What we dig about this is that it represents a population that exists but isn’t seen in the mainstream media that often. By putting gay dads and moms at the forefront of advertising, it lets people in those families know that they’re not alone and that there’s nothing wrong with them. We also love that the fact that the gay dads and moms are featured without explicit mention that they’re gay. They’re presented as simply parents and families that are like the rest of us, because guess what? They are.
By presenting gay dads and moms as being people and individuals instead of an abstract group or idea, it’s a lot harder for ignorant and hateful people to denounce them. I mean, look at how happy they look! It’s harder to demonize an entire demographic of people when they’re both in the limelight and presented as legit human beings. Gay dads aren’t just “gay dads”: They’re also people who have jobs, likes, dislikes, hobbies, and feelings. The more you see of them, the more believable and acceptable that becomes.
In this ad, the text reads, “First Pals: What makes Dad so cool? He’s the swim coach, tent maker, best friend, bike fixer and hug giver–all rolled into one. Or two.” The photo is then captioned, “Real-life dads, Todd Koch and Cooper Smith with their children Claire and Mason.” (And dude, how frickin’ cute are those tykes?)
The store came under fire pretty recently after they hired the ever-adorable Ellen DeGeneres as their spokeswoman. An anti-gay group called 1 Million Moms protested JC Penney at the time, saying, “Funny that JC Penney thinks hiring an open homosexual spokesperson will help their business when most of their customers are traditional families . . . The majority of JC Penney shoppers will be offended and choose to no longer shop there. The small percentage of customers they are attempting to satisfy will not offset their loss in sales.” The group also threw shade at JC Penney for an ad featuring a married lesbian couple and their kids, so we can only imagine the ire that this new ad will generate.
If 1 Million Moms–and it’s brother group, 1 Million Dads–are so concerned with advertising, they may want to look into their own. What’s infinitely more offensive than gay dads or moms in a catalog? The fact that 1 Million Moms and 1 Million Dads, combined, are estimated to have less than 100,000 members. We’d rather have the honest portrayal of loving families of all kinds in ads than the kind of flat out dishonesty these conservative organizations are shilling!
What do you think? Do you know any families with two gay dads? Are you happy to see families of all kinds more often in the media? Will you shop at JC Penney more because of this? Tell us your thoughts in the comments!