QUEER VOICES

Kid's Magazine Apologizes After Eyebrow-Raising Response On LGBT Families

Readers blasted Highlights for Children for deeming one woman's family a "situation."
One reader said she was "consistently disappointed" by what she saw as a lack of LGBT representation in a magazine aimed at t
One reader said she was "consistently disappointed" by what she saw as a lack of LGBT representation in a magazine aimed at toddlers. 

Kids’ magazine Highlights for Children is feeling the heat after offering a cagey response to a reader who complained about what she interpreted as a lack of LGBT representation in a subsidiary publication for toddlers. 

Reader Kristina Wertz, who has a same-sex partner, said her 1-year-old daughter loves Hello magazine, which is published by Highlights and aimed at the under-2 set. Still, Wertz admitted to being “consistently disappointed” by the magazine’s “complete lack of same-sex parents.” 

“There is a deep need for books that positively reflect back the diversity of the world around us,” she wrote in an Oct. 14 Facebook post, “and I hope that Highlights embraces that diversity because we would love to keep it in our little one’s life as she grows.”

View Wertz’s full Facebook comment below, then scroll down to keep reading.  

A Highlights for Children staff member responded to Wertz’s comment on Facebook, suggesting that although diversity was important to the magazine, parents “know best” when to broach the subject of same-sex parenting with their children. A screenshot of the magazine’s complete response is found below. 

Not surprisingly, Highlights’ somewhat vague response came under fire on both Twitter and Facebook. One person called the reply “irresponsible, inappropriate and completely ignorant,” while another said she would “not be adding a subscription to our household based on this ‘situation.’” 

Yet another reader noted, “Your hesitance to show two-mom and two-dad families is so sad. It’s not about sex.”

Meanwhile, children’s author Megan Dowd Lambert responded to the controversy by creating a hashtag, #HighlightLGBTFamilies, with titles of LGBT-friendly books for young readers. 

A representative for Highlights responded to an email inquiry by The Huffington Post with a link to a statement from the magazine, which said that the initial Facebook reply to Wertz wasn’t “reflective of our values, intentions or our position, and we apologize.” The publication also shared that link on Twitter. 

“Our mission never changes: To help kids become their best selves—curious, creative, confident, and caring. But we are constantly evolving,” they wrote in the statement, which can be read here. “We want to reiterate that we believe all families matter,” they added. “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.”  

We certainly hope so, Highlights! 

HuffPost

BEFORE YOU GO

PHOTO GALLERY
12 Banned Books Every Woman Should Read
CONVERSATIONS