People are ecstatic about finding out that Fred Rogers, the star of Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood, was bisexual.
According to a biography of Rogers which came out last year, the children’s TV presenter told his openly gay friend Dr William Hirsch that if sexuality was a spectrum, “well, you know, I must be smack in the middle.”
“Because I have found women attractive, and I have found men attractive.”
The book, The Good Neighbor: The Life and Work of Fred Rogers, also notes that in 1975, Rogers told The New York Times: “I’m not John Wayne, so consequently, for some people I’m not the model for the man in the house.”
Many fans of the beloved American host found out about these quotes thanks to a viral tweet by Cece Ewing, a book YouTuber with more than 32,000 subscribers.
For everyone looking for a citation, it’s in “The Good Neighbor” by King. Screenshot from Google books. pic.twitter.com/XMQxYwPUCX
— Meandering Hermit (@GabrielLunesce) March 5, 2019
On Sunday (March 3), she wrote: “wildest thing that’s happened to me lately is when I went to talk to my grandmother and she was like ‘did you know Mr. Rogers was bisexual?’ and my gay ass, gay of the family, Miss Family Homosexual had to be like ‘he was WHAT?'”
She then quote-tweeted a post containing the crucial extract from the biography, which was written by Maxwell King, the former director of the Fred Rogers Centre.
Revelation that Fred Rogers was bisexual delights Mister Rogers fans
Fans were ecstatic with the news about Rogers, who died in 2003, two years after his show ended after more than three decades on the air.
Some referenced his routine end-of-show message to the audience, when he said: “There’s no person in the whole world like you, and I like you just the way you are.”
One of these tweeters wrote: “Much like Mr. Rogers, you just warmed my entire life with a couple of words. ☀️”
“Knowing a trusted childhood voice for me was someone like me. I’m literally choking up.”
— @normandiewilson about Fred Rogers
Others were shocked that anything could make them feel more affectionate towards the presenter, like the person who said: “Just when I thought I couldn’t love Mr Rogers anymore… I saw this.”
Another commenter said: “I didn’t think it was possible for me to love Fred Rogers more.
“But now. All the feelings. Knowing a trusted childhood voice for me was someone like me. I’m literally choking up 😭😭😭😭🌈🌈🌈🌈🌈.”
This tweeter was joined by many users who were existentially delighted to welcome Rogers into the bisexual fold.
“Fred Rogers was one of the best examples of humanity we’ve ever known, and it fills me with a profound joy to know that he was one of us. 💗💜💙,” wrote one of these fans.
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Another said: “I’m kinda really emotional rn, holy shit, he was one of us.”
Some users were amazed that Rogers, who was also a Presbyterian minister, was so open about his sexuality.
One of these people wrote: “I am actually a little surprised that he, as a Presbyterian Minister, ever stated anything so clearly.
“I do not find it hard to believe, he was just that kind of a person, but I am delightfully shocked he ever said even that much.”
Another tweeted: “Hot damn. You’re telling me a CHRISTIAN PASTOR, tv personality and education advocate was bi?! AHAH! Mr. Rogers was too pure. I can’t take it.”
Have you heard the news pic.twitter.com/JxQez5o8bD
— check pinned (@LeftAtLondon) March 6, 2019
And a different tweeter created a viral rewrite of Bruno Mars and Mark Ronson’s “Uptown Funk,” singing: “Saturday night and we in the spot, Mister Rogers was bi, come on! Bi! Mister Rogers was bi!”