In the wake of the success of the live-action Sonic the Hedgehog film, currently the fourth-largest video game adaptation domestically of all time, TheGamer staff writer Helen Ashcroft has proposed that the blue blur “should be gay,” based on surface level observations of the character.
In the article, “Why We Think Sonic Should (And Will) Be Gay,” Ashcroft claims that “there’s still a lot we haven’t been told about the ring-collecting blue blur, such as his sexuality,” and proposes four reasons why Sonic should become an “LGBTQ+ icon.”
- “He’s Never Been That Interested In Amy,” as well as citing his lack of interest in one other female character, Rogue, as proof of his disinterest in women.
- “Sonic And Tails Could Become More Than Just Friends,” questioning why the “natural rapport and chemistry” of the friendship of the iconic duo is not taken to the “next level”
- “He Has A Lot Of Chemistry With Knuckles,” whose dynamic Ashcroft describes as “a sexually-charged homoerotic adversarial relationship.”
- “Gay Is The Way,” which condescendingly reasons that Sonic’s sexuality should be redefined to balance the scales of “representation in gaming.”
However, Ashcroft’s arguments ignore multiple facets of Sonic’s long-established canon and makes stereotypical conclusions of platonic male relationships:
- While Sonic may have never been that interested in Amy, he has had romantic feelings for female characters such as Sally Acorn, Mina Mongoose, and Princess Elise.
- Sonic and Tails have always been shown to have a strong brotherly bond, with Sonic acting as a surrogate older brother to Tails. Tails has also been shown to have a deep admiration for Sonic, seeing him as a personal hero and source of inspiration in his own journey to finding his own confidence.
- Sonic and Knuckles have always been seen as enemies at worst, friendly rivals at best. To imply that their rivalry is “sexually-charged” simply because of their adversarial nature makes use of assumptions that reinforce stereotypes of male sexuality and friendship.
- Stating that the LGBTQ+ community needs to co-opt a previously established character in order to combat “bigotry and homophobia” implies that these unique identities and stories cannot stand on their own. Making a “gay” Sonic in contrast to a “straight” Sonic would continually reinforce the division of the two sexualities, rather than normalize their co-existence.
Following the publication of the article, Ashcroft would state on Twitter that “this piece is a tongue in cheek lighthearted joke article loosely based on the Sonic games.”:
You should know that this piece is a tongue in cheek lighthearted joke article loosely based on the Sonic games. Nothing more, nothing less. I like to think that Sonic would laugh with us.
— Helen Ashcroft (@MsHelenAshcroft) February 21, 2020
Ashcroft’s article comes just a week after Birds of Prey fans took an opposite stance towards the character, accusing the Sonic the Hedgehog film of “homophobia” in an attempt to hurt it’s opening box-office.