The animated character SpongeBob SquarePants of the eponymous TV show is officially gay according to a tweet from the show’s corporate parent Nickelodeon, surprising no one.
The studio wrote, “Celebrating #Pride with the LGBTQ+ community and their allies this month and every month 🌈.” All of the characters — which include Sponge, Schwoz Schwartz from Henry Danger, and Korra from the Avatar spin-off show Legend of Korra — are featured in a rainbow color background, further signaling they are, in fact, part of the community.”
— Nickelodeon (@Nickelodeon) June 13, 2020
One Twitter user asked the question on everyone’s mind of course: “Which hole do u think SpongeBob takes it in?”
which hole do u think spongebob takes it in
— pj (@loverboybff) June 14, 2020
And: “Does SpongeBob need to queef out the cummies or does he just absorb it into his body?”
does spongebob need to queef out the cummies or does he just absorb it into his body
— skinny boochie (@freshfaguette) June 14, 2020
While this may seem like an obvious corporate ploy to shill lip service to queers during gay pride month, there’s a history here. As far back as 2002 (the character made his debut in 1999) Entertainment Weekly said of Squarepants, “Not only are mature fans buying SpongeBob items in stores in gay neighborhoods in New York and Atlanta, as the Journal reports, but in West Hollywood and San Francisco, too, PlanetOut.com reports. ”They are pretty good sellers especially with young gay kids, and guys in their 30s think it’s hilarious,” Raymond Riddering, the assistant manager of the Don’t Panic store in San Francisco’s Castro District, tells the website. ”I don’t think anyone has bought it because they think he’s gay. He doesn’t have anything on him that screams gay. But the gay population likes him.”
”He’s a sponge; how can he be gay?” Cathy Renna of the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation tells PlanetOut, though she adds that she does wonder about. SpongeBob’s tomboyish squirrel friend, Sandy Cheeks. She points out that ”SpongeBob” is a hit among straight adults as well, but she says of gay viewers, ”I think our community has a finely tuned sense of what is fun and campy, and the show is definitely fun and campy.”
Series creator Stephen Hillenburg, who tells the Journal he’s not gay, says, ”I always think of [the characters] as being somewhat asexual,” but he says he understands why gay people might respond to his creation. ”I do think that the attitude of the show is about tolerance. Everybody is different, and the show embraces that,” he says. ”No one is shut out.”
If gay fans are reading more into ”SpongeBob” than Hillenburg intends, there’s a reason. As 36-year-old fan Ryan Breneman tells the Journal, ”When you grow up without your own culture, you have to take things from the culture and make them your own.”
Happy Pride Y’all!