Bet You Didn't Know These 13 Characters Were Voiced by LGBTQ+ Actors
Our childhoods would have never been the same...
...without the talent of these LGBTQ+ voice actors who brought some of our all-time favorite animated characters to life!
Here's a look at 13 of the most iconic animated characters voiced by LGBTQ+ actors.
David Ogden Stiers/Ian McKellen
When Beauty and the Beast hit the screens in 1991, fans immediately fell in love with Cogsworth, the friendly clock who befriends Belle and helps her adjust to her life in the castle. The original actor, David Ogden Stiers, who played Cogsworth in the first movie and its sequels, came out in 2009.
Additionally, Ian McKellen, who took on the role for the 2017 live-action remake, is also openly gay.
Just keep swimming, just keep swimming, just keep swimming, swimming, swimming. Who doesn’t love Dory!? This adorable little fish stole everybody’s hearts in Finding Nemo. Voiced by one of the most famous LGBTQ+ people in the entertainment industry, Ellen Degeneres, Dory entertained us for the first film as well as the sequel, Finding Dory.
Nathan Lane/Billy Eichner
When The Lion King came out in 1994, we were introduced to one of the most iconic duos in cartoon history: Timon and Pumbaa. Nathan Lane, who voiced the character for the original film, is openly gay and has been with his partner, Devlin Elliott, for over 25 years.
In the 2019 computer-animated remake, Timon was voiced by Billy Eichner, who is also openly gay.
A comic writer, artist, director, trans activist, and actress, Maddie Balustein is a nerdy jack of all trades! Her most famous roll was that of Meowth, the wise crackin' mascot of Team Rocket in Pokémon. She passed away in 2008.
Fierstein has won multiple Tonys (both as a performer and a creator) and was one of the first actors to be openly gay. He has been very active in the gay community as a speaker and content creator. He has also lent his signature gravelly voice (created by an overdeveloped vestibular fold in his vocal cords) to many characters, most notably Yao from Disney’s Mulan.
J. Michael Tatum
Tatum has been a staple in modern anime’s voice casts ever since he was discovered by Funimation and cast in Samurai 7. An openly gay actor, he has done voices such as Kyoya Ootori in Ouran High School Host Club, Sebastian Michaelis in Black Butler, and Erwin Smith in Attack on Titan, as well as many more. He’s also moved behind the scenes to work as a writer for anime, as well as hosting a podcast about it.
Best known as the lab assistant Astrid in Fringe, Jasika Nicole is also a talented voice actress. She has lent her voice to multiple characters on children shows like Adventure Time and Egg and Danger, as well as staring in both the podcast Alice Isn’t Dead and Welcome to Nightvale. A lesbian, Jasika’s projects often feature queer characters and themes, including all of the above. (We can argue about Fringe.)
Megan Mullally is a staple in comedy, best known for playing Karen on the groundbreaking sitcom Will & Grace. A bisexual, Mullally has been an active advocate for the LGBT community. Her distinct voice has nabbed her voice acting gigs as well, most recently Aunt Gayle on Bob’s Burgers.
A voice actress who has started making a solid career for herself, Casey came out as trans during an Anime Expo panel about one of the series she worked on. Casey also creates music, in addition to being an active participant in fandom.
Cecil Baldwin and Dylan Marron
Welcome to Nightvale is an odd little podcast about an odd little desert town full of very odd people. While wanting to create a setting the was diverse in every way, including hiring diverse actors to play the rolls, Cecil Baldwin carried most of the torch. An actor and HIV+ gay activist who lends his unique voice (and name) to main character Cecil Palmer. Dylan Marron plays Carlos, Cecil’s boyfriend, a role previously played by one of the series creators. Both men are involved in the LGBT community and activism across multiple platforms.
An accomplished comedian across several platforms, John Roberts is probably best known for providing the distinctive voice for Linda Belcher on Bob’s Burgers. The doting and raunchy mom’s voice was inspired by the voice of his own mother.
With a master’s degree in performance and fluency in three languages under his belt, it’s no wonder Pancholy has made a mark in TV, voice acting, and on Broadway. This gay actor, who also worked closely with Barack Obama as a member of the Advisory Commission on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, has had a solid voice acting career, including starring as Sanjay in Nickelodeon’s Sanjay and Craig.