Highlights for Children is facing controversy this week after a less than understanding response it sent to a mom wondering why the company's toddler magazine, Hello, doesn't feature any LGBT parents. Kristina Wertz decided to write to the magazine after she and her partner, Kara Desiderio, noticed Hello didn't include any same-sex parents. "One of the reasons we appreciate Hello is the diversity represented — families of all races, interracial families and grandparents," Wertz wrote, according to Us Weekly. “We are consistently disappointed, however, in the complete lack of same-sex parents in Hello magazine."
"We understand your wish to see your family’s situation represented in Highlights Hello,” a letter from the Highlights editor to Wertz reads. “For much of our readership, the topic of same-sex families is still new, and parents are still learning how to approach the subject with their children, even the very little ones. We believe that parents know best when their family is ready to open conversation around the topic of same-sex families.”
Same-sex parenting shouldn't be a topic parents need to nervously "approach." That trepidation should be saved for discussions on the dangers of drugs or talks about the kind of bigotry that makes some people wary to even bring up the idea of a loving family with a same-sex couple. After the letter was published to the magazine's Facebook page, Twitter users expressed their frustration that Highlights feels LGBT families are a controversial topic.
Highlights has since written a response to the backlash, publishing the open letter on its site under the heading of "Inclusion." After an apology for the initial response, the letter reads, "We want to reiterate that we believe all families matter. We know that there are many ways to build a family, and that love is the essential 'ingredient.' This conversation has helped us see that we can be more reflective of all kinds of families in our publications. We are committed to doing so as we plan future issues."
But many people feel that talking about inclusion isn't enough. As one Twitter user said in response to the magazine's second letter, "Ok @Highlights, please prove it."