My Little Pony has introduced its first same-sex couple, coinciding with Pride Month.
Lesbian pair Aunt Holiday and Auntie Lofty appear in the episode: 'The Last Crusade', caring for the character Scootaloo in the ninth and final series of the kids' show.
Writer and producer Michael Vogel previously shared that the pair were an item - and not sisters - on Twitter, writing, "What a cute couple" back in 2017. Before their small screen debut, Aunt Holiday and Auntie Lofty initially featured in a book: Ponyville Mysteries: Riddle of the Rusty Horseshoe.
Well they aren't sisters so....— mktoon (@mktoon) October 12, 2017
Vogel told BuzzFeed News that the idea for the aunts was a collaboration between himself and showrunners Nicole Dubuc and Josh Haber.
"Nicole and I thought this was a great opportunity to organically introduce an LGBTQ couple in the series, and we asked Hasbro and they approved it," he said. "With Josh and Nicole running the final season together, it was something we all wanted to do — bring this out couple into the final season and make them 'officially' a part of the MLP world."
Added Dubub: "I think it's fantastic that we can show that what truly defines a family is love — that, to me, is the core of My Little Pony."
Fans are loving the new couple.
Thank you so much for including them. It means a lot to the lgbtq community to finally see our stories being told in cartoons.— Marsh Mallory! (@Kit_N_Kadoodle) June 11, 2019
There is nothing wrong with loving who you are and who you love.
And I can’t wait for storylines like this to not be a huge deal.
We are so grateful!
Right so I was babysitting my little sister yesterday and put the newest my little pony episode on for her. And there's lgbt rep! One of the ponies has lesbian aunts! Children's media has come such a far way this year, shera, tdp, and even Arthur as well as this now have rep! 💞 pic.twitter.com/OrNBF3v0J0— Cherry (@_Cherry_Chi_) May 26, 2019
That said, not everyone has welcomed the addition of Aunt Holiday and Auntie Lofty.
"Concerned citizen", Australian social conservative Lyle Shelton, one of the leaders of the campaign against same-sex marriage in 2018, called the introduction of the Pony couple, "a brave new world".
"We said indoctrinating your children and your grandchildren would be a consequence of same-sex marriage," he tweeted on Wednesday. "It's a brave new world folks and we need to push back while we can still. Sitting outside politics is no longer an option for conservatives."
We said indoctrinating your children & your grandchildren would be a consequence of 🏳️🌈 “marriage”. It’s a brave new world folks & we need to push back while we still can. Sitting outside politics is no longer an option for conservatives. https://t.co/tgyq9Y6xWI— Lyle Shelton (@LyleShelton) June 12, 2019
Unsurprisingly, Shelton's comments weren't warmly received.
Cartoons are gay in 2019 Lyle. Get over it 😘— Jessica Walton 🧜♀️ (@JessHealyWalton) June 13, 2019
The episode comes a month after kids' television show Arthur featured a wedding between Arthur's third-grade teacher, Mr Ratburn and his boyfriend Patrick.