Since its 1969 debut, “Sesame Street” has intentionally broken barriers. The premise of the show was to help disadvantaged children prepare for school. Over the years, the program has fought the literacy crisis, validated children’s feelings, celebrated color, coped with tragedy and bridged divides. Most recently, “Sesame Street” introduced some new characters showing, once again, that not every family looks the same.
In the “Family Day” episode, Sesame Street’s residents get together to await their relatives, who are traveling from all over to come to a party celebrating the event. Abby, her stepbrother Rudy and Elmo are excited that their parents are coming and Alan (played by Alan Muraoka) says his cousin is coming all the way from California on a bus. Big Bird’s mom comes in to surprise him. Nina (Suki Lopez) soon introduces everyone to her brother Dave (Chris Costa), his husband, Frank (Alex Weisman), and their daughter Mia (Olivia Perez).
“There’s all kinds of different families, but what makes us a family is that we love each other,” Frank states during the episode, to which Elmo replies, “That’s true!”
Muraoka, who co-directed the episode (and whose character brought his camera to the event), posted photos on Facebook.
“Sesame Street has always been a welcoming place of diversity and inclusion. So I’m so excited to introduce Nina’s Brother Dave, his husband Frank, and their daughter Mia to our sunny street. Our Family Day episode drops today on HBOMax and on YouTube,” he wrote. “I am so honored and humbled to have co-directed this important and milestone episode. Love is love, and we are so happy to add this special family to our Sesame family. Happy Pride to all!!!!”
Sarah Kate Ellis, President and CEO of GLAAD, concurred, stating that “families come in all forms and that love and acceptance are always the most important ingredients in a family.”
“Frank and Dave, as Mia’s dads, are the latest characters in an undeniable trend of inclusion across kids & family programming,” Ellis tweeted, “one that allows millions of proud LGBTQ parents, and our children, to finally get to see families like ours reflected on TV.”
Frank and Dave, as Mia’s dads, are the latest characters in an undeniable trend of inclusion across kids & family programming, one that allows millions of proud LGBTQ parents, and our children, to finally get to see families like ours reflected on TV.
— Sarah Kate Ellis (@sarahkateellis) June 18, 2021
The milestone story marked Pride Month and aired just before Father’s Day. You can catch the full half-hour episode right now on streaming service HBO Max, as part of “Sesame Street”‘s 51st season.