Prominent children’s television network Nickelodeon has made waves across the web once again this week, voicing public support for yet another LGBT day of celebration.
Tuesday marked the annual International Transgender Day of Visibility, according to The U.K. Independent, and Nickelodeon was quick to celebrate, posting to its Twitter account words of encouragement for transgender individuals attempting to “live their truth.”
“Today is International #TransDayOfVisibility,” the network tweeted. “We’re celebrating transgender people around the world and the courage it takes to live their truth.”
First celebrated in 2009, International Transgender Day of Visibility was established in an effort to “recognize the accomplishments of transgender and gender non-conforming people as well as bring attention to their continued struggles,” according to Forbes.
The unofficial holiday has since seen wider support from the now expanded, and far more vocal, LGBT community, having been promoted by advocacy organizations such as the Human Rights Campaign and the Pride Foundation.
— Nickelodeon (@Nickelodeon) March 31, 2020
Nickelodeon is far from the first popular children and adolescent content producer to publicly mainstream this sort of concept.
Both Marvel Comics and Marvel Studios have received widespread media attention in the last year for announcing the addition of major LGBT characters into their critically acclaimed superhero comic books and cinematic universe.
According to The Guardian, Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige said last December that a transgender hero would be coming to the studio’s film universe “very soon” in a feature that had already entered production at the time. (Variety later reported that he was talking about the addition of “LGBT+ characters, and he did not mean to imply that a trans character will be coming to the MCU ‘very soon.'”
In the world of comic books, Marvel announced on March 17 that its upcoming series “The New Warriors” would include the twin heroes Safespace and Snowflake, the latter of whom would be “non-binary” and go by “they/them” pronouns.
The announcement sparked controversy on social media, with conservative fans panning the concept as progressive pandering and pro-LGBT audiences finding the idea offensively backhanded, as the U.K.’s Evening Standard reported.
Nickelodeon is also familiar with backlash regarding its open support of the LGBT community and the increasing inclusion of LGBT themes in its content, according to The Daily Wire. The network had previously made postings in recent years for the June celebration of LGBT pride month.
Similar to the celebratory postings of other industry giants, Nickelodeon’s public support generally included pictures of the company logo adorned with the rainbow color scheme synonymous with the LGBT pride movement.
The network first included LGBT characters to its cartoon series in 2016, when “The Loud House” introduced recurring character Clyde McBride’s biracial gay parents.
— Variety (@Variety) July 19, 2016
Nickelodeon makes history by Introducing first Gay couple in children’s cartoon ‘The Loud House’
What’s your Take? pic.twitter.com/B4jXlLvH4o
— Xtian Dela™ (@xtiandela) July 25, 2016
Harold and Howard McBride’s introductory scene was even preceded by tongue-in-cheek fourth wall break from protagonist Lincoln Loud, who told audiences, “This is it. Time to make history.”
Children’s networks like Disney Channel, Cartoon Network and PBS Kids have also made the push to include gay and transgender characters in their cartoon productions in recent years.
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