Ruby and Sapphire, The Pride of Cartoon Network
I recently sat down with my sister to watch one of the brand new episodes of Cartoon Network’s Steven Universe. Both of us being LGBT, we find joy in watching one of the most progressive cartoons. This particular episode of SU, “The Answer” expanded on one character’s vague origins. While she has become Square Mom to many, Garnet (voiced by Estelle) is simply a powerful figure, not just literally, but her origins and future is overwhelming. In the past, she was a figure viewed as distant, but now…Garnet, while still remaining somewhat elusive, is opening up to the title character as well as viewers.
To summarize “The Answer,” it is simply Garnet telling Steven a bedtime story about how she joined the Crystal Gems and how she became Garnet. If you’ve previously read an article that detailed Cartoon Network’s LGBT characters, Garnet is more than symbolism for queer kids. She is what queer kids are, what they can be, who they are. Finding out that Garnet was the fusion of two gems, who are completely in love with each other, was absolutely mind blowing. It seemed implausible that a network would allow such a thing, but the fact Garnet’s relationship is addressed, is miraculous.
“The Answer” gives a more defined story, showcasing how Ruby and Sapphire came together as Garnet. Sapphire, while on duty for the Diamonds, foresaw that two of her Ruby protectors would be destroyed while fighting the rebellions (the Crystal Gems) and she herself would be destroyed but would reform on Homeworld. While the first half came true, Ruby intervened and saved the blue seer from temporary death, fusing together as they held hands. The thought of two different gems fusing was mind boggling to gems present at the battle, and insults were thrown at the unstable fusion. Facing death, Sapphire made the choice to escape with her last living protector, and upon touching one another, resumed a somewhat-pastel version of Garnet.
Coming across the rebellions, Rose Quartz and Pearl, the latter of whom is described as terrifying, Ruby and Sapphire are unsure of what’s happening. They, however, do know it feels right. The leader of the Crystal Gems tells the newly formed fusion that it does not matter how she feels, that it only matters how Ruby and Sapphire feel. Garnet simply replies it feels right being fused together, alluding to how it feels when you’re finally open to yourself.
Garnet has become a symbol of hope. Her story of having a close intimate relationship is something we all seek; it’s not just love, but the happiness we feel once we accept who we are. She is wise beyond her thousands of years age, and she is learning more and more, Garnet has become the viewer. As for the answer, it simply is love. Love is a magical feeling, whether it be platonic, romantic or self, it helps you become a better person.