Genre Transformation: An Open Letter to Lianne Laurence

Below is a letter I wrote to author Lianne Laurence regarding the promotion of LGBTQ+ content in kids’ cartoons:

Miguel Estrada
Daly City, CA 94014

Dear Ms. Laurence,
My name is Miguel Estrada and I am currently a freshman at San Francisco State University. Over the course of the semester, I was researching and writing about the lack of LGBTQ+ content that is depicted in entertainment media. As I was doing research, I came across one of your articles titled, “Warning to Parents: Pro-Gay Cartoons on the Rise.” Curious, I started reading your article and thought, “why is she issuing a warning?” Sadly, I realized you were against the depiction of LGBTQ+ content on television.

Throughout the article you give readers “insight” as to how to shelter children from watching LGBTQ+ related content in cartoons. You go on to cite Wayne Ottenbreit and state, “It is clear that [adults] need to be vigilant about usage in any medium…” Your quoting of Ottenbreit suggests that adults need to be constringent in what their children can watch to entertain themselves. Not only are you fully supportive of the decision to censor LGBTQ+ content from children, but you also quote “I recommend that anyone seeking to live an intentional life, a virtuous life, a healthy life, use media sparingly.”

What kind of messages are you trying to send children? Do you think it’s okay for children to be prevented from watching LGBTQ+ content on any television show or film? Television has been really progressive these past couple of years; messages of self-love and acceptance have been promoted through television shows that teach children to accept themselves for who they are. Your disapproval of these kinds of messages is disheartening. Youth often struggle with forming their identities while growing up—I know I did. For a child to subliminally receive messages of disapproval via television is tragic; it is unfair to subject children to censorship simply because your ideals are not reflective of the culture and communities that are rapidly progressing towards equality.

Television shows like Steven Universe or Legend of Korra not only promote self empowerment, but they promote healthy and loving relationships. Sure, they may be with members of the same sex, but regardless, children are learning about what love really is. Love comes in many forms and it is important to acknowledge that, especially during a child’s development. Children need to learn that it is okay to love others unconditionally for who they are.

Ms. Laurence, you need to learn what it means to accept others for who they are. As a writer, you need to acknowledge that words have power; the impact that you can make via your articles can either be positive or negative. In this case, however, you appeal to a bigoted audience. Instead of telling your audience that positive LGBTQ+ messages are necessary during a child’s development, you express disapproval. LifeSite News is known to be a Christian conservative website and for that, I understand why you disagree with LGBTQ+ content on television; as an author, you are trying to impose your ideals on parents to urge them to prevent their children from watching LGBTQ+ related content. LifeSite News mission statement claims that it is “respectful of all authentic religions and cultures that esteem life, family, and universal norms of morality.” For someone to denounce an entire community and the messages of self love and acceptance depicted on television is immoral. You should reconsider your stance on the matter and try to write about love and self-acceptance. Your words definitely have power, and you can help promote tolerance, acceptance, and love in the LGBTQ+ community.

Miguel Estrada


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