Mr. Ratburn Is Gay: ‘Arthur’ Character Comes Out at Wedding

Arthur is back for its 22nd season, and in the premiere, Mr. Ratburn, Arthur’s third-grade teacher, marries a male character. During the wedding, one of the students exclaims, “It’s a brand new world!”

The Twittersphere went nuts in response to the wedding:

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In the episode, titled, “Mr. Ratburn and the Special Someone,” Mr. Ratburn’s students get him to admit that he’s getting married. They set out on a quest to learn the identity of his bride, only to find out that the woman they thought he was marrying is his sister. Arthur says at one point in the episode, “If Patty is his sister… then who is Mr. Ratburn marrying?” At that point, Mr. Ratburn walks down the aisle with his soon-to-be husband.

While most Twitter users were rejoicing over the teacher coming out as gay, others were surprised to learn that the show was still on, to begin with.

One user wrote, “I think the biggest surprise about Mr. Ratburn from Arthur being gay is that I’m just now finding out that Arthur is still coming out with new episodes.”

Arthur, which is aimed at children between years four and eight, aired its first episode in 1996. To date, the show has broadcast 239 half-hour episodes.

Arthur may be advocating for LGBTQ equality, and it joins a list of other modern kids shows with awesome queer characters. In Adventure Time, as Pride points out, Princess Bubblegum and Marceline share an attraction on the show, as do Sheriff Blubs and Deputy Durland on Gravity Falls. And who could forget Clyde, who is an adopted child of an interracial gay couple on The Loud House?

The series deals with a number of important topics. In 2011, Arthur came out with an episode about a young girl with diabetes named Corinne. In the episode, she shares with viewers how keeping active and eating right helps her stay fit. The children’s show has also dealt with issues like asthma, cancer, and autism spectrum disorder.

Arthur is one of the highest-rated shows on PBC Kids and averages almost 10 million viewers weekly in the US. It is the longest-running children’s animated series in the US.

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