Peppa Pig’s Lesbian Polar Bear Moms are a Pretty Big Deal Actually

I know a shocking amount about Peppa Pig for a person who has zero (0) children and has seen exactly one (1) full episode of Peppa Pig. She’s a cultural icon! I read a story one time about how this American kid with American parents spoke in a British accent for the entire American school year, so well his teacher thought his extended family was British, all because of how much he watched Peppa Pig! One time, I had some friends over — like completely grown-up adult friends — and we spent the entire night drinking beer and watching Peppa Pig clips on YouTube! I have heard more than once song, in public, from Peppa Pig’s album! Peppa’s even been a feud with Adele, if I am remembering my Twitter History correctly! And so I was, of course, delighted to hear that the two-decade-old series has finally added some lesbian moms to the alliterative kids crew.

a drawing of penny polar bear and her lesbian polar bear moms

In a recent episode called “Families,” Peppa’s hanging out with her pals Danny Dog, Suzy Sheep, and Penny Polar Bear, drawing photos of their parents. Penny’s parents are two lady polar bears in dresses, and she explains to Peppa & Co.: “I live with my mummy and my other mummy. One mummy is a doctor and one mummy cooks spaghetti. I love spaghetti.” PENNY, I ALSO LOVE SPAGHETTI! It might not seem like much, in the grand scheme of super gay kids cartoons — like Steven Universe, She-Ra and the Princesses of Power, and The Owl House — on TV these days, but it’s actually a pretty big deal.

For one thing, most big deal gay cartoons are aimed at older kids, teens, and even adults. Disney Channel’s The Owl House is probably the gayest cartoon for younger audiences, but it’s still eyeing at that tweeny sweet spot occupied by things like High School Musical. Peppa Pig is four years old and serving up giggles to pre-schoolers and young elementary school kids. It’s a Nick Jr. show here in the United States. In fact, I think it’s the first Nick Jr. show to have LGBTQ+ characters. (Disney Jr. only has two, total.)

penny polar bear and her lesbian polar bear moms

For another thing, cartoons that don’t debut a queer character in the first few seasons almost never debut a queer character. Peppa is on its seventh 52-episode season, and these lesbian polar bears didn’t arrive until after the 350th episode. (There’s been a Peppa petition circling the internet long enough to amass over 20,000 signatures.) Peppa’s also an international superstar; she’s broadcast in over 180 countries. And, finally, more often that not, queer characters in cartoons are confirmed by creators on social media, in interviews, or in companion materials, like comic books. Even just a few years ago, we’d have been guessing about these polar bears’ gender and asking about the showrunner about it on Twitter. Penny Polar Bear just drew and spelled it right out.

With Conservative politicians returning to their old school homophobia roots, and with LGBTQ+ kids, especially, becoming the targets of hateful legislation, it is so heartwarming to see such a beloved kids show make lesbian polar bears such a normal part of Peppa’s life. It still matters, very much.

Maybe one of those bears can teach this precious pig to whistle.


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Heather Hogan

Heather Hogan is an Autostraddle senior editor who lives in New York City with her wife, Stacy, and their cackle of rescued pets. She's a member of the Television Critics Association, the Gay and Lesbian Entertainment Critics Association, and a Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer critic. You can also find her on Twitter, and Instagram.

Heather has written 1445 articles for us.

8 Comments

  1. As a parent to four-year-olds, Peppa Pig is not amazing for emulation (she’s pretty rude, and not always kind to her friends and family – calls her dad fat quite often, which, nope). But this is great news, regardless. Another show that low-key has queer parents is Chip and Potato, which is way more wholesome if you ignore the fact that the dad pug dog is a cop. There are zebra dads with twins in Chip’s playgroup class, and a single mom panda bear. They’re just there, part of the fabric, which is nice. It’s on Netflix, for parents who need a show for their kids that won’t give them a fake British accent.

  2. Got familiar with Peppa Pig when last year my nephew, 4 years old boy, became a fan and his only wish for Christmas was to get the Peppa Pig house.
    His parents gave it to him on christmas and as I was watching him unwrapp it, his other aunt and a friend started commenting if a Peppa Pig House wasnt a girls toy. That’s how my last christmas got almost ruined.

    I am glad to read these news, glad for my nephew who still loves it and plays with the house.

  3. I agree that this is an important step in representation, even though the whole “let’s have children in a playgroup learn about same-sex parents and other types of families via a group drawing project” idea was first done in Heather Has Two Mommies way back in 1989. I guess it’s a plot device that works, even if it took Peppa a while to catch up. I’m also waiting to see if we ever see/hear of the moms again, or if Penny continues to appear only in situations where her moms aren’t seen/mentioned. I want ongoing representation in which we see Penny’s family simply being a family in their community, not just a token episode specifically “about” family types. The episode was an important first step, but only the first.

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