Disney’s over-sexualized characters have been a sensitive topic – one that continues to ruffle some feathers. But what is a good blog piece without ruffling some feathers or that doesn’t talk about controversy?
My son A.J and I watch Andi Mack every Friday night; it’s absolute bonding time for us. We eat Cheese Its and chips. We bring blankets and pillows, the whole nine yards! Well one episode of Andi Mack stirred up a conversation between all of my son’s fourth-grade class-mates. One 13-year-old male character, Cyrus Goodman, confessed his feelings for another male character, Joana, who was Andi Mack’s crush. Cyrus was slightly jealous of their relationship.
At the time, one of my girlfriends was over my house. She didn’t want her child to watch any of it for fear of exposing her child to such a thing too early.
As a parent, I have my thoughts about it. For one, if the media is overly sexualized as it is, would sheltering the kids from it be helpful or harmful to their social growth? One thing that crossed my mind, however, is that it is definitely time to have “the talk” with A.J sooner than I thought. If not, then the streets would be happy to educate him for me.
I understand that this is not a new concept. A very talented Stream writer, Liberty McCartor, mentions how Disney stirs up controversy behind its representation of the LGBT community. She mentioned how ever since the Beauty and the Beast director Bill Condon announced that the Disney remake would feature a “gay moment” religious officials as well as advocates of the LGBT community have had their differences in opinion, especially when raising a child is concerned. She says that pastor Franklin Graham called for Christians to watch out! And has a “say no to Disney campaign.” Also, LifeSiteNews sponsored a petition to tell Disney that “children’s entertainment is no place to promote a harmful sexual political agenda.”
Okay, so now that you heard from the people who are against it, what about the LGBT community? I can’t help but to think about the different LGBT families. Is such protest offensive to their lifestyles? One piece written in the LifeSiteNews talked about the LGBT advocacy group GLAAD that launched a petition asking people to “thank Disney for elevating LGBTQ voices.” The article discussed an episode of the Disney Junior show Doc McStuffins, which is aimed at preschoolers. It featured two lesbian moms as the head of the family. Lesbian comedian Wanda Sykes tweeted about the show expressing her gratitude.
“I’m so proud of today’s episode of Doc McStuffins with @iamwandasykes and @portiaderossi -Love is Love in McStuffinville! #DocMcstuffins.”
This is an extremely interesting topic because whether some parents are ready for the representation of the LGBT community in children’s media or not, the community is still here. It is a part of our society. And the way one chooses to raise their children is their choice.
However, I have some questions? What happens when some children learn about it and experiment on their own because this is what they see and parents are too worried about exposing this to their children at a young age? For the children who are experiencing the same homosexual feelings, will they feel alone or confused if it isn’t featured in the media?
I posted a question on my Facebook page below, and here is what some people commented:
“I’m noticing that children are determining their sexual orientation earlier and earlier. It’s even as early as grade school. AJ and I were watching a Disney show about a little boy who was bisexual, and people have a difference in opinion about this topic. What do you think about introducing this to children? Is it forcing the lifestyle on them? Or should there be more cartoons showing children that it is a normal way of life? What do you think?”
A. “I work for the school system and we don’t press upon gender and sexual orientation. We accept whatever the child chooses to be and he or she decides to dress or act a certain way is their choice.
I personally feel that I can’t really say that all these kids have their identity at such a young age. Could it be more socially influenced rather than a natural occurrence is what I wonder. And socially influenced I mean what they see on tv, social media, family environment, peers, or what they reading that influencing their lifestyle choice. Children are very impressionable and what they feel at the moment they feel they need to act to upon. And that may not be accurate.
But as for me that really up to parent and that child especially if it at such a young age what sexual identity should be or not to be. And what should be explored and not explored.” – Donovan M. Coney
A. “Children shouldn’t be thinking about sex, nor should they be exposed to sexual subject matter as children.” – Marqui Talley
A. “There is no exact reasons that an individual develops a heterosexual, bisexual, gay or lesbian orientation. I believe its genetics, hormonal, developmental, social and cultural influences on sexual orientation. There is no one thing or experience particular that determines your sexual orientation. So to answer your question, it is jumpstarting these children minds to help influence them it is ok.” – Jamal Littles
A.”Sex is not for children therefore they should not have any preferences. That’s like a virgin having a favorite sex position.” -Geechy Gabe
One woman who is a member of the LGBT community posted an interesting thought.
A. “Well as someone who early on struggled with this. Society didn’t influence my preference. Society is mostly straight and so are my parents. It may have helped to have information earlier. While it may have made my parents uncomfortable for me to know about myself, it’s not about them. Children are individuals. I knew I was different as long as I can remember, before sex. I didn’t know what a lesbian was. It didn’t mean that I wasn’t one. I just didn’t have the info to identify with or associate a name to it. Hetero life was expected but didnt make me happy no matter how much i tried for years. I don’t claim to know everything but as a black person, the last thing I wanna do is judge a group of people I may not understand or let society drag a group of people who have done nothing to me personally. I don’t understand trans life completely but that’s not my job. Be happy, live your truth and be good to people. You never know what people of any age are going through. Cartoons don’t need to focus on issues necessarily but adults ignore it. Kids are smart and just because your child isn’t gay, they live in a time where another classmate may be or have two same sex parents. We live in a time where u have to actually talk to your kids because they are exposed to reality more.” – Jyn Pasley
Everyone may have a difference in opinion about this topic, but as a parent, this is one topic worth discussing with your children.
What are your thoughts?