Did Bert Come Out of the Closet?

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Fastidiously dressed puppet bachelors Bert and Ernie have lived together for 31 years. Neither has ever had a girlfriend and they are frequently depicted performing songs of their own composition. This has prompted speculation within the Muppet press that their relationship is a romantic one, rumors Bert appeared to confirm this summer in a (since-deleted) Twitter post noting the similarities between his hairstyle and that of Mr. T's, observing "the only difference is mine is a little more ‘mo,’ a little less ‘hawk." Although Sesame Street representatives deny the suggestion that "'mo" was Bert's way of alluding to his own homosexuality, The Los Angeles Times' Melissa Maerz details the ways the show has become more gay-friendly in the months since the Twitter update. Says Maerz:

Is "Sesame Street" brought to you by the letters G-A-Y? In its own subtle, perhaps unintentional way, the show's latest season feels more LGBT-friendly than ever. Lesbian comedian Wanda Sykes appeared on the show in October, following in the tradition of openly gay guest stars such as Neil Patrick Harris who played (cough, cough) "the shoe fairy" a few seasons back. A parody of "True Blood"— the HBO vampire drama that features several gay characters and draws many gay fans — aired in September. Recently, the Black Eyed Peas frontman will.i.am appeared on the show to sing "What I Am," a song about accepting who you really are, prompting much online debate about its underlying message.

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.