Is There A Tendency (Whether Intentional Or Not) For Strong Female Friendships In Media To Be LGBTQ Coated?


Well-Known Member
Jan 5, 2014
When it comes to watching your favorite TV shows, there's always something that some people take away that others may not. One of those involves the idea of female friendships in media, and how there seems to be strong LGBTQ coating even if it's a project with little to no romance. It's very common in media for female characters to be really emotional around each other, portraying their bonds as being very intimate and close knit. As such, most people would think it's LGBTQ coated in some way. That's not to say it doesn't happen with male characters, but it just tends to be more pronounced with female characters. Target audience also isn't a factor since I've seen this with both older skewing and younger skewing shows. Just look at the Ho Yay TV tropes pages for Sofia The First and Elena Of Avalor, which are Disney Junior shows.

One example I can think of is with the Barbie franchise, mainly in the DVD/Netflix movies. A large number of them showcase Barbie having very strong friendships that people have interpreted as romantic. Two examples I can think of are in Barbie: Dolphin Magic (where she meets a mermaid named Isla, and once they get to know each other, are very inseparable) and Barbie: Big City, Big Dreams (where she meets a black girl from Brooklyn also named Barbie Roberts while at a performing arts school in New York, and they outright mention fate bringing them together).

Another example I can think of is with Cleopatra In Space. Now this is an interesting one since Cleo canonically has a crush on Zaid, and she gets together with him in the penultimate episode. However, she also has a lot of strong relationships with female characters. The most notable ones are with her best friend Akila (who she even kissed on the lips at the end of episode 8, which is about time travel, and she's pleasantly surprised) as well as Yosira (who she fan girls over when they first meet). Even with Callie, who starts out as a typical mean girl, becomes more of a frenemy later on, and just playfully teases her. There's also the matter of episode 23, which has space pirates, where she outright admits to having a crush on Amsaja the pirate queen.

Moving to the world of comic based shows, there's the world of DC Comics and Marvel. Specifically in reference to their animated shows, if you look at TV tropes, the most pronounced Ho Yay page are with both of the DC Superhero Girls shows for the former and the Marvel Rising specials for the latter. In both of the DC Superhero Girls shows, Wonder Woman has had some kind of attraction to Steve Trevor to varying extents, but she shows very strong bonds with her female friends. In particular, she has quite a few intense moments with the class clowns in those shows (Harley Quinn in the 2015 series, Batgirl in the 2019 series). I mean, there are literal folders devoted to specific ships. For Marvel Rising, even though both Ms. Marvel and Squirrel Girl have shown attraction to guys (especially so for the former), they both have a very strong relationship with each other that one could read as something more.

On the movie front, there's something like Turning Red. Now, it was mentioned in a report somewhere about higher ups telling Pixar to cut out more heavy LGBTQ elements. Even still, the final product shows Mei having some very intimate moments with all of her friends even if she canonically has a crush on a guy who doesn't appear often.

There's more examples to think of, but this is just something that's on my mind. What do you think?


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