The Owl House is very gay. I know, you’re shocked that I – The Queen of Queer Cartoons – am bringing that up again after so long. Ever since the show first premiered back in 2020 fans had begun speculating whether Luz Noceda and Amity Blight would become a canon romance, setting a new benchmark in a Disney animated show that is already populated with a selection of LGBTQ+ characters and themes. This romance came true, flooring the internet that a kiss and confession managed to surface in the middle of the show’s second season instead of being hurled into the narrative conclusion and never explored further.
It was refreshing, exciting, and so adorable. Now we have a chance to see their relationship develop and how they’ll come to care for one another as the story advances. It’s a rare privilege, and hopefully a sign of things to come despite The Owl House’s sudden cancellation. Of course, in some countries queer people don’t exist, at least that’s what governments and censorship would like to tell you. So much media over the years has been edited, altered, or pulled altogether to ensure certain themes that might be a bad influence aren’t presented to certain audiences. In Taiwan, Lumity fell victim to this adjustment in the funniest of ways. Now, they are just two really, really, really good friends.
I first spotted this change on social media with fans laughing at how absurd the changes were to Luz and Amity’s long-awaited confession, the Taiwanese dub labelling them as two totally straight girls who want to “dress up and travel together” as “awesome best friends” instead of committing to the romance that is visually obvious throughout the entire scene. We’ve seen shows pull this trick before, changing the context of conversations to make it seem like nothing romantic is occurring between same-sex pairings, whether it’s entire scenes being removed or small nuggets of dialogue being altered so nobody suspects a thing. The thing is, ‘Knock, Knock, Knockin On Hooty’s Door’ is built around this confession in such a fundamental way that there is no way to change it without looking ridiculous.
If you haven’t seen it, the episode follows Hooty as he writes a letter to Lilith Clawthorne about how he hopes to help those in his life, wishing to bring joy to Luz, King, and Eda instead of being a noisy owl who just causes chaos all the time. By the episode’s conclusion he has helped Eda confront her inner trauma, King bonds with his heritage, and Luz confesses to the cotton candy-haired goddess who has eluded her for so long. It’s an adorable escapade many assumed would be filler that turned out to be revelatory. We started with doubts rumblings in our chests and end the episode gawping at gay girls.
The censorship really doesn’t work if you’re paying even the slightest bit of attention. In order to help Luz overcome her anxiety, Hooty throws her and Amity into a tunnel of love – or friendship in this case I suppose – filled with pink fluffy pillows, heart-shaped decorations, and a literal moat designed for someone to confess their love. The awkward glances and blushes between both characters and the hesitant dialogue only further cements the episode’s romantic intentions, yet the localisation here seeks to make it out to be anything but.
Fans even poked fun at this eventuality with their own edits and predictions months ago, knowing that such an undeniably queer show would be subject to censorship in countries that sadly aren’t as progressive. Disney likely expected this too, aware that certain territories – such as Taiwan – wouldn’t accept a gay romance in children’s animation. The thing is, you can’t change dialogue and leave everything else untouched, it just appears strange and mismatched, and young viewers are much smarter than you think they are.
They will notice the awkward blushes and cutesy glances between Luz and Amity, coming to learn this is more than just a case of gals being pals. To be serious for a moment – these viewers are also being lied to in a way that is actively harmful in today’s world. LGBTQ+ people exist, and shows like The Owl House are making it an element of normalcy even in a fantasy world far removed from our own. It shows us that it’s okay to be gay, lesbian, bisexual, or non-binary with a cast of characters who are universally accepting of such things. I’ve spoken to some of the show’s writers before, and it seems there’s a fine line in pushing representation in shows like this and how much you’re able to achieve.
I understand that legislation and acceptance in other countries is still far from perfect, with many governments convinced that queer people are unnatural and media depicting them will be a negative influence on new generations. They’re wrong, and those being brought up in this environment will only learn to fight back against such prejudices once they realise how far the rest of the world has come in terms of progress. We’re here to stay, and The Owl House makes that clear, so it’s a shame to see its message of inclusivity reduced to a cheap lie just to penetrate international markets. As the show continues, its queer themes will only grow more pronounced and confident, and translations like this will only appear more and more foolish in the eyes of a global audience. The show is gay as hell, now get over it.
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