Steven Univere creator Rebecca Sugar has always been candid of her identities and how they impact her work. But one of her latest interviews has the screenwriter and producer coming out as non-binary.
Sugar was interviewed on NPR's 1A earlier in July, where she talked about Steven Universe's fifth season on Cartoon Network and its rising success. But during the interview, Sugar came forward and revealed that she was non-binary. As she mentions in the interview, creating Steven Universe and the Crystal Gems—the female-coded humanoid aliens that the show focuses on— played an important role in the processing of her identities:
“One of the things that’s really important to me about the show is that the Gems are all non-binary women. They’re very specific and they’re coming from a world where they don’t really have the frame of reference. They’re coded female which is very important. I was really excited because I felt like I had not seen this. To make a show about a young boy who was looking up to these female-coded characters—they appear to be female, but they’re a little more representative of nonbinary women.
They wouldn’t think of themselves as women, but they’re fine with being interpreted that way amongst humans. And I am also a non-binary woman which is been really great to express myself through these characters because it’s very much how I have felt throughout my life.”
Sugar has also spoken previously about her identity as a bisexual person: “Well, in large part it’s based on my experience as a bisexual woman. These things have so much to do with who you are, and there’s this idea that these are themes that should not be shared with kids, but everyone shares stories about love and attraction with kids.”
Sugar's openness about how her own life influences the continuation of Steven Universe only adds to the show's importance, for LGBT representation, and in creating a space where children and adult viewers alike feel validated and supported.