We love Mr. Rogers and we're always looking for an excuse to spend a little time with him.
With Halloween headed our way in just a few days, we were reminded of this incredible clip of the children's show host talking with Margaret Hamilton, the actress who played the infamous Wicked Witch of the West in "The Wizard of Oz," in 1975.
We were struck by the clip for a couple of reasons. The first is Mr. Roger's casual -- but groundbreaking -- statement about children dressing up like witches. Hamilton tells Rogers, "[A witch] was the thing I always wanted to dress up as — just like lots of other children would rather be a witch than almost anything else..." to which he replies, "Well, girls and boys like to dress up as witches."
That's right. In 1975 Mr. Rogers was telling America that boys like to be witches too (and that it was totally fine).
:: Mind blown ::
But other portions of their conversation also struck us as poignant and, though obviously not explicitly directed at the queer community, perhaps relevant to the struggles and emotional hardships we often face.
"Sometimes the children feel she’s a very mean witch and she does seem that way but I always think two things about her: she does enjoy everything she does, whether it’s good or bad, she does enjoy it," Hamilton told Rogers. "She also is what we sometimes refer to as “frustrated” — she’s very unhappy because she never gets what she wants, Mr. Rogers. Most of us get something... but as far as we know that witch has never got what she wanted…”
Hamilton added, "Sometimes we think she’s just mean and a very bad person and actually you have to think about her point of view — it wasn’t as happy a time as she wanted it to be because she just never got what she wanted."
Being misunderstood, not getting what we desperately want, searching for happiness... none of that sounds that unfamiliar, does it?