their boring lip service in the Marvel Cinematic Universe and mainstream animated movies is something interesting. Putting “Love is love is love” on America Chavez’s jacket is not a representation.
(featured image: Disney)
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