Our header features artwork from Criaha.
Happy Pride Month, Poptropicans! 🏳️🌈
June is a month of celebration for the LGBTQ+ community, and the PHB is bringing that celebration to Poptropica. But we recognize that not everyone is familiar with what this is all about, so we wanted to make this post to explain the ABCs of LGBT in a kid-friendly way (with brief mentions of mature forms of attraction).
This post will be using the terms “LGBTQ+,” “LGBT,” and “queer” interchangeably, though it’s worth noting that “queer” has historically been used as an insult and only recently been reclaimed as a positive catch-all term. We’ll be going over some basic concepts and common LGBT identities — and tying them to the world of Poptropica!
Please remember that everyone is different, and identities are complicated, but we are all deserving of acceptance, love, and support. If you feel uneasy about the topic of LGBTQ+ identities, I encourage you to be open-minded and patient. Though you may not currently understand the perspective of a queer individual, they are important people nonetheless. And if you are LGBTQ+ and feeling misunderstood by people who don’t quite get it, I encourage you to demonstrate patience even when it is challenging, because the PHB aims to be an accepting place for all viewers. All that being said, let’s unpack this!
Pride Month 2019 by sinnabinbun (previously ArtisticAsianBunny)
To start, LGBTQ+ identities are about sexuality and gender. LGBTQ+ is an acronym that stands for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and/or queer/questioning. We’ll dive a little into each one of these identities, as well as a few others, but this list is not exhaustive.
It’s worth noting that sexual attraction and romantic attraction are different concepts. Think of the former as physical and the later as emotional (both more intense than a platonic friendship). Also, the concept of sex is different than gender. Sex refers to your biology, while gender refers to your preferred social identity.
Lesbian & Gay
Lesbian refers to a woman attracted to other women and gay refers to a man attracted to other men. Both identities are homosexual (homo meaning same), or homoromantic if you are only referring to romantic orientation.
The gay pride flag 🏳️🌈 is represented by a rainbow, while the lesbian pride flag is most commonly represented by a gradient of oranges, white, and pinks. 🧡🤍❤️ Today, “gay” is sometimes used as an umbrella term to refer not only to men, but to other queer identities as well.
Did you know that Black Widow is seen to be a lesbian by many Poptropica fans? It is one of the most popular LGBTQ+ identity headcanons in the fandom!
Bisexual & Pansexual
If you are bisexual (or biromantic), you are attracted to two genders or sexes (bi meaning two). Most commonly, this would mean someone who loves both men and women.
Pansexual, though not in the LGBT acronym, is also important to mention. Pansexual and panromantic people are attracted to people of all genders (pan meaning all). So, other than men and women, this would include nonbinary gender identities (more on that later). Pansexual people often emphasize attraction to the personality of a person, not their body or identity.
The bisexual pride flag consists of pink, purple, and blue. ❤️💜💙 The pansexual flag consists of pink, yellow, and light blue. ❤️💛💙
Other than in-game headcanons, many Poptropicans have OCs and Popsonas that they consider to be bi or pan!
Before moving onto the other letters of the LGBTQ+ acronym (occasionally extended to LGBTQIA+), let’s first take a moment to discuss asexuality. Asexuality (abbreviated as “ace”; a meaning without) refers to those who do not experience sexual attraction, or at least very little. Aromantic people similarly feel little to no romantic attraction. Because these are different types of attraction, some asexual people still like to date and will fall in love with people.
Asexuality comes in many various forms, and two asexual people may be very different. For example, some will eventually experience attraction far into a trusting relationship and others never will. You can be both asexual and, let’s say, biromantic. Being ace is also not a biological or physical problem.
The asexual flag is black, grey, white, and purple. 🖤🤍💜 It inspired my outfit from the 2017 PHB Pride Party in our header! Because aromantic identities are so culturally different, they are in contrast represented by green, light green, white, grey, and black. 💚🤍🖤
In the fandom, the most common characters interpreted to potentially be ace include Ringmaster Raven and Captain Crawfish.
