Why can’t puppets Bert and Ernie be gay?

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Why can’t puppets Bert and Ernie be gay?

and nods to the LGBTQ community be replaced with a full-throated statement of support?

"Sesame Street" has a long history of teaching children about diversity and acceptance; so, why should the issues impacting our LGBTQ children be excluded? Moreover, many of the children watching the show are not only LGBTQ, but so, too, are their parents and households.

In other words, could it be that "Sesame Street" needs to come out of the closet?

In many ways, their famous duo has. And Bert and Ernie have not only been roommates, but they have also been sleep-mates, sleeping next to each other like any long-term committed couple.

I realize, however, in a culture that constantly sexualizes the coupling of same-gender relationships as gay, we ignore our friendships with our "best friends forever" (BFF), which is what producers of "Sesame Street" are stating about Bert and Ernie.

For example, for over two decades Oprah and her gal pal, Gayle King, editor-at-large for O, The Oprah Magazine, have denied rumors they are lesbians, but instead have publicly stated they are each other’s BFF, just two sistah-girls being sister-friends.

After 30 years of four-times-a-day phone calls, and frequent sightings of where you see Oprah you also see Gayle, the public continues to question Oprah and Gayle about their relationship.

"No, I’m not a lesbian, I’m not even kind of a lesbian," Oprah stated on "A Barbara Walters Special: Oprah, The Next Chapter."

"The reason why it irritates me is because it means that somebody must think I’m lying. That’s number one," Winfrey told Walters. "Number two...why would you want to hide it? That is not the way I run my life."

I also realize that constantly labeling same-gender relationships as gay, it diminishes and distorts the romantic relationships we LGBTQ people have with our significant others. As a matter-of-fact, constantly labeling same-gender relationships as gay not only wrongly assumes that the only reason for two people of the same gender getting together is for sex, but it also keeps in place the myth of the hypersexual and predatory LGBTQ person.

However, "Sesame Street’s" is an open classroom for our kids, reflecting the times. Same-sex marriage is one of the social issues of the day.

How will “ Sesame Street" explain to children in same-gender families and households why Miss Piggy and Kermit the frog can marry, but Bert and Ernie can’t?

I’m going with Mark Saltman’s said that when he wrote Bert and Ernie episodes for Sesame Street, he thought of them as gay.

I, do, too!