On Saturday, June 13th, 2020, Nickelodeon tweeted the following in commemoration of Pride month:
“Celebrating #Pride with the LGBTQ+ community and their allies this month and every month (Artist palette: by @ramzymasri)”.
The imagery included Korra of the legendary animated follow-up to Avatar: The Last Airbender, The Legend of Korra, and actor Michael D. Cohen, who transitioned in his 20s. The Legend of Korra animated series completed its run with Korra in a lesbian relationship.
Notably however, the tweet also included Spongebob Squarepants. So, did Nickelodeon just confirm that Spongebob Squarepants is a gay man?
Not necessarily as it depends on how one is using the term, ‘gay’. Although many of us have long suspected that Spongebob Squarepants is attracted to men, Stephen Hillenburg, the creator of Spongebob Squarepants, emphatically insisted that Spongebob was asexual. The LGBTQ+ spectrum has a lot of different variances in terms of sexual orientation and asexuality is – although contested by some – included within the LGBTQ+ umbrella. For more information about asexuality, please visit AVEN, the Asexual Visibility and Education Network.
So, YES, Spongebob Squarepants is definitely part of the LGBTQ+ community. However as to whether or not Spongebob is gay in the context of actually being sexually attracted to male characters, that has not been explicitly announced or confirmed by Nickelodeon as of yet.