If you don’t know, I have a list of favorite spacecrafts: the Millenium Falcon, the Bebop, and now the Lions of Voltron. Specifically, the Lions from Voltron: Legendary Defender.
I may or may not have a huge love for space related fiction. It’s fairly obvious, I’m even writing my own space related fiction and have a list of space related fiction I still need to delve into.
But space related fiction has finally given me something in return for my love…
Get hyped, my fellow Voltron fans, because I have some news: Pidge Gunderson, also known as Katie Holt, is confirmed as non-binary and using they/them pronouns – I can’t give you links right now, but it’s been confirmed in the upcoming Voltron: Legendary Defender comics and allegedly at Comic Con. Do you know what this means?
It means my gender is canonically shared by a fictional character that other people can see and it’s not just speculation.
This is a Big Deal.
If you didn’t know from the title of my blog (which shows that I’m a nerd), I’m a big fan of the anime Cowboy Bebop. Many Voltron fans who are also fans of Cowboy Bebop are likening the so far ambiguousness of Pidge’s gender to that of the character Ed’s, whose pronouns you don’t know until you meet her father, which occurs towards the end of the series.
But as much as I love Cowboy Bebop and as much as I view Ed as trans, the Voltron team has won my affection for this round. Why? Because Pidge is confirmed.
Pidge Gunderson is non-binary. Pidge is trans.
I can say that and still be talking about actual parts of the show and not just fan theories. I can’t do that with Ed. I love Ed to pieces, but I just can’t do that with her.
This isn’t a slight at the writers of Cowboy Bebop – it was the 90s and being trans wasn’t socially acceptable to be talked about back then, especially not the non-binary community. I’m honestly just happy that they had a character so ambiguously genderless at all, even if they did eventually assign a binary gender to her. But they did assign her a gender that didn’t match her masculine coded name, which was pretty cool for the time, if you ask me.
But right now it’s 2016 and Voltron: Legendary Defender is a reboot of an 80s cartoon picked up by Dreamworks, Netflix, and the team that worked on Avatar: The Last Airbender and Legend of Korra.
One of Dreamworks founders started the company when he left Disney, a corporation known for not being very progressive. Netflix is fully supportive of the LBGT+ community and has many original series to prove it. The Avatar team ended Legend of Korra with a canon bisexual main character in a same-sex relationship, despite having to make it subtle because of Nickelodeon. I couldn’t think of a better combo for an LGBT+ reboot of Voltron.
As much as I enjoy the improvement from the 80s, this reboot has me more stoked about its potential for positive representation in the media than about the animation.
Who knows, maybe Cowboy Bebop will get a great reboot next.
Positive representation is something minorities crave, and hopefully the media will start to realize that soon.
But until then…
See you, Space Cowboy. I’ll be watching Voltron.