‘Sesame Street’s Bert & Ernie Celebrate Marriage Equality On The Cover Of ‘The New Yorker’

“Moment of Joy”

In the wake of the historic Supreme Court rulings this week that struck down the federal Defense of Marriage Act as unconstitutional and invalidated California’s Proposition 8, which further expanded same-sex marriage rights in this country, a great many people have been celebrating the advancement of marriage equality here in the US. President Obama himself spoke out in support of the rulings during his visit to Africa the day after the rulings were announced. A little closer to home, a same-sex couple who have been living together for about 44 years are also celebrating the same-sex rulings issued by the Supreme Court. Bert & Ernie, two beloved characters from the children’s program Sesame Street, are featured together on the cover of next week’s issue of The New Yorker magazine and as you can see below, they are basking in a moment of joy of the expansion of same-sex marriage rights in this country.

“It’s amazing to witness how attitudes on gay rights have evolved in my lifetime,” said Jack Hunter, the artist behind next week’s cover, “Moment of Joy.” Hunter, who originally submitted his image, unsolicited, to a Tumblr, continued, “This is great for our kids, a moment we can all celebrate.”

This is pretty much the best cover that The New Yorker has ever published in the history of ever. It’s no secret that Bert & Ernie have been living together as a couple since Sesame Street debuted in 1969. If you want to look at the history of longterm same-sex relationships as they are featured on television and in pop culture, you don’t have to look any further than at the long running relationship of these two puppet characters. As you may recall, there was talk back in 2011 that Bert & Ernie might “marry” some day and even tho that hasn’t happened, well, it’s nice that they now have the opportunity. While I’m sure the opponents of marriage equality and GLBT visibility will undoubtedly have a huge problem with this magazine cover, I applaud The New Yorker for finding the sweet humor in this week’s momentous Supreme Court rulings. This issue of The New Yorker will hit newsstands in a few days … as a loyal subscriber to the magazine, I cannot WAIT to receive my copy!

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  1. Joanna

    Now wouldn’t it be something one day when same sex marriage becomes legal in all 50 states if Sesame Street decides to celebrate with the wedding of Bert and Ernie? Since that hasn’t happened yet I’m very thrilled that The New Yorker decided to celebrate television’s longest running same sex couple in this way (even if others aren’t ready yet to admit they are a couple).

    • @Joanna — As cute as I think this cover is, I don’t think Bert & Ernie need to get married necessarily. If memory serves, none of the other puppet characters on Sesame Street are married so I don’t think the show needs married puppet characters. I would love for a human same-sex married couple to appear on the show, much like Maria and Luis. I think that would be more helpful for children.

    • Karen

      @Trent – I agree. When I was a kid watching Sesame Street, the sexuality or romantic lives of the puppets never once occurred to me. Even now it feels kind of jarring to think about it!

      As a kid, marriage would have been for adults only, and the puppets were not adults to me. Don’t know why – maybe because they “talked to me” as if we were peers? Maybe because they were short like kids? Or because they were, you know, puppets? For whatever reason, they were not adults in my mind!

      I think having same-sex human couples on the show would be great. When I was little, divorce was a big issue and I vaguely remember some discussion of divorce on Sesame Street. Or maybe Mister Rogers. Or both? I think kids shows are a great vehicle for showing the spectrum of family types, normalizing them for all kids.

  2. Wow, I got goosebumps looking at that. The image conveys something words don’t.

    I was so happy for the ruling, and at the end of the day I was looking at my facebook newsfeed and I realized exactly how MANY of my loved ones will be affected. I always knew I had a lot of LGBT friends in my life, but I never really thought of them as a collective group. Seeing the numerous posts about the impact of this decision directly on their lives made me sob. It just drove home the fact that this decision isn’t just words on paper, so many lives will be changed forever. For the better. For the world’s betterment.

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