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Nickelodeon Just Announced That SpongeBob Squarepants Is Gay

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In news that will perhaps be unsurprising to many, Nickelodeon just appeared to make the announcement that the beloved children’s TV character SpongeBob Squarepants is a proud member of the LGBTQ+ community.

The network marked Pride month with a post on Twitter, stating that it was “Celebrating #Pride with the LGBTQ+ community and their allies this month and every month,” accompanied by artwork of SpongeBob, Schwoz Schwartz from Henry Danger, and Korra from Avatar: The Legend of Korra, all in rainbow-tinted hues.

Korra is canonically queer within the world of Avatar, having embarked on an explicitly romantic on-screen relationship with her best friend, Asami Sato. It is unclear, however, whether Nickelodeon were referring to the “community” or “allies” when it came to those pictures of Schwoz and SpongeBob but the internet has already made up its mind that after 20 years of iconically camp behavior, S.B. is finally, officially out of the closet.

Celebrating #Pride with the LGBTQ+ community and their allies this month and every month (: by @ramzymasri ) pic.twitter.com/pENmTaQB0h Nickelodeon (@Nickelodeon)

SpongeBob Squarepants started airing in 1999, and has become known for its mix of surrealism and slapstick humor. Several moments from the show’s earlier seasons have resurfaced and been immortalized as memes in the last couple of years, including one still which shows SpongeBob and his best friend (or boyfriend?) Patrick both with limp wrists, foreshadowing this revelation by Nickelodeon.

LGBTQ+ representation in children’s media remains scarce, largely due to pushback from studios and parents who equate visible gay, lesbian, bisexual or trans characters with the “sexualization” of children. That is slowly beginning to change. Just last month, Pixar released a short film on Disney+ featuring a gay protagonist ; Out followed his journey to come out to his parents and introduce them to his boyfriend. And later this year, Marvel Studios will debut the first openly gay superhero in the MCU and his husband .

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