Sesame Street quietly made history last week, as the long-running children's’ show tends to do on a fairly regular basis. This time around, an episode of Sesame Street on HBO Max called “Family Day” introduced three new characters: a young girl named Mia and her two gay dads, Dave and Frank. It was a massive milestone for the show but also for LGBTQ+ visibility, perfectly timed for Pride month.
“Family Day” sees all of the inhabitants of the sunny street getting ready to welcome their family members from all over the country for a celebration. Big Bird is expecting Granny Bird, Elmo will be joined by his mom and dad, and Nina is expecting her brother Dave and his family to arrive from California. When Dave arrives, he is joined by his daughter Mia and husband Frank. They are welcomed by the whole Sesame Street gang, and then everyone just goes about the business of enjoying their time together. This is how Sesame Street introduced the first openly gay parents into the fold, as naturally as they welcome any new character to the show. It was a beautiful moment.
‘Sesame Street’ welcomed two gay dads to the show.
LGBTQ+ advocacy groups praised the landmark episode. “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 shared in a statement on Twitter. “Frank and Dave, as Mia’s dads, are the latest characters in an undeniable trend of inclusion across kids and family programming, one that allows millions of proud LGBTQ parents, and our children, to finally get to see families like ours reflected on TV.”
“Family Day” co-director and longtime Sesame Street actor Alan Muraoka wrote in a Facebook post that he was “honored” to be part of such an important moment in television history. “I am so honored and humbled to have co-directed this important and milestone episode. Love is love, and we are so happy to add this special family to our Sesame family. Happy Pride to all!!!!”
Sesame Street has often been at the forefront of making important changes in children's programming. Whether they are discussing racial inequity or encouraging kids to get vaccinated against COVID-19, the Sesame Street gang is trying to make the world a better place.