The Power Rangers franchise just got a whole lot queerer!
Though it hasn't aired in the U.S. just yet, the 13th episode of Power Rangers Dino Fury (the beloved and long-running kids action franchise's 28th season) is making history with the revelation that Izzy (the Green Ranger, played by Tessa Rao), is an out-and-proud member of the LGBTQ+ community!
The moment of confirmation comes at the tail end of the episode, where Izzy can be seen walking off with her romantic interest Fern (played by Jacqueline Joe) hand-in-hand.
It's a super sweet moment, and one that is long overdue in the Power Rangers world, especially considering the progressive, diverse history the show has had with its casting over the past three decades.
Dino Fury's executive producer Simon Bennett even took to Twitter to thank international Power Rangers fans for all the support Izzy's coming out moment has been getting online! (The episode is set to air stateside on Nickelodeon sometime later this month.)
"Very happy with the reaction to Power Rangers #dinofury episode 13, which has just aired in France," Bennett wrote on Twitter. "Really looking forward to when it is available in the US, and I can jump into discussions."
"I assure you, it was no marketing ploy," he wrote in another tweet, responding to a critic who thinks the Dino Fury moment was nothing more than a stunt for views. "And yes, [we're] overdue."
And this isn't the first time queerness has been addressed in the Power Rangers universe.
Back in 2017, Lionsgate's film adaptation of the franchise featured a moment where Yellow Ranger Trini (played by singer-actress Becky G) was asked about the possibility of her liking girls, but that moment was so brief, it literally became a blink-and-you'll-miss-it moment that left LGBTQ+ fans feeling more frustrated than represented. And just last year, reports were circulating that the follow-up Power Rangers film was set to include a transgender ranger in the cast and that the Blue Ranger was going to be written as a gay character, though no new developments on those fronts have surfaced since then.
Because of the slow (but sure) progress, it's definitely an exciting time to be a young TV viewer, especially when it comes to positive LGBTQ+ representation and inclusion!
Disney Channel's popular animated series The Owl House just confirmed in a recent episode that queer main characters Luz and Amity are in a relationship, while another Nickelodeon fave also made network history by casting their first out, trans teen actor — 13-year-old actor Sasha A. Cohen — to play a role in a series, the Henry Danger spin-off Danger Force!
It's been a long time coming, but we're so glad to see some of our childhood faves step up and give fans the queer rep we've been wanting and needing for so long!