Nickelodeon’s sent the internet into a frenzy on Saturday when it tweeted about LGBTQ pride month, prompting “SPONGEBOB GAY” to trend on Twitter throughout the day.
“Celebrating #Pride with the LGBTQ+ community and their allies this month and every month,” said the tweet, which showed three characters in rainbow dress. June is internationally recognized as Pride month, though this year coronavirus forced organizers to cancel most annual queer pride parades nationwide.
One of the characters featured, Avatar Korra from the animated “The Legend of Korra” series, is definitely bisexual. The creators of the show, who also made “Avatar: The Last Airbender,” Michael DiMartino and Bryan Konietzko, confirmed Korra’s sexual identity in a series of comic books they authored that take place after the four-series run.
The second character featured is from the kids show “Henry Danger” — Swoz Schwartz, played by Canadian actor Michael D. Cohen, who came out as transgender in a May 2019 interview with Time Magazine. Schwartz’s character in the show is eventually revealed to be transgender as well.
“People don’t understand. They think this has to do with sexuality and it doesn’t. They think this has to do with pushing an agenda on kids and it doesn’t,” Schwartz told Time about making his transition public. “What it does is send a message to kids that whoever they are, however they identify, that’s celebrated and valued and okay.”
The tweet also includes everyone’s favorite undersea pineapple-dwelling sponge, which prompted fans to assume that Nickelodeon was trying to tell them Spongebob was gay.
But a number of fans noted that Mr. SquarePants seems better-suited to identifying as asexual, given that he’s, well — a sponge. This is corroborated by “Spongebob SquarePants” television show creator Stephen Hillenburg, who told People in 2005 that the sponge is in fact asexual, and that he never intended to write any kind of sexuality into the show.
That said, fans embraced Spongebob as the LGBTQ community’s newest member, and you can read their takes on the coming-out party below.
Korra bisexual legend ????
— Stefen Colalillo ???? (@StefenColalillo) June 13, 2020
Spongebob is asexual–per his creator–and he might be homoromantic or biromantic, too. In any case: QUEER ICON and absorbent is he! ????????????????????
— Charlotte Clymer ????️???? (@cmclymer) June 13, 2020
Here's a thread that proves SpongeBob has a lust for Squidward. Hope you enjoy!!! pic.twitter.com/M8koywzrTJ
— Sanjay Chatterjee (@thatwierdindian) June 13, 2020
asexual spongebob is a queer icon https://t.co/IhqkN4lt5O
— tyler oakley (@tyleroakley) June 13, 2020
Spongebob isn’t actually gay, however he IS on the LGBT+ spectrum. According to Stephan Hillenburg, he’s asexual. ???????????? pic.twitter.com/Z5bevkrV8M
— ✨Ky✨ (@ky_starspiral) June 13, 2020