Lego just announced that they will be releasing a new LGBTQ playset just in time for Pride Month, with gender-indeterminate characters in all the colors of the rainbow flag, including the pink, white and pale blue stripes representing trans people.
I’m not going to lie; it’s a little weird and minimal, and the lack of faces on each of the little lego people is a tad surreal. But it’s certainly a well-intentioned product designed to push the message that “Everyone is Awesome,” regardless of skin color or gender or sexual orientation.
So naturally I expected to run across some detractors on the right yelling about “woke” capitalism and the supposed degeneracy of the the LEGO corporation. And there were in fact plenty of people who reacted in this oh-so-original way.
And there were some who thought the whole thing was rather crass, a simple money-grab on Lego’s part.
But what I wasn’t expecting, but probably should have been, was the response from the so-called “gender critical” trasnphobes who consider themselves radical feminists.
I’m not really seeing any pedophilia in the “Everyone is Awesome” playset. But thanks for resurrecting and updating the old homophobic lie that gay people are pedophiles.
While LEGO does gender some of its playsets in regressive ways, this is not one of them. The pink and blue characters in the “Everybody is Awesome” playset aren’t attached to particular genders; that’s kind of the whole point.
Then there were those who accused Lego of “grooming” kids — much in the way that homophobes used to accuse gay people of doing.
It’s easy to be cynical about “woke” capitalists embracing the LGBTQ community, to see it as an attempt to cash in on a market that hasn’t always been served very well. And clearly Lego, like every other company hoisting the pride flag for Pride Month in June, is hoping to make more money from LGBTQ customers — at least enough to offset the business they lose when homophobic and transphobic shoppers vow to never buy anything from Lego again.
But, as the reactions to Lego’s rainbow playset remind us, symbolism matters. And so I’m glad Lego is releasing this playset, and glad that it’s offending the right people.
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