Turn on Nickelodeon or the Disney Channel and the chances are you’ll be presented with some well-known friendly faces from all backgrounds and walks of life. Whether it’s cartoons or real-life stories, kids’ TV channels have come a long way in recent years, but one area of contention is sexuality, and whether or not to introduce children to LGBTQ+ issues at a young age.
Canadian-American kids’ TV show Arthur, which began back in 1996 and has run for more than 246 episodes, hit the headlines earlier this year when it featured a gay wedding for the first time, a huge leap forward in kids’ programming. However, the episode received almighty backlash – and 18,000 moms signed a petition to “cancel this controversial content immediately” – although PBS Kids nor the shows’ creators are backing down.
“I am outraged that PBS Kids would use their children’s network to promote same-sex marriage,” said one mom after watching the show. “It is offensive to me and my family that the network would glorify the homosexual lifestyle.”
Another added: “Just because an issue may be legal or because some are choosing a lifestyle doesn’t make it morally correct. PBS Kids should stick to entertaining and providing family-friendly programming, instead of pushing an agenda.”
We hate to highlight hatred here at Gay Boy Bible, but such comments demonstrate how far we have come as a society, yet how much further we have to go to normalize LGBTQ+ and make it an acceptable part of children’s’ programming in the United States and elsewhere.
Let’s counterbalance that hatred by highlighting something a whole load more positive: the launch of a new cartoon channel focused on LGBTQ. The brainchild of same-sex parents of a two-year-old, Transparency TV is on a mission to represent LGBTQ families, with shows, nursery rhymes and stories depicting households of all backgrounds and makeups.
Speaking of the launch, the Transparency TV team said: “We created Transparency TV to bring content that represents the LGBTQ community to the world, while building a platform that empowers those around us to share their truths, start a dialogue and feel supported on their path.
“We are committed to ensuring the wellbeing of LGBTQ youth, and we strive to promote positive mental health in order to end the suicide epidemic plaguing our country.”
The first of its kind, Transparency TV is hoping that parents will join them in a new era of TV – where children can see themselves and their families reflected in new stories, and indeed old stories adapted for today’s modern times.
Their launch comes at a time when families are ‘cable cutting’ at unprecedented levels, turning to Netflix, Amazon Prime, and YouTube for their content instead.
With the launch of platforms like YouTube Kids, there’s never been a better time for Transparency TV – and we can’t wait to see what Transparency TV gets up to this year.
Also in the works are a number of children’s books, launching with the same purpose – to reflect our society and safeguard our youth. Find out more about this fantastic initiative on their official website, and check back to Gay Boy Bible soon for updates on their progress.