LGBTQ+ themes in My Little Pony
"With Josh and Nicole running the final season together, it was something we all wanted to do — bring this out couple into the final season and make them [LGBTQ+ people] ‘officially’ a part of the MLP world. My Little Pony has always been about friendship and accepting people (or ponies) that are different from you. So it just felt like something important to do."
As societal norms change and progress, LGBT representation in My Little Pony progressed greatly. In the late 2010s, numerous characters were confirmed to be LGBTQ+ and a handful of new ones were introduced. In an out-of-universe perspective, My Little Pony was the target of numerous anti-LGBTQ+ controversies and strikes, due to its depiction of rainbows and other iconography attributed with LGBTQ+ culture in the earlier seasons, to outrage regarding same-sex couples in the later seasons.
LGBTQ+ history in the franchise
Unfortunately due to the cultural climate of media in the 80s all the way to most of the 2010s, LGBTQ+ representation was rare and often reserved for more adult media, and was often used as more of a joke rather than a fundamental feature of a character. Starting in the later years of the 2010s, cartoons and television shows aimed at children and Networks themselves tended to be more comfortable with the idea of LGBTQ+ characters. Avatar: The Legend of Korra and Adventure Time famously built long-form story arcs around same sex couples and Steven Universe featured many LGBTQ+ figures as main characters and often had LGBTQ+ themes and plots as main focuses for storylines.
In 2017, My Little Pony received its first same-sex couple in the form of Aunt Lofty and Aunt Holiday, the loving aunts of Scootaloo. These characters were later brought into the cartoon canon debuting in "The Last Crusade" in which they were the driving force as to why Scootaloo got to stay in Ponyville. Though their comic counterparts were never technically confirmed, they were quite romantic with each other and it was written in the Ponyville Mysteries novels, which the comics were sequels to, that they kissed each other, essentially confirming they were in love.
In 2018, Equestria Girls: Rollercoaster of Friendship was released, and was originally set to feature a romantic relationship between Rarity and Applejack, but it was eventually dropped. This was referenced in the next two Equestria Girls specials, Equestria Girls: Spring Breakdown and Equestria Girls: Sunset Shimmer's Backstage Pass in which Rarity fell for a young man named Ragamuffin and Applejack fell for a musician named Dirk Thistleweed, both of whom resembled the other strongly.
On September 9, 2019, Sunset Shimmer was confirmed to be bisexual by Katrina Hadley, who thought it was "pretty obvious". In a Q&A, Big Jim said it was up to fans to determine whether or not Applejack & Rainbow Dash were a couple, which would most likely mean they were both LGBTQ+ in the first place.
Although not confirmed, Wiz Kid and Curly Winds were shown to display behavior towards each other that were clearly romantic in nature, such as cuddling, hugging, holding hands, looking longingly into each others eyes, blushing in each others' presences, and more.
In My Little Pony: Classics Reimagined—Little Fillies, the character Theodore Laurence, a male love interest for Amy March, has been replaced with a female character named Theodora Laurence.
In Equestria at least, lesbian, gay and bisexual individuals appear to have no real stigma, with no characters really reacting to Holiday and Lofty's relationship as if it were anything unusual. Likewise, Lyra and Bon Bon were able to get married, meaning same-sex marriage is legal in Equestria.
- Sappho, an original-character created by Jenn Blake, appeared in a few amount of official works, all drawn by Blake herself. Blake's background for the character portrays here as a lesbian who is either in a relationship with Rarity, or has feelings for her. Additionally, the name Sappho is derived from the famous LGBT/Lesbian icon, Sappho of Lesbos.
- Little Cheese was described as being a boy, despite having a female animation model, though some other works, such as the mobile game, describes Cheese as being a girl. Big Jim has said that their gender is whatever the viewer decides.
LGBTQ+ among staff members
- Susan Blu, voice actor for Paradise and Buttons, is openly a lesbian.
- Trivia Fox, Rose Bousramra and Kira Buckland all identify with They/Them pronouns. In Buckland's case, they identify with she/they.
- Lex Heule identifies as non-binary with They/Them pronouns, though did their voice-work for the show prior to their transition. As such, many reference and sites that reference them still use their deadname and old pronouns as they have yet to update.
- Several staff members have been outspoken advocates of LGBTQ+ rights, such as (and not limited to) Tara Strong, Kelly Sheridan, Jim Miller and Heather Breckel.
Arcee is a transgender Cybertronian who appeared in Transformers-based crossover events.
- ↑ Strapagiel, Lauren (June 12, 2019). There's Going To Be A Lesbian Couple On "My Little Pony". Retrieved on 2020 May 3.
- ↑ Hadley, Katrina (9/25/2019). FYI Sunset is bi. So there, haters. Retrieved on 2019 September 25.
- ↑ Big Jim's Q&A On the Friendship is Magic Finale (Also Confirming AJ's Parents Died) (10/23/2019). Retrieved on 2019 October 23.