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Queer Youth Deserve More Shows Like “Heartstopper” and “The Owl House”

I have never felt more whole than the day I realized I was Bisexual. While I have only been out for less than a year now so much about me has changed since the day I recognized the feelings I had been repressing for a good portion of my life. I initially feared the repercussions but I knew that I did not want to live my life according to how someone else may perceive me. This will be my first Pride and I am the happiest I have ever been depression withstanding.

I am especially privileged however not only in that I am still a cis white man in the LGBTQ + community but that my family for the most part did not retaliate against me. There are still plenty of Queer people who understandably do not feel comfortable coming out in their environments given the alarming rise of farright terrorism and the GOPs hostile crusade against Trans folks. And to that I say that I am looking forward to the day when you are able to find your peace and live your truth.

When I started to embrace my Bisexuality naturally I turned to film and television as a means of seeing other Bi representation. Its very important that our media landscape resembles that of the world we live in especially in childrens media. Shows like Steven Universe and SheRa and the Princesses of Power have taken such strides in presenting Queer characters not as background fodder or people to make fun of but incredibly thoughtful complex and empathetic characters. You know like the way media has portrayed hetero normative relationships since images could move.

As a freelance Entertainment journalist I get the chance to sample a little bit of everything in which Im exposed to stuff that would probably have flown past my radar otherwise. With that Id like to talk about two recent pieces of media that currently give me hope for the future of Queer youth as these shows provide a safe space. They are exactly the kind of shows I wish I had as a child.The Owl House Disney Animation

Disney has had a long and exhausting history of the 1st gay character trope whether it be the cyclops cop in Onward that brief cameo of a Queer couple in The Rise of Skywalker or whatever they thought they were doing with LeFou in that horrid Beauty and the Beast remake of theirs. I know the plenty of Queer folks who love the showstopping fashion spectacle of Cruella but the character of Artie is such a waste. Even Lightyear seems to be making the rounds over a samesex kiss with conservative audiences laughably seeing it harmful to their children. But when it comes to television however The Owl House offers a taste of what Disneys inclusive future could look like.

The Owl House is an animated fantasy adventure series about a human girl who accidentally stumbles into a demon realm called the Boiling Isles which consists of witches and all sorts of magical creatures. It features a Bisexual protagonist named Luz Noceda Voiced by SarahNicole Robles who loves YA fantasy books is a delightful weirdo and desperately wants to learn the art of magic.

Luz finds a mentor in Eda The Owl Lady Clawthorne Voiced by the iconic Wendy Malick a powerful witch hunted by the Emperors Coven for practicing wild magic outside of the oppressive system. But when you are a part of the Bad Girl Coven they are gonna have to try a lot harder than what the Emperor is throwing her way. Trying to find her way back to the human realm Luz lives with Eda in the Owl House in addition to King Voiced by Alex Hirsch the fluffy King of Demons who may somehow be the most innocent character in the entire series .

The Owl House is a mesmerizing and enchanting blend of fantasy comedy and horror that features all the appeal of Harry Potter but without a transphobic ringleader spoiling the whole thing. Even in a perilous world like The Owl House homophobia doesnt exist. Its a relatively serialized series that features an overarching story about the mysterious Emperor Belos Voiced by Matthew Rhys who wants to regulate the use of wild magic amid the stories of other magical folk on the Boiling Isles. One of the most important being that of Luz and Amity Voiced by Mae Whitman a patronizing perfectionist who slowly begins to find herself after meeting the kind human.

Without going into spoilers Luz and Amity who has been confirmed as a Lesbian share feelings towards one another ultimately blossoming into a touching and complex relationship where each character learns from one another. They make me think about the kind of person I want to be says Amity while saving Luz from the wrath of her parents Abominations. The show also features a hilariously awkward yet brave nonbinary character named Raine Whisphers Voiced by Avi Roque who is shown to have shared a romantic past with Eda.

Corporate entities are not allies because they approved a glimpse in a characters Queerness nor because they changed their logo for Pride month.

About Nabeel Haider

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