The Mighty Logo

Why This Pride 'Blue's Clues' Commercial Made Me Cry

The most helpful emails in health
Browse our free newsletters

“RuPaul’s Drag Race” star Nina West and Nickelodeon’s “Blue’s Clues” showed up for queer disabled folks and families of all kinds in a beautiful momentous way on May 28, 2021 with the release of “Blue’s Clues Pride Parade ft. Nina West”. The crowds are mostly cheering on social media, and I’m one of them. As a queer disabled trans person who is also a dad and husband, the joy and visibility I felt brought me to tears as we watched the sing-along. The famous blue dog and cartoon version of Nina West on the mic as the pride parade proceeded in the background set the stage. Families of all kinds under the LGBTQIA+ umbrella along with intersections such as race, culture and disability were represented by different cartoon animals. It’s rare to feel seen as an individual and as a family with all our different dynamics. But, in this unexpected moment, we did.

The commercial includes LBGTQIA+ community inclusivity through images representing numbers one to 10 along with characters holding different LGBT pride flags representing different communities under the LGBTQIA+ community including asexual, aromatic and nonbinary people. Disability representation includes a cartoon dolphin using a wheelchair and an augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) device sharing love through an image of a rainbow heart while riding a float with family and at the end with everyone. This is an incredible example of representation with inclusivity in mind, as shown in this commercial for all ages that proudly spreads joy, acceptance, love and visibility.

A year ago, I never imagined seeing a commercial such as this one. Now, I hope we see representation like this grow. It matters. I remembered just a year ago wondering what it would be like to be a dad who is disabled and transgender while also fearing how this would impact my child and family in spaces where it was inaccessible, where we were invisible, where we were devalued, unaffirmed, hated and harmed. However, even as these fears still follow me, I never imagined being able to sing along with my one year old to a commercial that validated our family and me. It gave me hope that views are changing. It helped me believe in the possibility of my family and all the dynamics within it will be valued, accepted and celebrated in the future.

These dynamics matter. Intersectionality matters. Visibility matters. It all matters because it all works together to make up each of our authentic selves. It makes a difference when event planners consider how to make their events during Pride month inclusive and accessible. This creates a broader opportunity for more individuals and families to participate and celebrate. I know the negative mental health impacts that can occur while navigating intersectionality needs as experienced during previous Pride events when I felt excluded from participating due to physical, communication and sensory accessibility issues. The depression, anxiety and isolation I experienced were high.

It’s hard to have one part of who I am be excluded while celebrating another part of who I am and celebrating with my family, but, this commercial didn’t remind me of that exclusion. Instead, it reminded me of what the future can be. To be a queer disabled trans person celebrating Pride month with my family being my full self while using my own AAC devices, my walker and wheelchair, and wearing my trans visible unapologetic t-shirt is a gift that has no words.

So thank you Nina West, Nickelodeon and Nick Jr. and the creators of “Blue’s Clues.” Thank you for the representation and visibility. Thank you for the inclusion. Thank you for valuing and celebrating all of us in this incredible pride commercial to kick off Pride Month!


Lead image courtesy of ‘Blue’s  Clues & You’ YouTube channel.

Originally published: June 2, 2021
Want more of The Mighty?
You can find even more stories on our Home page. There, you’ll also find thoughts and questions by our community.
Take Me Home