Thursday, August 18, 2011
AUG 17 BERT AND ERNIE AREN'T GAY
Every American kid who was born after the year 1969 grew up watching SESAME STREET. For our confused international readers...lemme clarify. The aforementioned show featured talking puppets who entertained kids while secretly educating them. The cast included memorable friends like Big Bird, Oscar the Grouch, Grover the Monster and his obnoxious nephew, Elmo. But my personal favorite was always BERT and ERNIE. While the other characters were solid individuals, Bert and Ernie were best buddies. They were inseparable and did everything together. Yep, as a kid, I wanted to grow up and have a friendship just like BERT and ERNIE.
Well, it turns out other Americans also wanted to up and have a relationship just like BERT and ERNIE: Gays and Lesbians. After further investigation, it's clear. BERT and ERNIE did everything together. They ate together. They played together. They even argued together. They even slept in the same room together! No wonder they're icons in the gay world. NOTE: It turns out many things you loved as a kid are also gay icons...try watching THE WIZARD OF OZ and remember this.
Anyhow, curious readers must be asking themselves: Why is Duner bringing this up now? Well, last month the NEW YORK STATE LEGISLATURE legalized gay marriage. And, since SESAME STREET is based in Manhattan, it only seemed logical that BERT and ERNIE finally legitimize their gay relationship as well. Overnight, the New York LGBT community got cooking. Online petitions, Facebook pages and Twitter campaigns popped up demanding our two favorite puppets tie the knot. It would show kids that: "Gay marriage and homosexuality in general deserve tolerance."
Not so, says the CHILDREN'S TELEVISION WORKSHOP. In response to these online demands, Public Television did not waver. Proud of their lovable characters, they issued a statement designed to finally clear the air regarding our favorite friends. "Bert and Ernie have lived together for decades as best of friends." CTW began. "Like college roommates in a cramped dorm, they share the same bedroom, sleeping in separate single beds. They were created to teach children about friendship that transcends radical differences in personality, a la “The Odd Couple”
All of this must be confusing to children. It takes something simple and adds a bunch of adult concepts like marriage, homosexuality and law. All of which brings me back to the initial reason why I loved BERT and ERNIE in the first place. I wanted to grow up and have a friendship just like them. Nothing more, nothing less.