Among the many questions on the internet, one that has stood the test of time is about the cartoon character SpongeBob SquarePants' sexuality. A lot of people want to know and now we have the answer.
On June 13, Nickelodeon confirmed in a tweet celebrating Pride month that yes, SpongeBob is part of the LGBTQ community.
In the post, Nickelodeon included a photo of SpongeBob, alongside the titular character of the show The Legend of Korra, who is bisexual_,_ and trans actor Michael D. Cohen, from the show Henry Danger.
While this is the first time for Nickelodeon to confirm SpongeBob’s sexuality, it was hardly a surprise to fans.
While many believe that this means SpongeBob is gay, some see the post as a confirmation of SpongeBob SquarePants creator Stephen Hillenburg’s earlier statement that the character is asexual.
“We never intended them to be gay. I consider them (SpongeBob and Patrick) to be almost asexual," Hillenburg told Reuters, according to a People article in 2005. This was after Christian groups accused Nickelodeon of promoting the gay lifestyle when a gay rights organisation sponsored a pro-diversity video starring SpongeBob.
Many are happy that Nickelodeon is now actively promoting inclusivity.
Shows made for kids have been working towards adding more LGBTQ characters in recent years. Mr. Ratburn from the cartoon Arthur, came out as gay when he got married to a man in Season 22, which aired in 2019. My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic, also introduced a lesbian couple in the show last year.
In the finale of the Cartoon Network series Adventure Time, female characters Princess Bubblegum and Marceline shared a kiss on screen, confirming fan speculations that they were in love.
In February, Disney also introduced its first self-identifying gay character in the Pixar film Onward.
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This article originally appeared on VICE ASIA.