Tag: Aunts

American Girl “Girl of the Year” Doll’s Aunts Are a Same-Sex Couple, Delighting Many (and Outraging Some)

American Girl "Girl of the Year" Doll's Aunts Are a

Mattel’s powerhouse American Doll brand recently announced its 2021 “Girl of the Year” doll: 10-year-old Kira, who loves animals. In further backstory from an associated book and video, we discover that Kira is spending the summer at the wildlife sanctuary run by her two aunts, a same-sex couple, in Australia. Such representation is much needed, though some vocal homophobes are giving the book one-star reviews.

Kira Down Under - American Girl

The Kira doll has nothing particularly LGBTQ about her—but in the backstory American Girl has given her through the book and video, Kira has two married aunts, Mamie and Lynette. The book mentions that the aunts got married “after the law was changed to allow it.”

Kira “joins American Girl’s line of contemporary characters that inspires children to make a positive difference in the world,” Mattel’s press release tells us. “Whether she’s caring for an orphaned koala joey or facing a bushfire that’s threatening her great-aunts’ wildlife sanctuary in Australia, Kira confronts critical ecological issues, such as wildlife protection and the threat of climate change, that are more relevant to our planet than ever.”

“As American Girl kicks off its 35th year, Kira joins our lineup of diverse and purposeful characters who star in stories that reflect the realities of the times—whether it’s historical or modern-day,” said Jamie Cygielman, General Manager of American Girl. Cygielman noted the Australian bushfires and U.S. wildfires of the past year and added, “We knew it was important to focus Kira’s story on the major conservation and climate challenges facing our planet today—causes that are extremely important to today’s youth. Through Kira, we hope our fans will learn that we all have a part to play in taking positive action for our planet.”

Those are important lessons—but Kira’s aunts are also having an important impact. Sydney Jean, a blogger on the website American Girl Doll News wrote, “When I found out that Kira had two aunts, Mamie and Lynette, I wanted to cry tears of joy…. it means the world to me that American Girl is taking a big step and representing lesbians—people like me—in their newest book series.” (I’ll note that while they’re clearly a same-sex couple, I’m not sure it’s stated whether they’re lesbians as opposed to bisexual.)

Others were not as thrilled, giving the associated book Kira Down Under one-star reviews at Amazon. One reviewer wrote, “My daughter had no idea what a lesbian couple is and American Girl has cruelly taken away part of her innocence now that I’ve had to explain about that lifestyle.” Another said, “This book blatantly introduces very mature topics.” Spoiler alert: It doesn’t. And the aunts’ “lifestyle” consists of being a hardworking, animal-loving couple who cares for their family. (Also, if I wanted to, I could explain the creation of my family to a child without once mentioning sex, which is probably more than these reviewers could do. Whose family really requires the discussion of “mature” topics?)

As Sydney Jean noted, this isn’t the first time American Girl has been the target of homophobes ire. Some called for boycotting the brand in 2005 because of its support of Girls Inc., which supported the LGBTQ community, and again in 2015, when American Girl magazine featured a girl with two dads. Let’s repeat Cygielman’s words (my bold): “Kira joins our lineup of diverse and purposeful characters who star in stories that reflect the realities of the times.”

Watch the start of Kira’s story—and meet her aunts—in the 10-minute video below, part of a series dropping every Friday. Then check out the book and, wherever you bought or borrowed it, go to Amazon and leave your own review.

Now if American Girl would only launch a transgender girl doll next, I’d be even more excited.

(As an Amazon Associate and as a Bookshop Affiliate I earn from qualifying purchases.)

Also.Also.Also: Your Hot Queer Aunts Roxane Gay and Debbie Millman Are Spinning Stevie Nicks Too

Also.Also.Also: Your Hot Queer Aunts Roxane Gay and Debbie Millman

Hello! I’m back like an entire world hasn’t imploded since we were all last together on Thursday!! In the last five days, The President got COVID (maybe you’ve heard by now lol) and then that was only the beginning of how shit got weird. I was just saying how every day feels like a month and every hour also feels like a month and that’s how you know it’s 2020.

ANYWAY! We all have each other and I have this sunset that’s making the fall leaves look like shiny wrapped candy (or fire, but I prefer candy. The world is hard enough). Let’s see about these links!

Queer as in F*ck You

“It’s hard, but as trans people, we have got to take back our power by not allowing the administration, other people, or society to determine our station in life… By any means necessary, I’m going to blossom.” — Angelica F*cking Ross!

Get into this!! Angelica Ross on Inclusivity in Hollywood, Getting a Buzz Cut, and Blossoming Into Herself BY CRISSLE OF THE PODCAST, THE READ!!!! So much Black Queer and Trans Brilliance!! And on a Tuesday? My god.

Could the Parents of LGBTQ+ Kids Decide the Presidential Election? Advocates Are Putting Money on It. At 57 million strong, how “Equality voters” could be the difference, especially in battleground swing states. (Or at least, that’s what organizers are hoping.)

RIP Soraya Santiago Solla, Puerto Rican Transgender Trailblazer, Who Left Us at Age 72. Death is always sad, but what a full life! May her spirit be at rest.

Belgium Just Appointed the World’s Most Powerful Trans Politician

Maybe you are tired of hearing me checking in on the love story that is Roxane Gay and Debbie Millman, but LALALALA to me they are perfect and I don’t care!!

Saw This, Thought of You

‘A Battle for the Souls of Black Girls’

Super-Concierge Doctors, High-Design Home Classrooms, and Catered Backyard Dinners: Lifestyles of the Rich and Quarantined. You ever stop your day to read a thing? And also it’s so awful that you can’t turn away? It’s a crash on the side of the highway and you know you shouldn’t gawk but also what’s one last look? This is entirely and completely that experience. Also, eat the rich.

Related, probably: Is Mid-Pandemic Travel Creating a Resurgence of the White Saviour Complex?

Still Related, probably: Twitter Thinks 15-Year-Old Claudia Conway Is the Whistleblower of Our Time

How Out-of-Work Strippers Made Their Show Virtual and Are ‘Taking the Power Back’

Was the Commodification of Breonna Taylor Worth It? Let me save you the time, it wasn’t.

Political Snacks

The Last Stand of the Violent, Pathetic Trump Man

How The Two-Party System Obscures The Complexity Of Black Americans’ Politics. Whatever, I’m a nerd. And this is also for nerds. BUT WOW I LOVED READING THIS!

RBG Is a Complicated Figure for Black Legal Scholars. Listen, I happen to really love RBG. But the indomintable Kimberlé Crenshaw had some points, and those points were heard.

Kayleigh McEnany and the Women Who Do PR for White Supremacy. In full disclosure, I read this before it was announced that Kayleigh McEnany had tested positive for COVID, but also the truth is the truth is the truth.

Yesterday, Supreme Court Justices Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito explicitly indicated in a court decision that they want the Court to revisit Obergefell v. Hodges, which declared that same-sex couples have a constitutional right to marry under the 14th Amendment guarantee to equal protection of the law. ARE YOU PANICKED YET!?!?

But before you get to the five alarm fire, please read this entire Twitter thread by Chase Strangio, one of the brightest queer and trans legal minds of our generation and exactly who I trust to see us through this mess.

The courts will not save us. But maybe, just maybe, we can save ourselves.