While 33 straight and same-sex couples were married at the Grammys Sunday night, the Disney Channel made a little LGBTQ history of its own. Yep. The network introduced its
first-ever openly gay characters, lesbian moms Susan and Cheryl, on the popular children’s show Good Luck Charlie.
Disney presented the couple’s debut as no big deal. Before moms Susan and Cheryl drop off their daughter Taylor for a play date with the main family’s daughter Charlie, Charlie’s parents are confused about the name of Taylor’s mom. After the doorbell rings and the parents meet, Charlie’s dad looks at his wife. “Taylor has two moms!” he tells her. “Wow, nothing gets past you, Bob,” she replies sarcastically.
The channel shared news of the episode last June in an interview with TV Guide. “This particular storyline was developed under the consultancy of child development experts and community advisors,” said a network spokesperson. “Like all Disney Channel programming, it was developed to be relevant to kids and families around the world and to reflect themes of diversity and inclusiveness.”
But those ideas are foreign to the so-called One Million Moms, the conservative media watchdogs who led a boycott of JCPennys for naming Ellen DeGeneres as a spokesperson. Here’s what the noisy bunch posted on its website last summer: “Conservative families need to urge Disney to avoid controversial topics that children are far too young to comprehend.”
Of course the irony here is that children understand completely that love is love. Twenty years ago, after picking up my son from kindergarten, I asked him which of the ladies I’d met at school was Josh’s mom. “Josh has two moms,” he told me. And then he asked, “Can I have a Fruit Roll-Up?”
It makes perfect sense to kids that two people who love each other can choose to get married and raise a family. It’s only when kids hear “some people can’t” that the questions come. Questions like, “Why not?”
I think Walt would be proud that the Wonderful World of Disney still relates to kids and families.