There have always been sci-fi and fantasy properties that have a special significance to the LGBT community. For example, the X-Men, with their themes of fighting to be accepted in a world that’s against them. Or Wonder Woman, who preaches equality for all. And of course, more recent fare like Torchwood and Buffy the Vampire Slayer. We can even take LGBT nerd fandom all the way back to classic Disney films and The Wizard of Oz. I mean, the term “friend of Dorothy” actually refers to Dorothy Gale, not Dorothy from The Golden Girls (although that totally works too).
Many LGBT Millennials cite their most beloved geek property is classic anime series Sailor Moon. The Japanese series originally aired from 1992-1997, and was translated into English in North America around the same time to great success. The American version, however, changed any references to anything LGBT for fear of boycotts from angry parents, and changed the characters of Uranus and Neptune from lovers into cousins. There were also transgender characters who magically transformed from male to female. Eventually, though, more LGBT-friendly translations became available… even if the kids who saw the originals read right through all that “cousin” stuff.
Now a lot of those same LGBT kids who grew up on the adventures of Sailor Moon back in the ’90s and early 2000s are celebrating their love for the series in various ways, via fan conventions and forming communities online. The folks at Vice have created a mini-documentary chronicling just how important the adventures of Sailor Moon and friends was to a whole generation of queer youth, and how the show helped them through what may have been the most difficult periods in their lives. You can watch the entire mini-documentary from Vice above.
What do you think of Sailor Moon as the ultimate LGBT nerd icon? Does she totally slay Wonder Woman? (I’ll tell ya this…she doesn’t beat her on the dance floor. Just sayin’). Let us know your thoughts in the comments.
IMAGE: Toei Animation / Viz Media