Being a parent means loving our kids unconditionally. No matter who they are or who they love, it’s our job to make sure they feel valid and accepted. We can’t control what happens outside of our homes, but we can control what happens inside. When our LGBTQ+ kids enter the world, they will likely face far more challenges than their peers. But as parents, as their unwavering support system, we need to remind them that they’re not alone.
Though the LGBTQ+ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, or questioning) community has made a lot of progress in the past 50 years, we still have a long way to go in terms of allyship. It wasn’t until 1973 that homosexuality was even removed from the DSM II, meaning that before the 70s, being LGBTQ+ was considered a mental disorder. Laws have been made to prevent discrimination based on sexuality, and in 2015 (yes, just five years ago) gay marriage was legalized by the supreme court. Unfortunately, at the time, 14 states still clung to their same-sex marriage ban. Though opposition to gay marriage can’t be legally enforced, discrimination is still rampant throughout the US and beyond.
PFLAG is a national organization that promotes allyship and the celebration of diversity, particularly among families. PFLAG has partnered with Oreo to highlight the many challenges of being an LGBTQ+ person, particularly at home. Kids have an innate fear of disappointing their parents, and tragically, many members of the LGBTQ+ communities fear that their parents’ disappointment will stem from simply being who they are.
In honor of LGBTQ+ awareness month, Oreo released a special edition rainbow cookie to show their support for both the community and their allies. In addition to the cookies themselves, Oreo also released a moving short film called Proud Parent to underscore some of the challenges of being an LGBTQ+ person, particularly when introducing a same-sex partner to your family for the first time.
At the beginning of the film, Amy and her partner Jen prepare to visit Jen’s family. Jen’s dad is noticeably quiet throughout the interaction, and as a result, Jen is understandably hurt. Though the couple tries to enjoy their stay, watching Jen’s dad smile and laugh with other guests only reinforces the feeling of rejection. At the end of the film, Jen and Amy rush outside to see what Jen’s dad is doing. Jen’s eyes well with tears as he says, “did I do it right?” revealing the formerly-white picket fence in front of the family’s house, now painted as a vibrant rainbow.
Want to know how you could get Rainbow OREO Cookies?
1️⃣ Join OUR #ProudParent campaign and share a photo of what allyship means to you. Whatever it is, we want to see it!
— OREO Cookie (@Oreo) October 12, 2020
The special edition cookies won’t be sold in stores, but 10,000 packs will be given away on Twitter and Instagram beginning on October 9. If you’re over 13 and are the proud owner of a Twitter or Instagram account, you can tag @OREO in a post and share what being an ally means to you. Use the hashtags #ProudParent and #Giveaway to boost their campaign, and your chances of winning.