Recently, we covered the fact that Highlights children’s magazine had been criticised for not including LGBT families, but moreso for their response to readers asking for better inclusion.
Parents Kristina Wertz and Kara Desiderio contact Highlights via email, and when they received no response, they took to the magazine’s Facebook page to voice their concerns. The response they received there was… underwhelming.
It reads: “We understand your wish to see your family’s situation represented in Highlights Hello. 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.”
“Please be assured that it is very important to us that every child see his or her ‘face’ in the pages of our magazines at some point—that every child feels that Highlights is truly for them. We will continue to think deeply about inclusion —specifically, how to address it in developmentally appropriate ways for our broad audience. Your note is a good reminder of how important it is.”
There was an apology issued for this response, but it seems that wasn’t enough to calm the storm of criticism, as a petition has now been created about Highlights’ lack of inclusion of LGBT families.
The petition reads: “Parents Kristina Wertz and Kara Desiderio contacted Highlights‘ customer service department in September to express concern that their one year old daughter did not see her family represented in her favorite magazine. The couple received no response until they posted their concerns on the publication’s Facebook page.”
“Since this post [original post as quoted], Highlights Magazine has since issued a statement that can be summed us as, ‘we’re sorry, we want to do better, however, not now but maybe in the future.’ We are not satisfied with that answer. We demand that Highlights take a step towards inclusion and include an LGBTQ family in their next issue!”
“Many understand why we are making this demand, but this mother’s response to highlight’s statement sums it up perfectly: ‘I am sorry to say that we are so used to not seeing any families like ours in media that Highlights’ omission of LGBT kids and parents had not stood out. But now that I read that you are dragging your feet because some families don’t want to see families like ours, I feel dirty sending you money. You have a choice to make and I hope you will make the right one.'”
If you wish to help out, you can sign the petition here.