Hey I was wondering if you could clarify something, I was wondering how leela is a lesbian. I know she kisses Amy in benders game and what not but since she does end up falling in love with fry, wouldn't that make her bi or pan? Not trying to deny anything, just curious on what you think
Hi! No problem at all!
My caption on that original photoset was originally meant to be cheeky, but since then it’s spurred a lot of lesbophobic reactions! Its understandable that with the recent controversy you would be confused!
Headcanons completely aside, Leela experiencing attraction and love for those of other genders/identities then her own is totally canon! Stating that she is bi/pan/etc. based only on what we see in the show/movies is totally valid. I’m all for that!
But one could also argue that, based only on what we see in the show, and despite Leela’s eventually entering into a non-platonic relationship with Fry, that she could also be a lesbian who struggled/struggling with very intense compulsive heterosexuality.
This would be a statement/headcanon just as supported by evidence from the show (not that evidence particularly matters for headcanons, but I digress). Numerous lesbians struggle with compulsive heterosexuality well into their adult life, especially those who are mentally ill/neurodivergent, victims of abuse/neglect/bullying, and people of color.
Leela is the first two particularly, and also a member of (what I believe is classified as) the humanoid species of mutants — a group of mutated humans who live in the sewers of New New York, having been shunned by all those above ground (including aliens!) due to phobia and discrimination. She’s experienced oppression her whole life due to her race/species, and was treated better when people believed she was an alien versus a mutant.
The reason why I make note of this is because all of these things have worked against her since her birth — They destroyed her self-worth, her confidence, and her love for herself. Even if in the society she lives in in the show lesbians aren’t oppressed, aren’t attacked, and aren’t spat upon — being a lesbian would still make her different. It makes her an “other” from the vast majority of society, and all her life all she’s wanted is to be normal.
Because of this it’s very logical to assume that she could very easily be a lesbian struggling with compulsive heterosexuality/internalized homophobia (especially if the Futurama society is one with present homophobic ideals).
Additionally, the belief that you can’t be a lesbian if you’ve ever been in a relationship with a man, especially if you’ve been married to one, stems from an intrinsic misunderstanding about lesbians and our history!
Many lesbians who experience the above things go on to marry men, have children with them, and stay in unhappy relationships with them for years, even decades, because they think it’s what they’re supposed to do. Because they’re fearful of what their society will think of them (especially if it’s additional “difference” added to themselves, like Leela). Because they think it’ll make them “normal.”
Because they think it’ll make them worthy of love, support, and acceptance, or perhaps is the only way to get that, because they’re whole life they’ve been denied it for one reason or another — like Leela.
Many of Leela’s motivations in the show don’t stem from her personal wants, her personal desires, her personal dreams, her personal needs — they stem from the falsified dream of perfection the society around her fools her into thinking she should want, and that she should be able to attain (even though you can’t).
Fortunately, some of these lesbians who marry men are eventually in a position (physically, mentally, emotionally, etc.) where they can leave their husbands and express themselves how they’ve realized they truly are - as lesbians. Post-what is shown on the show? This could very likely happen to Leela, and I personally believe it does.
Sorry for the super long answer, but thank you for your respectful interest and for reading!