Tuesday, September 29, 2020

No SpongeBob Is *NOT* Gay, But He *IS* ACE

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Mary Anne Butler
Mary Anne Butler (Mab) has been part of the fast-paced world of journalism since she was 15, getting her start in album reviews and live concert coverage for a nationally published (print) music magazine. She eventually transitioned to online media, writing for such sites as UGO/IGN, ComicsOnline, Geek Magazine, Ace of Geeks, Aggressive Comix (where she is still Editor-in-Chief), Bleeding Cool (where she was News Editor), and now NerdBot as News Editor. Over the past 10 years, she’s built a reputation at conventions across the globe as a cosplayer (occasionally), photographer (constantly), panelist and moderator (mostly), and reporter (always). Interviews, reviews, observations, breaking news, and objective reporting are the name of the game for the founder of Harkonnen Knife Fight, a Dune-themed band with an international presence. Though she be but little, she is fierce.

Happy PRIDE month! Let’s get right into this new story that’s making the rounds today after Nickelodeon posted a fabulous celebratory tweet this morning featuring two of their most well-known characters, SpongeBob Squarepants and Korra.

If you look at the tweet on it’s own, it does appear that this is Nickelodeon making a comment on the sexuality of the absorbent and yellow and porous character, SpongeBob.

TMZ was quick to jump on the “SpongeBob is GAY” train, but hold up a minute- that’s not the full story.

Jay Lender, writer on “SpongeBob Squarepants” seasons 1-3 with such episode titles as ” The Fry Cook Games” and “Rock A Bye Bi-Valve” to his credit, had some things to say about this particular sexuality revelation.

We reached out to Lender to see if he could offer any insight about this particular topic, considering, ya know, his personal knowledge of the character.


“Yeah, that’s an intentional misread on their [TMZ’s] part. Nick’s being supportive, but SB’s not explicitly sexual in any way.  We don’t know what he likes because sex doesn’t exist for him.”


This isn’t a new stance from Lender, as he was quoted in this fairly-lengthy but enjoyable piece about the Oral History of “SpongeBob Squarepants” from Hognmag (which you can read here in it’s entirety).


Lender: A lot of people suggested that SpongeBob was gay or gay-themed, but it’s not. SpongeBob’s just a kid—sex doesn’t exist for him. It’s completely outside his understanding and doesn’t motivate him in any way. So in “The Fry Cook Games” [season 2], when Pat and Sponge get buff, take off their shirts and wrestle—and strain against each other—it’s because their dumb kid-argument has finally erupted into physical conflict, not because they’re gay. And when they strip down to their underwear, it’s because underwear is just funny, not because they’re gay. And when they walk off into the sunset, mostly naked, hand in hand, it’s because they’re friends forever and love each other like friends should, not because they’re gay. That said, it’s pretty much the gayest episode ever.


So, there you have it. While SpongeBob may not be gay, he is most definitely an ally.

Happy PRIDE!

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