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Sesame Street is celebrating Pride Month by going where it’s never gone before.
This week, the iconic children’s show dropped a very special episode called “Family Day,” introducing two gay dads, Frank (Alex Weisman) and Dave (the brother of Nina, played by Chris Costa, who works as a bike store owner on the street), and their daughter, Mia (Olivia Perez).
Directed by Alan Muraoka, who currently plays the owner of Hooper’s Store on the program, the episode focuses on Big Bird, who thinks his grandmother (Granny Bird) can’t make a party before he’s surprised by his neighborhood family.
Muraoka shared the exciting news on Facebook, saying he was “honored and humbled” to have directed such a milestone episode.
“Love is love, and we are so happy to add this special family to our Sesame family. Happy Pride to all!!!!,” he wrote.
“The ‘Family Day’ episode of Sesame Street sends the simple and important message that families come in all forms and that love and acceptance are always the most important ingredients in a family,” GLAAD President and CEO Sarah Kate Ellis tells Yahoo Entertainment. “Frank and Dave, as Mia’s dads, are the latest characters in an undeniable trend of inclusion across kids & family programming, one that allows millions of proud LGBTQ parents, and our children, to finally get to see families like ours reflected on TV.”
Of course, this isn’t the first time Sesame Street has made a stand for LGBTQ equality.
In June 2017, in the “Elmo’s World” segment in the show’s Father’s Day episode, Elmo explored what the holiday was about. During the segment, the narrator acknowledges same-sex families by saying, “You might have a stepdad, or even two dads.”
In August 2017, the “Letter of the Day” segment in the episode “Hello, Rudy” used the word “family” for the letter “F.”
“I love my moms,” one child said in the episode, just before getting kissed by both of her moms.
Throughout the decades, Sesame Street has stood up for equality by welcoming several out celebrities on the show — including Ellen DeGeneres, Billy Eichner, Billy Porter and recently Lil Nas X.
While most of the response has been positive, there has been quite a few anti-LGBTQ critics. Last year, Porter responded to the homophobic attacks that came after his February 2020 appearance, where he reword the velvet tuxedo gown and jacket by gay designer Christian Siriano, which became iconic after Porter wore it at the 2019 Oscars.
“If you don’t like it, don’t watch it,” Porter told Page Six at the time. “What about me singing with a penguin [on the show] has anything to do with what I’m doing in my bedroom?”
“The really interesting thing for me is that that’s what it’s all about when it comes to LGBTQ people — the first thing everyone wants to talk about is how we having sex,” Porter added. “Stay out of my bedroom and you will be fine — that is none of your business.”
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