Sesame Street is always increasing its representation, and in its latest episode, the show added to its expanding cast by introducing a married gay couple (via the Washington Post). The episode debuted last week for Pride Month, and in the episode, the Sesame Street crew is preparing for a Family Day celebration. Abby Cadabby, Elmo, Rudy, Charlie, and Big Bird, Alan, and more are checking the list of guests when Nina says her brother Dave is coming with his family, and that's when we meet Dave, his husband Frank, and their daughter Mia, a moment that a co-director on the episode described as a "milestone" for the show.
Alan Muraoka, who plays Alan on the show and co-directed the episode, wrote on Facebook "Sesame Street has always been a welcoming place of diversity and inclusion. So I'm so excited to introduce Nina's Brother Dave, his husband Frank, and their daughter Mia to our sunny street. Our Family Day episode drops today on HBOMax and on YouTube(https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Iph6Sj44Zpo.) 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 always put an emphasis on representing all types of families, and Christy Tirrell-Corbin, who is the executive director of the Center for Early Childhood Education and Intervention at the University of Maryland, said the introduction of a family with two fathers was done in a "very natural way."
“One of the many wonderful things about young children is they are very accepting — it’s really when they are exposed to attitudes or context where there’s bias that they begin to develop those biases,” Tirrell-Corbin said. “There was no, ‘this is a different type of family than you’re used to.’ It was just, ‘this is one of many types of families."
Naomi A. Moland, who has written a book all about Sesame Street and is part of the American University's School of International Service, said the segment is another example of how Sesame Street is "so creative in tackling complex issues in child-friendly ways. They would say, okay, what do kids need to know? They don’t need to know anything about sex or marriage necessarily or religion. They just need to know there are some families that have two dads.”
Sesame Street puts a focus on what every family has in common, and in Family Day we see that occur during conversations between Mia and Abby, as Mia talks about making lasagna with her parents and Abby then says "our family likes to cook together too."
This is also reinforced later in the episode when someone says "all of our families are so different", and Frank says "There are all kinds of different families. But what makes us a family is that we love each other."