Are gay people normal? I do wish the BBC children's department would make its mind up on that score. Because if they are normal, shouldn't they be treated the same way as anyone else, and not as outsiders?
Gay parenting, more precisely gay fostering, was a topic up for 'debate' in a recent episode of CBBC's drama The Dumping Ground. A synopsis of "What Would Gus Want?" is in my blog last Saturday.
The 'debate' kicked off when the kids at Elm Tree House discover that prospective foster couple, Ronnie and Dawn are actually two women rather than a man and a woman that they'd expected to see.
Johnny is the chief protagonist for the homophobes.
Carmen: Johnny, did you see them?
Lily: What are they like?
Johnny: Let's just say Tyler's gonna wish he had never asked us to bring them here.
Johnny: It's two women - they're gay.
Carmen: What's wrong with that?
Johnny: Well everything. They're not proper parents.
Carmen: Johnny, that's a horrible thing to say.
Lily: I agree with him.
Lily: What? I'm not being anti-gay. I'm just saying all kids need a dad.
Shortly afterwards the kids talk about the idea of having gay parents, and what is normal -
Johnny: I couldn't believe it when I saw they were gay!
Gus: Why does that matter?
Johnny: Because it shouldn't be allowed.
Elektra: Well that's disgusting.
Johnny: Why? It's not normal.
Frank: Some people think I'm not normal. Are you saying I shouldn't be allowed?
Johnny: Of course not. You're different.
Elektra: Well, he's not exactly normal, is he?
Gus: I am.
Faith: Leave it, Elektra.
Elektra: No, I'm sorry, you're completely out of order.
Johnny: I'm not. Come on, Tyler, you wouldn't want two mums would you?
Tyler: Course I would. It'd be so cool.
Johnny: I don't care what he says. Kids need a mum and a dad.
Elektra: Ah yes, cos that worked so well for you, didn't it? Your mum got a lovely new dad and let him do whatever he wanted, and then stuck you in care.
Johnny: It wasn't like that.
Elektra: Then why are you here?
Tee: That's enough!
Faith: I love it. A bunch of care kids arguing about what's normal - as if we'd ever know.
A little while later Gus speaks to Mike -
Mike: Gus, I want to talk to you about Ronnie and Dawn.
Gus: I want to talk to you about being normal.
Mike: Ronnie and Dawn are perfectly normal.
But which side of this 'debate' is BBC Children's really on?
..... to be continued