By Melissa Stough
The number of LGBTQ+ friendly cartoons our generation grew up with can be counted on one hand. “Adventure Time” and “Steven Universe” entered much later, too late for any valid LGBTQ+ representation throughout the childhood of today’s college students. Luckily, “Blue’s Clues & You” hopes to change that narrative of heteronormativity through their blue protagonist.
Through interactive television episodes akin to shows such as “Dora the Explorer” and “Backyardigans,” Blue’s adventures provide children with educational resources. On Feb.11, Nick Jr. released an episode of “Blue’s Clues & You” to various streaming platforms. “ABC Song w/ Blue” included the letters of the alphabet accompanied by words starting with each of the 26 letters.
The ABC song begins with words such as “A for amazing” and “D loves to dance all day;” however, the most newsworthy line is “And P is full of Pride.” Not only does the line teach children to feel proud in their own skin, the image places Blue in a sea of confetti, surrounded by eight LGBTQ+ pride flags.
Each pride flag represents a different identity in the LGBTQ+ community, including transgender, lesbian, bisexual, nonbinary, genderfluid, intersex, pansexual and asexual. The letter P, like the 25 other letters, takes center stage and is formed by a person of color and trans inclusive LGBTQ+ pride flag.
LGBTQ+ audience members as well as their friends and family understood the importance of this message. Not only did Nickelodeon demonstrate their support through LGBTQ+ imagery, they provided a message of love and acceptance to their young viewers.
Including a variety of identities in children’s cartoons provides a more in-depth glance into diversity. Such an act educates future generations through kindness and inclusion as well as demonstrating the presence of people beyond the heterosexual, cisgender characters of mainstream media.
“ABC Song w/ Blue” also displays further diversity in lines such as “E is for everyone” where race and disability intersect. The ‘E’ image incorporates images of figures of multiple races and abilities.
“Blue’s Clues & You” may be a reboot of the 1996 children’s show “Blue’s Clues,” yet it demonstrates a shift in socio-cultural climates with its message of identity and self-acceptance. Blue and her friends convey a message of unity through diversity for young viewers as children finally observe the possibility of representation.