Not sure what the deal is, but an onslaught of wadding is afflicting the panties of an inordinate number of Texas’s state legislators this year. Beyond attacking drag queens and bars that audaciously allow them to perform (see HRH Report in this issue), Republican lawmakers (surprise!) have introduced two more bills that would restrict educators from teaching about sexual orientation and gender identity in public schools.
Mirroring Florida’s law “don’t say gay” laws, Rep. Steve Toth (R-The Woodlands)’s prohibits schools from teaching about sexual orientation or gender identity from kindergarten through fifth grade. Rep. Jared Patterson (R-Frisco)’s HB 1155 would extend that prohibition through the eighth grade. Because…the children.
Is anyone surprised by these antiquated Republican attacks? They’re simply staying true to the brand. After all, the Texas GOP’s official party platform explicitly opposes “efforts to validate transgender identity,” and defines homosexuality as “an abnormal lifestyle choice.”
Toth and Patterson and their ilk’s efforts are not only heinous but are also inefficiently misguided. If their real aim is to “protect” children from ungodly gay influence, they should change their target to cartoons. For decades, cartoons have more gays in them than Walgreens’ makeup aisle on Halloween.
There are a few animated characters that have come out of the cartoon closet in recent years. The Simpsons’ Waylon Smithers is out about his long-time guy crush, Montgomery Burns. Also in The Simpsons’ queer universe, Patty Bouvier, Marge’s hard-smoking, gravel-voiced sister channeled her inner dyke by riding on a Pride Parade float in 2005.
And Scooby Doo’s Velma Dinkley came out as lesbian in the live-action Scooby movies. I have to admit: I love Velma. She can jump in the back of my Mystery Machine anytime she wants.
But far more ubiquitous are the myriad queer folk in CartoonLand who are less forthright about their sexuality, many of which have been around for ages, casting their craven influence on innocent minors. For example:
SpongeBob and Patrick Star, Stewie Griffin in Family Guy, South Park’s Mr. Slave … we could go on and on. There’s no dearth of gay characters in the cartoon universe — closeted or not. Just like in the GOP.
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