Dana Rudolph

Gary and Tony Have a Web Site

Filed By Dana Rudolph | June 23, 2010 9:30 AM | comments

Filed in: Entertainment, Living
Tags: ceara sturgis, CNN, Constance McMillen, Gary & Tony Have a Baby, lz granderson, Soledad O'Brien

OK, Gary Spino and Tony Brown, the dads featured in CNN's upcoming Gary and Tony Have a Baby, don't have a site--but CNN does. They've built a special portal for their "Gay in America" series of which Gary and Tony are (perhaps) just the first part. (Host Soledad O'Brien told Adam Amel Rogers at Change.org that "The marketing people may tell you something else, but to me this is the start of Gay in America.")

Bil has already brought up some good questions about the show--and while I don't agree with every one of his points, I agree that I am tired of the general media representation of the lesbian and gay community as overwhelmingly white and upper-middle class. (Not to mention that they rarely include bisexual and transgender people. And don't even get me started on the "two lesbians in search of a sperm donor" meme.)

CNN's portal for the show displays a broader section of the lesbian and gay community than the show itself--and while I don't think it goes far enough (still no B or T; not enough color), I think it is a step in the right direction, a good sign if the series continues.

In addition to information about the show, the site also has new content like these videos about moms Laura and Denise and teens Ceara Sturgis and Constance McMillen, as well as slightly older pieces, such as one by LZ Granderson on how "Anti-gays hide their bias behind the Bible."

Two things in particular stood out to me, however.

Some of the content is from iReport, CNN's section of user-created content--some of which simply appears as submitted, and some of which is vetted and featured by CNN.

Yesterday, the network solicited children with gay and lesbian parents to submit their stories, and then compiled them into a feature. They are now soliciting videos from current or former servicemembers about Don't Ask, Don't Tell.

While some might question whether certain perspectives on the LGBT community would ever make it to the featured section of the site, I think it would be a missed opportunity not to try and offer them some more diverse content. Have at. . . .

Also, CNN has put together a study guide of "Before-Viewing Discussion Questions," aimed at students in grade 11 and up. They include: "How would you define the traditional American family? Can you think of any examples of non-traditional families? What role, if any, do you think that these types of families play in American society?" and "In your opinion, what factors help shape people's values? How do you think that values may influence relationships between people from diverse backgrounds?"

It seems like a pretty good set to me, but I'm wondering what the rest of you think, especially those who have led classroom discussions, workplace diversity training, and the like. Comments? Suggestions for teachers using the guide? Would any teachers use this guide?

Gary and Tony Have a Baby airs Thursday at 8 p.m. Eastern.

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When I wrote my review, they had just launched the website. The only thing that was there was a preview for the show and another short video interview with Gary & Tony.

I'm glad they're fleshing it out more (I assumed they would as the air date got closer). It could be a really valuable resource.