The “big” news story on Facebook last week was that kids’ show “Doc McStuffins” had featured a lesbian couple with a child. And wow. The internet was losing its collective shit all over the place. I’m a member of many a Disney group on Facebook and all over there were people pulling the “I’m not homophobic but…” and “I’m entitled to my opinion…” excuses.
Disney Junior stuck its neck out by doing this. People are calling for a boycott and stopping their kids watching Doc, however the vast majority of folk are either thrilled to bits or feel that it makes no difference to their lives. How amazing that my daughter can watch her favourite show and see a family that is JUST LIKE HERS! Isn’t that awesome? We’ve been watching Doc since Eden was small and the songs have always made her light up with happiness. As she’s growing, Doc is growing with her and no doubt as she gets older she will take more notice of the awesome messages in the show.
Doc McStuffins has always been a bit of a front runner in diversity anyway. I love that Doc is a little girl with big dreams. I love that her dad stays home and her mum is a doctor. I love that the family adopts their third child. I love the catchy songs, the appearances of real life inspirational women (Florence Nightingale anyone?) and I love that they’ve taken the leap to introducing a gay family. I also love that it’s not a “thing”. Like, the episode isn’t about families being different – it’s actually about Earthquakes. The two mum family is just part of the story and I LOVE that! I also think it’s great that the lesbian characters are voiced by out lesbian entertainers – namely Wanda Sykes and Portia de Rossi.
It makes sense that it would be Doc. The creator of the show, Chris Nee, is an out lesbian woman with a family. In a recent inteview, she said
“I always envision Doc McStuffins as a show about what it means to accept everyone as part of our communities.
As part of a two-mom family, I’m proud to have an episode that reflects my son’s world, and shows everyone that love is love in McStuffinsville.”
I couldn’t agree more. The fact is that whatever your beliefs are, children are not born racist, sexist or homophobic. On the groups I’m in, a few people stated their concern that this episode took away their choice on when to talk about “gay sex” with their children. I think that’s the problem here. It’s not about sex. It’s about who is in a family. As far as I’m concerned, there is no right time to talk about it. Kids don’t see it as a “thing”. It’s just kind of like “Eden has two mums” “ok then” and that’s that. It’s only when adults start making a big deal of things that it becomes an issue.
And don’t get me started on the “LGBT agenda” that homophobes like to claim we are “pushing” on their innocent little kiddiwinkles. There is no agenda. Seriously.
Comments like “I’m not homophobic but…” and “It’s not NORMAL” and “we should boycott this show” are the reasons why we need Doc Mcstuffins. We need trailblazing kids shows that break down barriers and show humans as equal. We need kids shows where families are made with love, a girl can be a doctor if she wants to and a child of colour can be the star of her own show. We need shows with ballet dancing lambs, brave dragons and plush snowmen with anxiety. We need strong Hippo nurses and rock star dolls.
We need these messages to tell people that it IS homophobic to not want gay people on your television. It IS racist to not want interracial couples on kid’s shows. It IS wrong to not want disabled people on your TV and it IS sexist to not want women in lead roles. You can’t just justify your bile with “I’m not homophobic but…” We need shows like Doc McStuffins because some parent just won’t teach their kid about any family except for theirs.
In our house, we’ve learned loads from Doc. “You gotta drink way more water than you think”, “Do what the Doctor says”, “Get your pet *clap clap* to the vet”, “You can look great in glasses”, and now my little girl can see that families come in all shapes and sizes and sometimes the characters on her favourite show have two mums just like her.