Transgender & Nonbinary Identities
Aside from attraction, the LGBT spectrum also includes gender minority identities. Transgender 🏳️⚧️ refers to someone whose gender identity does not match their assigned gender at birth (their biological sex). This is a fairly catch-all term. For example, someone may feel like they are a girl even if they were born with male body parts. They may enjoy things that are culturally typical for girls to enjoy, and may even choose to change their body to match their feelings. Not everyone chooses to change their body though, and that’s okay.
A nonbinary gender identity is one that is outside the binary of male or female. Genderqueer is a similar umbrella term for this concept. This sometimes means that they feel between those two genders, bits of both at the same time, or completely different. For example, agender people do not identify with any gender, whereas genderfluid people feel like their gender identities constantly change.
The easiest way to support your transgender friends is to use their preferred pronouns. The most common ones are she/her, he/him, and they/them. You can display your own pronouns online too, in order to normalize not assuming someone’s gender immediately! Mistakes are understandable when getting used to someone’s pronouns, but referring to someone the way they wish to be named can make a huge difference for them.
The transgender pride flag consists of light blue, pink, white, then pink and light blue again. 💙❤️🤍❤️💙 The nonbinary flag specifically is shown with yellow, white, purple, and black. 💛🤍💜🖤
Genderqueer, since it is slightly different, is seen with light purple, white, and green. 💜🤍💚 For the others we briefly mentioned, agender is a gradient of black, white, and green, 🖤🤍💚 and genderfluid is pink, white, purple, black, and blue. ❤️🤍💜🖤💙 Don’t worry! You won’t be quizzed on this stuff!
Of course, my favorite gender pun is referring to our beloved robotic villain as NON-binary Bard. Get it?
Though many cultures try to separate things into strictly “boy” and “girl” categories that are associated with “masculine” versus “feminine” traits, it is not that simple. Gender is on a spectrum, so it is a complex concept. Girls, have you ever complained about wearing dresses or not being able to play certain sports? Boys, have you ever felt embarrassed to wear makeup or play with dolls? It’s helpful to remember that unfair feeling when sympathizing with those who have different gender identities.
Queer & Questioning
As mentioned, queer is an umbrella term for all LGBTQ identities, or “not straight.” Being straight, or being heterosexual/heteroromantic, means that you are attracted to the opposite gender or sex. This is what most societies assume, but not everyone identifies this way!
Queer is a flexible catch-all term if you are uncertain of your specific identity, or if you simply don’t like labels. Because of the complexities of love and attraction, you may discover new feelings about yourself that do not fit in a previously coined label. Many people choose labels simply to convey who they are to others, but they is not necessary. Labels make me feel confident about myself, but may make others feel constricted. You do you!
Though I generally see the “Q” in LGBTQ+ as meaning queer, some also view it as standing for questioning. ❓ And that is totally okay! If you are questioning, that means you are uncertain of your identity and who you like. Don’t feel rushed to like other people or know everything about who you are, especially while you are young. Take your time.
We’ve talked a lot about LGBTQ identities, but outside of the queer community, we also have straight allies who support LGBT people! The straight ally flag is black and white, with a rainbow triangle or “A” symbol. 🖤🤍🔺 Even though allies are not in the LGBTQ+ community, they are an important part in providing support and acting for change.
Pride Month 2018 by sinnabinbun (previously ArtisticAsianBunny)
There’s much more to know about LGBTQ+ topics, but this post is just meant to be an introduction. If you are interested in learning more, or supporting the queer community, I encourage you to check out resources such as GLSEN, the Trevor Project, and PFLAG.
All this info can be overwhelming, especially if it’s new to you, but it’s important. LGBTQ+ Pride matters because of the constant injustice faced by queer people, historically and in the present. Pride Month is a time for reflection, activism, and also shameless celebration. You should never feel ashamed of who you are if you are not hurting other people. Love will always triumph over hate!
I’m happy to answer questions and concerns in the comments (or DM me on Discord). Just remember to remain kind and respectful! Let’s keep this space accepting and supportive.