22: The Cartoons That Made Us Gay


The Cartoons That Made Us Gay

Warning! Warning! You are encountering an atypical episode for this podcast. Instead of the discussion of sitcoms, this one concerns the discussion of 1980s cartoons — and with none other than leading ’80s cartoon authority and Netflix director of original series Ted Biaselli! Animated conversation includes but is not limited to He-Man, She-Ra, Jem, ThunderCats, Care Bears, Rainbow Brite, Strawberry Shortcake, Beverly Hills Teens, SilverHawks, TigerSharks, Paw Paw Bears, Kidd Video and Dungeons & Dragons.

Check out the brand-new Gayest Episode Ever Patreon, and if you want to, maybe toss us a buck or two.

Have a look at A Love Bizarre, Los Angeles’ new queer art space. And Listen to the Super Gay podcast about He-Man.


Because not all of you were fortunate enough to come of age in the 1980s, here is a visual guide to what the hell we are talking about. It is, in effect, a 1980s cartoon mood board. In order…


He-Man: thick thighs save lives

The staggering gayness that is Fisto

Ram Man (a name, not a command)

Bo, She-Ra’s male friend and the best mustache in animation

Madame Razz, fairy godmother for gay nerds

ThunderCats: feline body dysmorphia!

Lion-O Races Cheetara

Rainbow Brite: the last time straights got rainbows

Murky and Lurky, Rainbow Brite villains and also committed dom/sub couple

The She-Ra Crystal Castle playset ad

“Jealousy,” by Jem and the Holograms

Arcee in Transformers: The Movie

The Beverly Hills Teens intro is gorgeous

Pierce Thorndyke III, closet queen

Bianca Dupree, the best but also the worst

The Get Along Gang: friends and furries

TigerSharks: that is not how octopuses work

And the incredibly gay-coded Dungeons & Dragons episode, “Odyssey of the Twelfth Talisman”

She-Ra, because girls are better than boys

Sorceress of Castle Grayskull: ask about her fun Friends connection!

The trailer for He-Man: Secret of the Sword, the movie that introduced She-Ra

Shadow Weaver, Glen’s childhood role model

Castaspella, who is not Katharine Hepburn

Jem and the Holograms: drag for girls

“I’m Okay,” the actually quite good single sing by Stormer and Kimber

The Peculiar Purple Pieman of Porcupine Peak

And the Pie Man’s hag, Sour Grapes

The My Little Pony Dream Castle playset commercial

“Who Is He Kissing?” by Jem and the Holograms

The Paw Paw Bears: Saturday morning appropriation!

Susan Blu, queen of cartoons and all-around badass

True Heart Bear and Noble Heart Horse: *almost* a lesbian couple?

“Flying Your Colors,” a barely coded gay anthem

SilverHawks: ThunderCats with less clothes

Kidd Video: live-action intro and live-action cute boy


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Drew Mackie