In the past days there’s been a lot of chatter in social media sites (Facebook, Twitter, etc.) about Disney’s recent inclusions of gay couples in their films and TV series. The most conservative crowds have responded and complained about Disney, appalled that the company would be “pushing that corrupted lifestyle on our children.” (yes, this is an actual quote I saw on my Facebook News Feed)
They refer specifically to two pieces which allude to “the gay issue”. One is the TV series “Good Luck Charlie” (see clip here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KoEBdCsrOVs). The other one is the recently released animated feature film “Frozen” where the character Oaken acts marginally effeminate and calls out “Hi Family” to a half-a-second shot of another male character in a sauna room with his kids. (see clip here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y_w105aWPNY).
Given that this has become a hot topic, I do want to dedicate a couple of minutes to sharing my views on the whole ordeal.
First of all, Disney is not “pushing” a lifestyle of your children. If you think your kids could be so easily manipulated by a media outlet and they would establish their views on homosexuality because they saw two clips which portrayed gay couples exactly the way they are in real life (by the way, the Frozen one is not even explicitly saying Oaken and the guy in the sauna are actually a couple), the problem is YOU. If you are so worried about the values your kids will grow up with, maybe YOU should dedicate a couple of minutes of your time to actually raising them and being their point of reference for said values. This is not Disney’s job, it is YOURS.
Second, in the Good Luck Charlie piece, by showing a kid that has two moms Disney is not telling you everybody should be a lesbian. They are not even taking a real position on homosexuality themselves. Good Luck Charlie is primarily intended for audiences in the U.S. The only thing Disney is doing is showing the different types of family that exist today in the United States. By the way, in a growing number of states not only do these family structures exist, they are now legally sanctioned.
Third, if you’re worried that by being exposed to reality your kids might develop a mindset in which they can actually respect and tolerate the people around them, you need to get your head examined. You cannot seriously expect that by shutting your kids out and sticking them in a bubble, gay people will disappear from the world. I’m not even asking you to like the fact that gay people exist (god forbid people abandon all their stupid reasons to hate each other) but you should at least acknowledge that they DO exist. And guess what, they are going to be all around you and your kid for the rest of your lives. Oh no! The gays are coming! The gays are coming! Lock your doors and shut your windows!
Seriously, if you have not been able to learn tolerance I can understand that… but don’t be a douche and pass on your bigotry to your kids. It will do them no good in the long run, believe me.
Fourth and a BIG NEWS FLASH to those worried about their kids becoming gay because they saw a gay character on TV, your kid’s sexuality will NOT be determined by a couple of minutes of TV content. We know that already. Just based on probability and statistics it is more likely that your kid will be heterosexual than homosexual but guess what, if he/she is gay it has nothing to do with having been exposed to Disney’s programming. And if he/she is gay, I truly hope that kid has a father and/or a mother that won’t be shocked if their son or daughter decides to trust them enough to share with them what today is wrongfully taboo. I truly hope that kid has parents that respond to him/her with words of love and support instead of writing Disney hate mail saying “it’s your fault!”
Dear Disney, congratulations on keeping it real and promoting tolerance through your programming. You are echoing the teachings that caring parents are providing to their children, because it is THEIR job to do it. Thank you for that and hats off to you.
P.S. If I have to choose between my children seeing a couple of loving mothers taking their kid on a playdate and heterosexual child-version superheroes fighting villains with violence (for example the completely age-inappropriate Marvel’s Super Hero Squad), i’ll take the lesbian moms any day of the week. And if you’re afraid of what the TV might do to your kids, here’s an idea: turn it off and go back to into the bubble… but please stay there.