Welcome to the next installment in our 2022 Pride Month Series! Each weekday in the month of June, we will be highlighting a different member of the LGBTQ+ community who we think is a great example of representation and dynamic characterization. We will focus on fictional characters, celebrities, and activists alike — the positive voices within the LGBTQ+ community and in mainstream media.
The character that is being highlighted today is Garnet from the animated TV show Steven Universe. This show aired on Cartoon Network from 2013-2019 and was one of the most progressive and inclusive shows of its time. The series tells the story of Steven Universe and The Crystal Gems and how The Crystal Gems went from planning on colonizing Earth to falling in love with the planet and its inhabitants. Because of this love, The Crystal Gems turned on their superiors, vowed to protect Earth from other gems, and made Earth their new home.
The Crystal Gems are Rose, Pearl, Amethyst, and Garnet. Garnet is a fusion of two lesbian gems, Ruby and Sapphire. In the episode “The Answer,” we find out the origin of how Ruby and Sapphire met, fell in love, and accidentally fused together for the first time to create Garnet. This episode also reveals that Ruby and Sapphires’ love is forbidden, and thus their fusing together to make Garnet is banned on their homeworld. Because of this, Garnet is shunned, and she ends up on Earth alone and scared. While on Earth, Garnet meets Rose and Pearl, who are fighting against the gems who have mistreated Garnet. Rose and Pearl accept Garnet for who she is, and Garnet accepts their invitation to join their group, and they eventually form The Crystal Gems.
“Jailbreak” is another episode in the series that demonstrates how powerful and unique Ruby and Sapphires’ love is in creating Garnet. While fighting Jasper, a gem who is bound and determined to destroy what Garnet stands for, Garnet starts singing an original song called “Stronger Than You.” This is one of the most memorable moments Garnet has in the series. She sings about how nobody can keep Ruby and Sapphire apart, how their relationship is stable, and how they are stronger together. She sings how their love starts a conversation, and nobody is going to get between them, all while fighting to defeat Jasper’s rage and prejudice.
Steven Universe is currently available to stream on HBO Max, so make sure to check out this unique LGBTQ+ series and follow Garnet’s story from the very beginning.