(De)constructed Gender and Romance in Steven Universe: A Queer Analysis
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As LGBTQ issues come to the forefront of discussion, the acceptance of queer television is becoming more common. However, research has shown that seemingly progressive shows often reinforce dominant ideologies, despite the presence of queer characters or themes. This analysis seeks to understand whether the children's animated series, Steven Universe, is as progressive as reviews would make it seem. Two open-ended research questions are used to explore the constructions of gender and romance in the series. Through the use of queer analysis, this study reveals that the series is indeed queer. The series narrative subverts gender through the deconstruction of societal binaries. Likewise, love is treated inclusively, and is not limited to heterosexual romances. Steven Universe, though not perfect, is an amicable example of how children's cartoons can educate upcoming generations in what it means to defy expectations and go beyond labels.