Growing up, like most of us, I only saw neurotypical cishet people on TV, most of them white. I rarely saw gay characters who weren't stereotyped side characters used for the "gay best friend" or the "butch lesbian" to poke fun at or the "bisexual who only likes the same sex for attention". I never saw genderqueer people who weren't used for some kind of humor or sad backstory and they were rarely respected when they even existed. Neurodivergent folks were always for humor such as the "ADHD kid bouncing off the walls and OOH SQUIRREL" or for angst such as the "autistic person who exists solely for angst and to be bullied by others." I never got to see someone like me in the media.
And now we're in a point in history where we get to watch this show.
The main character is bisexual, neurodivergent, and afro latina.
The love interest is a lesbian with a rough past and abusive parents.
The best friends are a burnt out gifted kid raised by a single dad and a girl with two dads and self esteem issues. Both of which are people of color.
The love interest has a brother who's dating someone who uses they/them pronouns.
The mother figure is bisexual with a chronic illness.
The mother figure's love interest is a nonbinary performer with stage fright and a person of color.
The mother figure's mom used to be an anti-vaxxer before she learned to understand and respect her daughter and her chronic illness.
The principal has a disability and genuinely cares for his students.
Several of the 'mean' characters have gotten realistic character growth in which they acknowledge that they did wrong, address it, and grow.
Several side characters are seen with same-sex partners, various skin colors, and disabilities.
They/them pronouns are used regularly used both for folks who use them and folks whose pronouns are unknown.
And none of these facts cloud any of the characters or are used for humor or anything like that. In this world, homophobia, racism, transphobia, and ableism flat out don't exist.
I have cried happy tears several times to my mom and my friends about how amazing it is that such an inclusive show exists. Not only is the plot incredible and the animation beautiful but it raises a more inclusive generation.
Young children are turning on Disney Channel and seeing that it's okay and normal to be disabled, neurodivergent, queer, transgender, a person of color, chronically ill, or from a "different" family dynamic. That it's never to late to grow and change as a person.
I would give anything to have had a show like this growing up. To turn on my favorite tv station to see that it was okay to be myself. That there's not just one way to be myself. To be able to see myself in the characters on my screen.
Dana Terrace and the team have made such massive contributions to the history of progress and inclusivity and I cannot express my appreciation enough.
EDIT: 1. True, Boscha has made no changes as of yet, I used that picture because I personally thought that scene seemed to hint that she has the possibility of change and I couldn't find a screencap of Matt that effectively showed his change. 2. True, there is some ableism as far as the magic abilities go (I.E. Eda's curse) but I meant as far as ableism that related to disabilities in reality, sorry for the confusion. 3. Thank you for everyone giving me suggestions and reminders as to things to add! I put what I could remember when I wrote it and didn't expect this post to blow up so much so thank you to everyone giving me suggestions to show how amazing this show is!
Also this show is called The Owl House and you can watch season 1 and the first few episodes of season 2 on Disney+! ♡