Out of the mouth of babes!
Canadian personality and MTV Canada regular Jessi Cruickshank recently gathered two young boys and two young girls to chat about LGBTQ Pride for a comedic video produced by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation.
So what does Pride mean? “It means where all the gay people, transgender, lesbian, bisexual people gather up and celebrate,” says one smart girl.
“That’s absolutely right,” Cruickshank responds encouragingly. “It’s a celebration of sexual diversity.”
Cruickshank and the four kids go on to briefly discuss queer concepts of gay allies, coming out the closet, same-sex parents, and gay marriage.
“I just think it’s normal marriage,” says one boy. Another kid’s only concern is whether or not she’ll be the flower girl in her lesbian auntie’s wedding.
Cruickshank then asks if they know any gay celebrities. Ellen DeGeneres? Sure. Neil Patrick Harris, Anderson Cooper, or Ricky Martin? Not so much.
“Ricky Martin is a singer and now he’s a gay icon,” she explains. “A gay icon is someone who’s revered by the gay community.”
“Jodie Foster is a woman and she made me question my sexuality as a child because I liked her so much,” Cruickshank continues, all but winking at the audience. “And she was nude in the film Nell, not that I remember watching it several times as a child.”
Finally, in one of the clip’s most adorable exchanges, Cruickshank asks, “What are we to the gay community? We are…?”
“Gay icons,” one boy enthusiastically replies.
“I’m an ally, but maybe I could be an icon,” says the other boy.
“I mean, everybody should aspire to grow up and be a gay icon,” Cruickshank agrees, now rocking a rainbow feather boa to match her rainbow flag and balloons.
“That’s what Pride is all about,” the hopeful flower girl concludes. Cute and harmless, right?
“This is the most disgusting display of agenda pushing I have ever seen,” wrote one commenter on Facebook. “How about spend some more time raising children to know how to be productive members of society and how to interact properly with others. Stop using them as pawns in your games.”
“I found her leading and brainwashing,” another commenter criticized. “Provide children with information and let them form their own opinions.”
Many angry viewers particularly took issue with Cruickshank’s tongue-in-cheek remarks about Foster, with one calling them “downright creepy.” Another denounced her jokes imagining benefits of all-male or all-female homes: “Disgusting how they are trying to take away the idea of a standard family in the house!”
“I love how people are on here spouting off self righteous rhetoric about defending children’s innocence,” argued a supporter of the video. “It’s like, ’I’m pretending to have a problem with it for a different reason, but really my motive is bigotry.'”
The video I created to celebrate the beauty of acceptance, has started an ugly controversy. I believe in promoting education over intolerance. I believe people are born to love and taught to hate. I believe this video serves as a hopeful reminder that the next generation is tolerant, inclusive and sees the humanity in everyone. Watch and share if you do too. Link in Bio/Story. ️ #Pride
“Teaching kids diversity, understanding, compassion, and love was never a bad thing,” added another fan.
Cruickshank responded to the conservative condemnation this week on Instagram, sharing some particularly negative blog headlines. “The video I created to celebrate the beauty of acceptance has started an ugly controversy,” she wrote.
“I believe in promoting education over intolerance. I believe people are born to love and taught to hate. I believe this video serves as a hopeful reminder that the next generation is tolerant, inclusive and sees the humanity in everyone. Watch and share if you do too.”