No hint of the ‘married,’ same-sex couple is found in the book description, catching children off-guard and leaving many parents shocked and dismayed.
Fri Feb 5, 2021 - 6:30 pm EST
February 5, 2021 (LifeSiteNews) – American Girl, a doll and storybook brand beloved by young girls since the 1980s, has released a “2021 Girl of the Year” named Kira whose story featuring aunts in a same-sex “marriage” has taken parents and children by surprise.
“Kira's aunts are married lesbians, and that needs to be known by every adult who hands the book to a child or who allows a child to check it out from the library,” said one book reviewer on Amazon.
The character Kira, along with her doll avatar, was revealed as “2021 Girl of the Year” on Good Morning America on Dec. 31, 2020. She was described on the show as caring “deeply about animals and the environment, and important ecological issues like wildlife protection and climate change.”
Launched in 2001, “Girl of the Year” is a line of American Girl characters “who experience modern-day issues and give voice to a diverse range of personalities and backgrounds,” as the American Girl website explains.
Kira’s own story, Kira Down Under, revolves around a summer trip to her Aunt Mamie’s wildlife sanctuary in Australia, where she helps her aunt care for animals. According to the book description, Kira’s “joy is complete” when spending time with an orphaned koala, “until a health emergency pulls Aunt Mamie away.” However, no mention is made in the description that Aunt Mamie is “married” to another woman, “Aunt Lynette.”
Two reviewers noted that the story includes a “wedding” picture of Aunt Mamie and the woman named Lynette.
“In the book, she explains that her aunts married ‘after the law was changed to allow it,’ referring to Australian Parliament’s 2017 decision to legalize gay marriage [sic], two years after the U.S. Supreme Court did the same,” Elise Solé explained, writing for Yahoo Life.
Numerous reviewers explained their distress after they and their children were caught off-guard by the references to the same-sex relationship.
“Shocked to see a lesbian couple in a children’s book from American Girl. Very disappointing because I have always trusted American Girl until now,” commented one reviewer.
Another noted, “Homosexuality is an inappropriate topic for a children’s book and I am very disappointed that it was woven so blatantly into the story line for Kira. This type of content should have been made clear in the advertising so that I as a parent could make an informed choice for my child. My daughter and I have read dozens of American Girl books and have always loved them and highly recommended them to friends. Before now, I have never had to worry about American Girl reading material being wholesome for my child. My daughter had no idea what a lesbian couple is and American Girl has cruelly taken away part of her innocence now that I’ve had to explain about that lifestyle. It goes against what I believe as a Christian and was not something I wanted my daughter to be exposed to at this early age. I am very, very disappointed in Americans [sic] Girl and will not purchase their products in the future.”
The Yahoo Life article also said, “American Girl made a splash by releasing a doll with an LGBT storyline and plans for more racially-diverse characters. But some hardcore fans say they’re frustrated by the doll community’s resistance to inclusivity, claiming homophobia and racism brew in online forums.”
Some leftist fans actually fretted that Kira was not far-left enough. The co-creator of the American Girl Doll podcast, Allison Horrocks, took issue with the lesbian relationship being portrayed outside the U.S.:
“People have been right to point out that American Girl can take a complex story and set it somewhere else,” says Horrocks, adding that Kira, an environmentalist, could stay home in Michigan where the effects of the 2014 Flint water crisis linger, or travel to the west coast which burned with wildfires in 2019. Likewise, the doll’s LGBT storyline took place overseas.”
“Kira is not the brand’s first dive into LGBT content,” Yahoo Life noted. A Smart Girl’s Guide to Boys, published in 2002, was updated in 2020 “to include same-sex relationships,” and is now titled A Smart Girl’s Guide: Crushes. As far back as 2005, American Girl partnered with Girls, Inc., a group that “advocates for LGBT-inclusive sex education” and “reproductive freedom,” a euphemism for abortion. In 2015, American Girl magazine profiled a girl adopted by two men.
And American Girl will once again promote homosexuality this February, when “American Girl will publish the book Pets, featuring a mixed-race family with two dads, following 2019’s Understanding Families about diverse family structures,” the Yahoo Life article added.
One parent reviewer on Amazon slammed the lesbian relationship in Kira as “nothing at all to do with the plot, if there is a plot, and everything to do with American Girl's political agenda.”
Kira “is disjointed and poorly written, with references to masks and the coronavirus seemingly added randomly after the book's completion,” the reviewer wrote. “The plot is adult driven, and the only adventure happens when the girls knowingly disobey a serious safety rule, near the end of the book. There are far too many characters and too many named animals. Kira's aunts are married lesbians, and that needs to be known by every adult who hands the book to a child or who allows a child to check it out from the library. That fact has nothing at all to do with the plot, if there is a plot, and everything to do with American Girl's political agenda. American Girl books have been hit or miss since Mattel took over the brand. This one is not only a huge miss but will potentially lead to another boycott by conservatives, something that the brand doesn't need, with falling doll sales.”