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Bert & Ernie, Gay Marriage Icons?

Posted by Robin Abrahams  March 28, 2013 08:14 AM

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Is your Facebook feed as filled with "equal" signs as mine? I hope so. This week is Passover, which makes it a beautiful time to focus on social justice and families and what it means to live tradition, not let tradition choke the life out of us.

That said, I must object to this:

facebook-red-marriage-equality.jpeg

Bert and Ernie are not gay.

Peppermint Patty and Marcie are gay--sweet fancy Moses, are Peppermint Patty and Marcie gay--but not Bert and Ernie. 

Bert and Ernie are fundamentally good people who are too socially dysfunctional to form romantic relationships. Maybe they are queer, but not for each other. And that's an important message too. Kids grow up in a Noah's-Ark world.Little gay kids need to look out into the world and see themselves reflected, and so do little weird kids. Bert and Ernie showed that even awkward, unromantic people can aspire to a joyful domestic life. That you didn't have to find a prince to live happily ever after--just a pal. Marriage equality is important, but so is the equality of non-marriage: of friendship, of solitude.

That, to me, is what Bert and Ernie stand for. 
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About Miss Conduct
Welcome to Miss Conduct’s blog, a place where the popular Boston Globe Magazine columnist Robin Abrahams and her readers share etiquette tips, unravel social conundrums, and gossip about social behavior in pop culture and the news. Have a question of your own? Ask Robin using this form or by emailing her at missconduct@globe.com.
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Who is Miss Conduct?

Robin Abrahamswrites the weekly "Miss Conduct" column for The Boston Globe Magazine and is the author of Miss Conduct's Mind over Manners. Robin has a PhD in psychology from Boston University and also works as a research associate at Harvard Business School. Her column is informed by her experience as a theater publicist, organizational-change communications manager, editor, stand-up comedian, and professor of psychology and English. She lives in Cambridge with her husband Marc Abrahams, the founder of the Ig Nobel Prizes, and their socially challenged but charismatic dog, Milo.

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