It's a True Kinda Love: Steven Universe and How Its LGBTQ Characters Shows a Positive Representation of Gender Non-Conforming Identities and Lesbian Relationships

Date
2021
Authors
O'Neal, Alexandrea
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Abstract

This research effort analyzed different representations of queerness, mainly same-sex relationships and gender non-conforming identities, in Steven Universe through the different characters in the show. It examined the representations of LGBTQ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer) characters for children to watch, due to most LGBTQ youth facing homelessness because of their identity, along with isolation from friends and family, as well as harassment from their peers in school. Using different theoretical perspectives from queer theorists Judith Butler and Cathy Cohen we can discover themes in Steven Universe that correlate with the theoretical concepts, mainly the analysis of nonnormative identities that the show depicts. A content analysis of forty selected episodes with twenty episodes depicting important queer moments throughout the show was conducted, in contrast of 20 episodes that did not contain queer content will be conducted to determine if queer content is prevalent within Steven Universe. The findings illustrated positive representations of lesbian relationships, characters that challenge gender norms, or even blur the gender binary, and safe spaces for queer individuals in the show.

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This item is available only to currently enrolled UTSA students, faculty or staff.
Keywords
Textual analysis, Queer theory, Television, Binary, Safe spaces, Norms, Animation
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Department
Sociology