TheCalmDev (Dev J Haldar)

ravings, rantings and ramblings

Childhood – happy and ‘gay’?

I wonder why 2 popular children’s fiction has gay undertones?

Obviously, the thought occurs to you while you are growing up and noticing the world (and its weirdness). Honestly, have you wondered why Bert and Ernie (of Sesame Street) and Prince Adam (of He-Man and the Masters of the Universe) have a hint of homosexuality?

He-Man and Prince Adam

He-Man and Prince Adam

I was a huge fan of He-Man and the Masters of the Universe! Still am. I used to wait for Sunday 0900 hours for the best half hour of my holiday. The sound of production also fascinated me. I like the trumpets and trombones part of the signature music. And of course, me and my friends, all loved the heroic, muscle-bound He-Man! We all wanted to have a sword that would turn us into that Schwarzenegger-esque figure! Amidst all this, I didn’t notice the dainty cowardly Prince Adam. He wears a pink waistcoat – everyday. And furry lilac underpants and mauve tights – everyday! Was it to show the contrast between Prince Adam and the testosterone-charged He-Man? Or was it because the colorist ran out of colour combinations (what with pink dragons and multicoloured demons)? Or was somebody from the production wanting to scream out something? I don’t know. And honestly, would love to know, why?

Then, there is Bert and Ernie. I saw Sesame Street when I had access to YouTube. And many years later, when Sesame Street planned an entry into the Indian market, a chanced meeting with Marty Richardson courtesy my wife, landed me a contract to be the voice of Bert in India. I really like Bert. I think he is sweet, cute and sensitive. Oops, does that border on gay-ish? As part of my dubbing, I used to go through all B&E episodes. Two close buddies, that is all that they were. Ernie was a prankster and Bert was a bit of a bum to get victimised most times. He had an irritating laughter. Strange hair, yellow skin – in fact everything about him was endearing to me. I didn’t like Ernie much. However, my question remains the same? Or are we reading too much into a simple story. Or is it soft peddling the newer ways-of-the-world, other than morals?

Truth is , I don’t understand why. A recent mention of Bert and Ernie in a class I teach, elicited their sexual undertones, first. I have no problems to anybody’s sexual preferences but I do not know if there was a reason behind it. 


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