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Play School to showcase diversity with gay parents

Diversity trailblazers and long-running children’s television program Play School is putting the call out to children with two dads to appear on the program to showcase diversity.

They are also on the lookout for an adopted family, a blended family, an indigenous nuclear family and an extended family, all to be featured on the program’s “through the window” segment.

Play School’s initiative will undoubtedly make it one of the most diverse representations of family on Australian television.

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The program is looking for children between the ages of 5 and 7 to introduce their families.

“We’re really excited about the ‘My Family, Your Family’ segments,” Play School executive producer Jan Stradling told The Guardian Australia.

“The idea is to reflect current Australian society by showing a range of family structures and backgrounds. In these stories, we explore the relationships and bonds of a family. We will look at how they care for one another and share experiences, roles and responsibilities.

Play School aims to reflect the diversity of Australian children, embracing all manner of race, religions and family situations.”

A similar segment went to air in 2004, featuring actress Brenna Harding with her two gay mothers, but the program and the ABC were attacked by conservative media outlets as well as then Prime Minister John Howard who said the network was running an agenda.

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“If people want to debate that issue, do it on a program like Lateline, but not on Play School,” he said.

Support for marriage equality and same-sex couples has since increased and so has the need to showcase different types of families in the mainstream media.

“We don’t see this as anything controversial, just a reflection of contemporary Australian life,” Stradling said.

“We want preschool children from across the community to be able to see themselves as part of this very special show.”
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Since hearing the news, people have been sharing their own fond memories of the program growing up.

“Loved play school as a kid and now my lil girl gets to enjoy this well rounded show as well featuring different races, sexes and parents. Much love playschool,” said Sheena Jade.

My daughter and I watched a story which showed a nonverbal child using a communication device on a family outing to the library. Totally brilliant. She is also nonverbal. More of it I say,” said Kim Cluff.

“I love this. If children are exposed to different situations and experiences they then don’t need to be ‘taught’ about it. It becomes the norm,” said Courtney Rieck.

“I have good friends who are same sex parents. My daughter will grow up with their son and will not think anything of him having two mums. It’s normal for them. Also I think it’s great to represent these families for the children in them. How would you feel if your child watched a show that only showed demographics that they weren’t a part of. They would feel left out and this would make them question their normal. That’s not fair. Bring on same sex parents!!! All for diversity in every form!”

What do you think of Play School‘s push for diversity? Let us know.

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