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Bert and Ernie Snuggle on The New Yorker's "Moment of Joy" Cover

Illustration for article titled Bert and Ernie Snuggle on emThe New Yorker/ems Moment of Joy Cover

Kudos to artist Jack Hunter, who came up with this idea, submitted an image to a Tumblr last year and now finds it gracing the new cover of The New Yorker, celebrating the overturn of DOMA.


As you may recall, in 2011, Sesame Street Workshop issued a statement, claiming that Bert and Ernie are not gay:

Bert and Ernie are best friends. They were created to teach preschoolers that people can be good friends with those who are very different from themselves. Even though they are identified as male characters and possess many human traits and characteristics (as most Sesame Street Muppets™ do), they remain puppets, and do not have a sexual orientation.


That doesn't bother Hunter, according to Gothamist:

At the time, he said, "While I’m certainly not the first person to speculate about Bert & Ernie’s more personal and private relationship, I thought they were well suited to represent how a lot of gay couples must have felt hearing Obama’s comments … after all, they’ve been together for almost 50 years … as 'just friends' or otherwise."

[Gothamist, The New Yorker]

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So I posted about this on Groupthink, too, but I don't love this.

1) I don't like the implication of a romantic relationship between two puppets who are supposed to be (ambiguously aged) children.

2) I feel it minimizes the effect this historic and vitally important decision has on the lives of men, women, couples, and families (SPECIFICALLY gay and lesbian men, women, couples, and families whose lives have improved, legally and otherwise) by making it so silly.

3) Know what else would have been sweet? A depiction of HUMAN GAY MEN sharing a beautiful moment. This seems to smack of the media's reticence to depict gay men in a romantic light.

BUT, people over on Groupthink have posed some good counterpoints, so maybe I'm just too used to being angry...