The character was confirmed to be asexual in 2005 by creator Stephen Hillenberg. Nickelodeon reaffirmed his sexuality with a tweet wishing everyone a happy Pride Month.
Every year, countries across the world celebrate Pride Month in order to honor all the folks who are part of the LGBTQ+ community. Around this time, people feel a renewed sense of energy and comfort and may even come out to their friends and family. This year, there's a very special character who has come out of the closet to celebrate: SpongeBob SquarePants. In a tweet posted by Nickelodeon over the weekend, the children's TV channel confirmed that SpongeBob was, indeed, part of the community, Paper Magazine reports. Creator Stephen Hillenberg confirmed that the character was asexual in 2005, but the recent tweet has put everything into perspective for fans of the SpongeBob SquarePants cartoon.
The television channel posted on Twitter, "Celebrating Pride with the LGBTQ+ community and their allies this month and every month." The tweet included three photos. They all featured iconic Nickelodeon characters - Korra from Avatar: The Legend of Korra, Schwoz Schwartz from Henry Danger, and of course, none other than Spongebob Squarepants. All the characters were decked out in rainbow attire to celebrate Pride Month. As you would have guessed, the post took off, instantly going viral. Since it was first posted, the tweet has garnered over 107,000 retweets and 315,900 likes. The social media platform was buzzing with excitement about SpongeBob's asexuality.
Several folks rained praise on SpongeBob - one of TV's first and only asexual characters. Asexuality means one does not experience sexual attraction for other people. It could also be the low or absent desire for sexual activity. While this is a common type of sexuality, it was first thought to be a psychological problem - which it is not. Some people just don't want to boink (sometimes with others or other times with themselves), and that's completely cool. There are several "sub-identities" of asexuality as sexual desire is a broad spectrum. The understanding of asexuality as a sexual orientation is fairly new, so having an iconic cartoon character actually be asexual is a huge frickin' deal for many people who may otherwise feel and be marginalized.
I don’t care if spongebob is asexual, bisexual or gay, I stan him pic.twitter.com/qzLD47aCnv— APOLLO🪐 (@ApolloLXXXIX) June 13, 2020
Others layered orientations over his asexuality. One user wrote, "SpongeBob is asexual biromantic, thank you for coming to my TED talk." Now, you're probably wondering, "Wait, someone can be asexual but also bi?" And the answer is yes. Desire can be platonic, sexual, or romantic. While SpongeBob may not experience sexual feelings, he can definitely experience romantic ones. Being biromantic means that he experiences romantic feelings for at least two genders. That's why he's so into Sandy Cheeks! It was suggested however that he could also have feelings for his longtime best friend Patrick Star.
In 2005, creator Hillenberg told PEOPLE Magazine about Spongebob's asexuality. At the time, the show was being criticized for "depicting a homosexual lifestyle" by extremist Christian groups. In response, he wanted to confirm that the little sponge was in fact asexual. "It doesn't have anything to do with what we're trying to do," he stated. "We never intended [SpongeBob and Patrick] to be gay. I consider them to be almost asexual. We're just trying to be funny and this has got nothing to do with the show." Though SpongeBob's sexuality has nothing to do with the show itself, it's definitely a reminder to all those who are part of the LGBTQ+ community that they aren't alone.