SpongeBob SquarePants' sexuality has been questioned for quite some time, and some fans are viewing a recent tweet from Nickelodeon as his coming out.
In a recent tweet honouring Pride Month, the network featured an image of the popular cartoon character.
In the tweet, SpongeBob appears with transgender actor Michael D. Cohen from “Henry Danger” and bisexual “Legend of Korra” character Avatar Korra.
Celebrating #Pride with the LGBTQ+ community and their allies this month and every month 🌈
(🎨: by @ramzymasri) pic.twitter.com/pENmTaQB0h
— Nickel🎃deon (@Nickelodeon) June 13, 2020
Throughout June and beyond, we will be celebrating #Pride alongside the LGBTQ+ community and our allies.
Many took this to mean that SpongeBob is gay, and the hashtag #SpongeBobIsGay began trending as a result.
SpongeBob has long been assumed to be gay on the internet, in no little part because of his close friendship with Patrick Star.
Creator Stephen Hillenburg shot off rumours in 2005 that the show's main characters were gay or lesbian.
A complication of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) ultimately took Hillenburg's life in 2018. He was 57 years old.
Hillenburg was quoted as saying, “It doesn't have anything to do with what we're trying to do,” in People magazine. We certainly didn't plan for kids to be homosexual. In my opinion, they approach asexuality. We're just joking around; it has nothing to do with the show.
Korra's sexuality was addressed in the programme, confirming what many viewers had suspected. The actor that plays Schwoz, Michael D. Cohen, identifies as transgender. Fans have long suspected the man who lives in Bikini Bottom.
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the straights: SPONGEBOB ISN’T GAY
then explain this.. there is no heterosexual explanation for this. pic.twitter.com/hbPlwXyi9h
— m (@thiccthwaites) June 14, 2020
Fans instantly raced with the idea that the yellow sponge is gay, despite Nickelodeon's tweet not addressing the issue.
GAY SPONGEBOB STANS RISEEEEEEE pic.twitter.com/mF2qhMSKu2
— brittany (@brittany_broski) June 14, 2020
i love that it's not even "spongebob IS gay" everyone went so feral so quick that it's just SPONGEBOB GAY pic.twitter.com/vZQOHXVv8o
— brooke (@asaahis) June 13, 2020
Everyone shocked that nick tweeted out spongebob gay , when this literally was in an episode lmao https://t.co/7X3WH2u4ts
— John (@iam_johnw) June 13, 2020
Stephen Hillenburg, the show's creator, stated unequivocally in 2005 that Spongebob is neither heterosexual nor gay.
He told Reuters, “It has nothing to do with what we're trying to do,” and People reports that this is what he actually stated.
Despite Hillenburg's background as a marine biologist and teacher, he insisted that the show was meant exclusively for amusement.
We certainly didn't plan for kids to be homosexual. In my opinion, they approach asexuality. We're just joking around; it has nothing to do with the show.
Y'all. Spongebob is asexual.
Individuals who identify as asexual typically look for and value close, emotionally intimate relationships but have no desire for sexual contact. Different people have different tolerances for and expectations of sexual relationships.
This makes perfect sense. As a yellow sponge and all.
The fact that he has a devoted fan base is irrelevant to them.
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Let's all give it up for our asexual icon, Spongebob! 🖤🤍💜 pic.twitter.com/QM0IEl75OX
— 🌈 Extra Gay Creature DELUXE 🌈 (@EllDoesStuff) June 13, 2020
After 21 years of the show airing on TV and in theatres, we applaud Nickelodeon for providing us with an LGBT icon.
Now, if only they could include more openly gay characters in their other series.