Even though Bert and Ernie officially aren't gay, next week's cover of The New Yorker features Sesame Street's not-gay gay cultural icons celebrating this week's Supreme Court rulings, which is sweet if you don't overthink it: America's most famous men in love finally have the official acceptance of America. Of course, Sesame Street and the company of founder Jim Henson has insisted many times that the orange and yellow pals are neither straight nor gay nor transgender or anything else: "They remain puppets, and do not have a sexual orientation," or so goes public television's party line. As in, Muppets can't have sex or aren't supposed to be overtly human, and despite the new legal recognition of it all, these two probably won't be having that big gay TV marriage everyone wants. But it's still very cute to see the icons cuddling in front of their television set.
The cover comes by way of an unsolicited image submitted to Tumblr by artist Jack Hunter, according to the magazine. "It's amazing to witness how attitudes on gay rights have evolved in my lifetime," he said. Bert and Ernie, if they were gay and wanted to and if Sesame Street was in New York, could have gotten married in the state two years ago, and could now have it recognized by the federal government. But the artist insists that the message isn't specific so much as a symbol to help keep teaching children about gay rights. "This is great for our kids, a moment we can all celebrate." So let's not over-analyze this wonderful cover, but it should be noted that you can't yet watch the justices on TV — though not for lack of trying — and why are Bert and Ernie watching in the dark anyway? Okay, enough. Now let's all have a good cuddle.
Update: Why so serious?
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.