A major character just came out as gay in kids TV show Arthur.
The popular cartoon – which you may be surprised to find out is still on air and entering its 22nd season(!) – has long encouraged viewers to respect the things that make us different, and their latest episode continued that trend.
The season 22 premiere, titled Mr Ratburn and the Special Someone, saw Arthur’s beloved elementary school teacher Mr Ratburn not only come out as gay, but also get married to his now-husband, Patrick the Aardvark.
MR RATBURN IS GAY HELLO !! HE GOT MARRIED !! pic.twitter.com/T1Emc97Y0f
— REMADE @WEREWOLFNOIR (@wolfnoirarchive) May 13, 2019
At first, Arthur and his friends were shocked to find out that their teacher has a life outside of school, with Buster joking: “When they go home, they sharpen pencils, eat kale and dream up homework assignments. They don’t even sleep!”
When they later saw Mr Ratburn having lunch with a woman (voiced by Jane Lynch) who told him to “toughen up” because he’s “too soft”, they assumed she was the person he was marrying – and decided to stop the wedding as he wouldn’t be happy with her.
But what they didn’t realise was that she was actually his sister, and when they turned up at the wedding, they saw Mr Ratburn with the person he was actually marrying – Patrick. More importantly, they looked happy together!
Viewers have responded well to the inclusive episode, especially those who grew up watching the show as children.
“Now that Mr Ratburn is gay I can finally die,” wrote one fan.
“It turns out Arthur is more courageous and explicit than Avengers: Endgame when it comes to LGBTQ2 lives and storylines. Congrats Mr Ratburn! Your move, Marvel,” added another.
Now that Mr. Ratburn is gay I can finally die
— 📧 (@shepprd2) May 13, 2019
i think the best thing about this is that. mr. ratburn is like, an actual character on the show. this isn't just a one-off gay couple introduced so they could have this episode, which'd still be neat, albeit less-so. this is an actual, established character.
— webcomic artist and love lab expert jasmine wright (@wayslidecool) May 13, 2019
me thinking about how mr. ratburn from arthur is canonically gay and got married to another man on television today pic.twitter.com/nCPihYuE7U
— rabbit (normal) (@puppetmotel) May 13, 2019
It turns out Arthur is more courageous and explicit than Avengers: Endgame when it comes to LGBTQ2 lives and storylines. Congrats Mr. Ratburn! Your move, Marvel…. https://t.co/eq99SerHaC
— Rachel Giese (@rachelagiese) May 13, 2019
I found out that Mr. Ratburn's getting married to a bloke on Arthur and I say hey (hey) what a wonderful kind of gay.
— Gavin Herman (@MrHissara) May 13, 2019
Other fans were more excited about Mr Ratburn’s sister, voiced by iconic lesbian Jane Lynch, who they say was “clearly queer” in the episode.
animation twitter is losing it over the fact that arthur made mr ratburn gay but no one is talking about his clearly queer sister pic.twitter.com/WcJBdP70l7
— Quarantine Goth Ms. Frizzle (@spookperson) May 13, 2019