I don’t know how I’ve made it this long without gushing about Steven Universe! If you haven’t watched it yet you really should because it is THE best animated show on TV. It seems like a kids show at first but it has deep themes of queer representation, non-traditional families and gender roles, nonbinary characters, authentic relationship building skills, and self awareness.
As a nonbinary person I often feel like a gem fusion is the best way to describe what it is like to be me. Stevonnie, the nonbinary character who is a fusion of the titular Steven and his girlfriend Connie, is the most obvious analogy as it is a blend of their features, personalities, and genders meeting somewhere in the middle as a tall, attractive, dark haired androgyne.
But more often these days I find myself feeling like Garnet – a semi-permanent fusion between the volatile and aggressive Ruby and the prescient and peaceful Sapphire. They are both considered women but they represent very different ends of the gender presentation and behavior spectrum within femininity. Ruby wears pants and has a temper and personality that would typically be associated with masculinity. Sapphire wears a long dress, speaks softly, and is both kind and firm at the same time. Their relationship is a very obvious metaphor for queerness as the fusion of two different types of gems (as compared to two Rubies) is a taboo which results in them being shunned and hunted by the militaristic and colonizing Homeworld Gems.
While I could never aspire to be as cool and collected as Garnet herself, I really resonate with these two aspects of myself, the masculine and the feminine, blending together and co-existing in a single body while still being a woman. I’m much more of a lesbian than I want to admit, despite admiring some men physically, and the enduring romance between Ruby and Sapphire always gives me big feels. I hope that someday I can fully embody their values of flexibility, love, and trust in both myself and my relationships.
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