Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Time to switch cereals: Kellogg's out, General Mills in

Apologies for the non-legislative post.

Growing up there were two breakfast cereals available at our house: Kellogg's Corn Flakes and Cheerios. The two options were so ubiquitous on the breakfast tables of my youth that to this day I can't stand to eat either. But I may have to find a way to stomach Cheerios again after the taurus-shaped staple's parent couple, General Mills, came out against a proposed ban on marriage equality in its home state of Minnesota this week.

In contrast, the other purveyor of the processed grains of my youthful mornings, Kellogg's, has pulled its advertizing from the Teen Nick series "Degrassi" over story lines involving transgender youth. "Degrassi" is a long running Canadian television series that since 1979 has taken on a number of difficult teen issues including abortion, drug use, racism, gay teens and eating disorders. But apparently the existence of transgender teenagers is a step too far for Kellogg's.

The ad pulling comes after pressure from the hate group The American Family Association, which characterizes the portrayal of trans teens as promoting "bizarre sexual role-playing with transvestism, [and] homosexuality."

I've never been a fan of "Degrassi." I find it over-acted and melodramatic. But for some kid in middle-of-nowhere America (or Canada) who's trying to figure out their gender identity having a positive portrayal on television of another kid dealing with the same thing can make a world of difference, and in some cases can save lives.

So in my house we're going to go buy some Cheerios today, and if a bizarre craving for corn flakes pops up we'll just have to go with the store brand.