A terrific piece of news today: The Disney Channel has announced that an episode of its children’s series Good Luck Charlie will feature a family with two moms—the first time a show on the channel has done so.
TV Guide reports that the episode involves a secondary storyline where the parents set up a playdate for their preschooler Charlie with a new friend, who has two moms. It seems like the two-mom aspect of the couple isn’t an “issue” (thank goodness); rather, it’s the tedium of Charlie’s father’s stories that endangers the new friendship.
A Disney spokesperson told TV Guide that they consulted “child development experts and community advisors” in making the episode. I’m actually rather glad they didn’t make the two-mom family the main storyline, though. Sure, we need those storylines, too (not least so our own children can see reflections of themselves)—but we also need LGBT families to appear as we are, neighbors and friends, who sometimes just pop in for a playdate.
Alas, the episode will run in 2014, the last season for Good Luck Charlie—but at least the network is building on the small step they took last year, when they ran a video about a 14-year-old boy who has two moms as part of their “Make Your Mark” social outreach campaign.
A couple of weeks ago, I said I hoped that Disney, which owns ABC and ABC Family, would build on the success of those networks’ Modern Family and The Fosters and launch LGBT-inclusive programming for younger kids. I’ve been hoping that for a long time, actually. Common Sense Media rates Good Luck Charlie as appropriate for ages seven and up, so it definitely qualifies.
At the same time, I want more: more inclusion for even younger ages; more occasional and secondary characters as well as more starring roles; more inclusion across the spectrum. And I want to see an LGBT character or family in one of Disney’s blockbuster animated films. I’d also love to see an LGBT Disney Princess and related theme-park ride (U-Haul Speedway?), but I suspect those may take longer.
Still, I feel that this is a significant milestone for LGBT family inclusion. I’m going to go put on a pair of mouse ears and dance around to the Fantasia soundtrack.