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Saturday, August 13, 2011

The Ballad of Bert and Ernie

Have any of you seen this petition going around to get Bert and Ernie of Sesame Street married? The original intention of Bert and Ernie was to show how two people, or puppets in this case, can get along despite being very different. I see no reason for Bert and Ernie to get married because they are busy teaching children a very important lesson. I know I'd be mighty bored if all of my friends were exactly like me! And, really, Ernie is just not mature enough for such a commitment. But should Sesame Street even have a same sex couple at all? You bet your gay pride flag they should!

One thing people at a Facebook forum pointed out is that Sesame Street should be about teaching letters, numbers, colors and shapes but not sexuality. Fair enough. I agree with that. However, how is it that a heterosexual couple (i.e. Maria and Luis) isn't teaching sexuality but a homosexual couple is suddenly teaching sexuality? Are straight married couples not having sex? Population stats beg to differ.

But why not show a same-sex couple, raising their children on the Street? They don't have to announce they're homosexual any more than we expect Maria and Luis to shout, "Hey, y'all, we're straight!" Just show them existing like the normal people they are. Sesame Street has always been about diversity and acceptance of the people around you. Homosexual and heterosexual people are part of our world.

I know some of you out there might be saying "But I think it's wrong to be gay." Of course you are entitled to this opinion, but even if you think it's wrong to be homosexual that doesn't change the fact that we often have to co-exist with people who are different. Don't we want our children to still be respectful of others and able to deal with a variety of people? That isn't a skill you can suddenly teach at the age of 10 or 13 or whatever age we think they can handle such information. Kindness, I'm not even talking about acceptance here, has to be taught at a young age.

So, let's let Bert and Ernie be the goofy roommates they've always been and let's teach our children that not all families are the same.

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