A lesbian She-Ra is now canon with Netflix revival
The conclusion of the fifth and final season of the rebooted She-Ra and the Princesses of Power by Dreamworks and Netflix has made a lesbian She-Ra canon.
The last episode confirmed the queer feelings between the protagonist Adora and her frenemy, Catra, while also making the popular lesbian fan “ship” between the two official.
Before this was confirmed, two queer characters– the princesses Netossa and Spinnerella– were shown with a lesbian relationship during the run.
A lesbian She-Ra was planned
The relationship between the two characters was made official last May 15, when the final season of the show premiered on Netflix.
Talking to the Los Angeles Times, show runner Noelle Stevenson said the romance between Adora and Catra was planned form the start.
However, Stevenson said it wasn’t until the production of the final season that she told producers that the characters’ relationship had “to be the canonical textual arc of the final season.”
Fortunately, this was a move that “was not only supported, but embraced,” she said.
“My mind is blown by the journey that we’ve been on. I remember early on it had to be so secret. I kept it so close to my chest because I was so terrified of being told that we were never going to be allowed to do it,” she added.
The need for immortal queer characters
It also helps that the love between Adora and Catra was central to the story’s conclusion, and not just a plot point.
However, Stevenson said she believes LGBTQ characters shouldn’t die now because the “tragic gay romance” has been the norm for so long, as featured in the “Bury Your Gays” trope.
“Even without any kind of executive mandates, or any worry at all of censorship, I think for creators telling queer stories it’s not quite time yet for certain things,” she said.
“For example, having one or both of them actually die. I wanted to always make it feel like that was possible because I feel it would not be quite as suspenseful if you felt like they were immortal,” she explained.
“Maybe one day we can have a tragic gay romance again, but that has been, like, the only norm for so long. So for a little while, you do have to kind of accept more of a limited set of tools,” she added.
Why a lesbian She-Ra is significant
Tracy Brown, digital editor for the Los Angeles Times, wrote that having a show like She-Ra is important in pushing greater LGBTQ representation, especially now.
“This is a landmark time for queer visibility on TV, with increasingly meaningful LGBTQ representation happening even within children’s programming,” Brown said.
She expressed surprise as she didn’t expect to see an LGBTQ story in a kids’ cartoon– “at least not yet,” she said.
“A story in which the central heroine, a young woman with the weight of the world on her shoulders, gets the girl and saves the day. Not only that: Their love is why she’s able to save the day,” she pointed out.
Brown said, “So this TV show that lets all kids, and specifically queer kids, see that being honest about their feelings can make them a hero is as exciting as it is important. Queer heroes deserve their happy endings too.”
“It’s significant that this message is conveyed through a queer love story because there are still so many forces in the real world that want you to believe that love is wrong,” she declared.
For more about the fifth season, check out the trailer below: