The Argument for a (gay) Tamagotchi

OMG IT’S GAYYYYYYYYYYYYY!!!“Guess what, guess what?” my 9-year-old sister says excitedly over the phone.
“What?” I ask.
I’m getting a Tamagotchi!” she pauses and asks, “Did you really have one?”
I answer yes, I definitely had a Tamagotchi when I was younger. Then she continues,
“Could it get married?”
I admit that I don’t remember and so she continues-
“You can connect two tamagotchis and if a boy one and a girl one hang out more than once, they can get married and have children and–”
“That’s heterosexist,” I say, unable to help myself.
“What’s that mean?”

Like the good sister that I am, I explain what I mean by the term heterosexist. And then offhandedly say “they should make gay tamagotchi’s!” Needless to say that sparked some debate to the point where my 12-year-old sister found it fit to intervene and tell me that I am crazy.

One of the first things the 12-year-old told me (we’ll call her S. and the 9-year-old will be E.) was that maybe an adult line of tamagotchis should be made and that could include gay tamagotchis.

That argument strikes me as part of the problem that homophobia continues to be so rampant and part of why schools are not as safe as they should be.

Gay Penguins? Gasp! Not in *MY* library….When “And Tango Makes Three” hit library shelves, parents threw a fit.

When teenage boys were “traumatized” after “accidently” finding The Whole Lesbian Sex Book, the father the father sued the city for the pain and suffering they experienced.

As an older sister I can understand that children shouldn’t have to be exposed to everything. Rated R films are rated R for a reason. Television shows on FX are rated TVMA for a reason. There’s also a reason the ads for ‘Girls Gone Wild’ doesn’t come on until certain hours of the night.

But to pretend that gay people don’t exist leads a child to blatant ignorance. A British band, Skunk Anansie (disbanded in 2001), released a song in 1995 called “Little Baby Swastikkka”

The lyrics:

Who put the little baby swastikkka on the wall
Who put the little baby swastikkka on the wall
It wasn’t very high couldna been more than four years old
That’s who put the little baby swastikkka on the wall
You rope them in young
You rope them in young
So small, so innocent, so young
So delicately done, grown up in your poison

Skunk Anansie in the video “Twisted (Everyday Hurts)” Essentially what Skin, the lead vocalist, captured here is what is still continuing to be a problem.

Parents teach their kids that it’s OK to discriminate based on color or religion. And I say this as if it’s really obvious, like a parent telling their kid straight up something like “Don’t play with any black kids.”

And that is not always the case. It’s subtle. Kids like spying sometimes. They can overhear racist/homophobic language in conversations between parents and other adults. A parent can make an offhand comment that isn’t directed at the kid and it can still stick with the kid for a long time.

Today when I was out at Weaver Street Market, a little boy was running and fell down. His dad came and picked him up. The little boy was wimpering, near tears and as the father picked the kid up he said, “Come on, you’re tougher than that.”

If that had been a girl, I wonder would the father have said that? Many parents continue to enforce gender roles on their children. Again this doesn’t have to be an obvious “Wear a dress because you’re a girl”…it’s as simple as buying the girl a dress and giving it to the girl…

I think it’s time for the parents that think it’s better to keep their kids in the dark about certain things (read: gay people) to wake up and smell the chai.

This homophobic attitude is closely related to part of the gender problem. Boys are being taught to be tough and when they aren’t they’re sissies, wimps, etc. Young boys are being bullied because they don’t fit in with these masculine traits. (I highly suggest viewing Hip Hop: Beyond Beats and Rhymes…it’s an awesome documentary and talks about the view of masculinity found in hip hop…but the view of masculinity in hip hop was definitely NOT created in a vacuum. It is everywhere.)

Parents that pretend gay people don’t exist (except around the time PRIDE comes around and they decide to involve their young children) and start opening their eyes, minds and hearts.

And to those of you parents who are raising your children with the recognition that gay people do exist and that they are people just like any of us, I salute you.

(If for some reason I end up a parent, I would aspire to be like you. And my kid would also go to local music shows and have T-shirts supporting local bands.

Because that would rock.)

A gay tamagotchi (well actually several. Because otherwise the sole gay tamagotchi would feel very, very lonely!) would be a great thing because it would introduce to children that the world isn’t straight and narrow and confined to boxes.

It’s exciting, diverse and…well, doesn’t always make a lot of sense.

And if you ask me, that’s what makes life fun. 😉

“Little Baby Swastikkka”-Skunk Anansie


5 thoughts on “The Argument for a (gay) Tamagotchi

  1. Jessika May 2, 2007 / 9:16 pm

    That was an awesome post! I will try my damnedest to raise my baby grrl to not have racist/homophobic/sexist/whatever views, despite them being prevalent here in Oklahoma. Sure, they might not be obvious, like you mention, but I sure hear and read my share of racist & homophobic jokes and comments. They figure because I’m straight, married, and white, that I believe just like they do. I’ve told off more than one person.

    Sorry for rambling a bit there! I’m going to start reading your blog. Great stuff.

  2. Bec from Bitchcakes May 3, 2007 / 7:39 am

    I love you!!!

    =D…I mean…yes I agree. This was an awesome, well-written post. I like how you draw on different sources when you talk about things. I want to see some gay tamagotchis too.

  3. Sasha April 3, 2008 / 8:03 am

    I agree – I was led to your site while Googling the topic Gay Tamagotchi for my son Alex, age 7, who wanted the option for his girl tamagotchi to have a wife. We are very open with him about alternative lifestyles and religious beliefs and try to instill respect for people regardless of their differences. I now feel like I need to do your suggested reading on the topic! Thank you for sharing.

  4. stoople December 31, 2008 / 11:46 am

    This is so true. I babysit a little kid and he’s always calling things or people “gay” because it’s what his parents say. It just continues the cycle.

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