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Breaking Binaries in Children's Television: How Steven Universe's "Alone Together" Quietly Queers Gender

In: Social Issues

Submitted By FruitProm
Words 2146
Pages 9
Since its release in fall of 2013, Rebecca Sugar's Steven Universe has quickly developed a large fan base of kids, teens, and adults alike. Much of the draw for the show comes from its non-traditional representation of gender and familial structures; from the main character, Steven, being raised primarily by three humanoid, female presenting aliens known as "gems" — Garnet, Amethyst and Pearl — with only occasional interactions with his human father; to a cannon lesbian couple (with another couple being implied but not yet confirmed); to even Steven himself frequently acting in ways that are often coded feminine, such as enjoying dressing up, dancing, and openly crying and becoming emotional in front of others. However, one of the more commonly discussed characters among the fans is Stevonnie. Stevonnie is what is known in the show as a "fusion" of Steven and Connie. In the show, the gems are able to combine with other gems, creating what is known as gem fusions. For example, Garnet is a fusion of two gems, Ruby and Sapphire, who are so in love that they cannot stand being apart. However, Steven is a unique case, as he has a gem mother and a human father. Thus, he is not able to fuse with other gems, but he is able to fuse with humans. In the episode "Alone Together," Steven and Connie accidentally fuse together, and, after being dubbed "Stevonnie" by Amethyst, explore the town together as a fusion. What makes Stevonnie an incredibly unique case in children's media, however, is that their gender is never truly identified in the show. Since Stevonnie is a fusion between a boy and a girl, their gender is something that is left ambiguous. Stevonnie has long hair like Connie. They have wider hips, but there is no obvious implication that they have breasts, or any female (or male) sex organs. The voice actor for Stevonnie, Amanda Joy Michalka, is a cis woman, but…...

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