A main character in popular Cartoon Network series Steven Universe has been revealed to be intersex and non-binary, using the pronouns they/them.
The show's character, Stevonnie, is depicted in a recent episode opening up on their social media account, with their bio reading: “I am an experience. Intersex, non-binary, they/them.”
The show’s creator, Rebecca Sugar, came out as non-binary last year and has been at the helm of Steven Universe's ongoing LGBTIQ+ representation.
Speaking at Comic Con in 2016, Sugar said: “It’s very important to me that we speak to kids about consent, that we speak to kids about identity…”
They added: “I want to feel like I exist, and I want everyone else who wants to feel that way to feel that way too.”
"When I was younger, I was very confused by a lot of my own feelings, and there weren’t necessarily people who could tell me what was going on," Sugar added.
"I think I sort of escaped into cartoons, but I certainly never saw that reflection [of myself] in a way that was helpful to me, or in a way that was something that made sense."
"It’s normalising these kinds of relationships, and I feel like these themes, I can actually use the show as a tool to teach [my son] about puberty and healthy relationships and toxic relationships," said Jennifer Paz, who voices Lapis Lazuli on the show.
"It’s a kids’ cartoon, but they’re tackling a lot of adult themes.
"It’s a very diverse show behind the scenes, and because of that, it’s attracting a very diverse audience."