Following years of calls for additional LGBTQ+ characters on the show, the popular kids’ show Peppa Pig has introduced its first female same-sex couple on air. The show, which first aired in 2004, has been running for nearly two decades now. This is the first time a same-sex couple has appeared on the show in its 18-year history. The show has been translated into forty languages and holds broadcast in over 180 countries.
Peppa Pig, the iconic British children’s show, is perhaps one of the most identifiable cartoon shows watched and loved by audiences across the world today. It has a huge reach in India, too, with kids watching the show religiously.
Suggested reading: Two Same-Sex Penguin Couples Form During Mating Season In London Aquarium
‘I live with my mummy and my other mummy’
The focus of the current plot features Penny the Polar Bear and her two mothers. It’s during a conversation between Penny Bear and the main character Peppa Pig that the same-sex couple is introduced. Penny Bear informs Peppa that she has two moms while sketching a picture of herself holding hands with them in a family episode that recently aired in the UK.
Mentioning that one of her mothers is a doctor, she tells Peppa, “I live with my mummy and my other mummy.”
British animators Neville Astley and Mark Baker are the makers of the show. Peppa Pig, which has won three BAFTA awards, revolves around Peppa, a piglet, living with her parents, and their family life. A petition, which started on a US-based website in 2019 to have the show feature same-sex parents, has received approximately 25,000 signatures.
At a time when the LGBTQ+ representation is being criticised by conservative masses, Peppa Pig stepping up to represent same-sex couples on the air is a big, welcoming move globally. Recently several Muslim-majority countries banned Pixar’s Lightyear, a Toy Story spinoff, from theatres because it featured a kiss between its two gay characters. According to reports, Gulf Arab governments have now requested popular streaming OTT platform Netflix to remove – in their language – any offensive content referring to shows with LGBTQ+ protagonists.
In a world where we are witnessing horrendous hate and violence, teaching empathy and acceptance to kids from an early age is the only hope. This could help us bring a positive change in the fabric of our nations.
Of course, there are going to be mixed reactions. On one hand, some parents may feel that it is unnecessary and the show could have done with just being a kid’s show. While several parents are welcoming this new storyline. Following the release, a Twitter user wrote: “Why does sex need to come into it for kids.” Another social media user disagreed and replied, “Did you ask this when there were opposite-sex couples on the show?” Another wrote: “So, what do you think? The world did not end when my kids saw the first same-sex coupling on Peppa Pig.”
Love and acceptance start at an early age
According to the Academy of Pediatrics, children start developing a grip on gender identification early. At a stage where kid’s cognitive skills are developing, it’s vital to make accessible all relevant information. They will be acceptable instead feeling weird about it. If we fail to address same-sex couple and families, we will deprive child of crucial understanding of a sex-same family dynamics. Also, normality am0ng families with a single parent or two parents of opposite sexes.
biological gender and sexual orientation are two different things. Children may not understand these terms, but they do know how they feel. Many times kids having varied orientation get themselves in the cocoon for being different. This different can be normailised, if the kids know these things exist. What’s not okay is adults not letting their children ask questions. We need to be in a position to find the correct answers for them – honest answers – because how else will they learn? How else will they learn they need to accept people for who they are and where they come from? Peppa Pig is a stepping stone in that. It not only normalises but also guides how to accept fellows with similar leanings. Children may learn about LGBTQ+ persons from anywhere for that matter, therefore, it becomes crucial to step in and teach them gender identities, whether or not your kid belongs to the LGBTQ+ community.
Families must self-reflect and educate themselves to build a respectful environment. Our top priority should be educating children about inclusivity and breaking stereotypes based on gender. And while we’re at it, let’s not mix tolerance with acceptance. Tolerance means bearing something and acceptance means fully understanding and acknowledging with an open heart and a mind. Let’s educate our kids about issues affecting the LGBTQ+ community, or any other oppressed community for that matter, that can lay the groundwork at an early age for acceptance of human equality. Hoping that the Peppa effect will lead in a positive direction for more to come.