American Girl doll collectors fight homophobia in their online community

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The generally welcoming American Girl doll-collecting community has been fractured by a flurry of Instagram posts denouncing Pride, sparking discussion about homophobia within the hobby.

American Girl collectors on Instagram, a community known as AGIG, typically use the platform to anonymously edit their extensive collections, meet other doll collectors, and share photos of clothes and accessories on measure.

American Girl re-released the historic Molly doll on Wednesday, and some doll enthusiasts suggested the moment implied Molly was canonically gay. American Girl has denied fan speculation about Molly’s sexuality.

As the Pride celebrations began, some AGIG creators posted in support of LGBTQ representation and inclusivity. Meanwhile, a group of fellow AGIG creators have created an online campaign to “take back the rainbow”. The posts have divided doll enthusiasts on Instagram.

“The Bible warns us against pride,” says the creator’s post

Over the weekend, a group of creators, many of whom say on their profiles that they are underage, posted images of their dolls, each wearing a different color of the rainbow. They captioned their posts with biblical quotes condemning Pride.

“As many of you know, this month is known to many as Pride Month,” account agdollfan4ever wrote on Sunday.

“I feel like at this time of year some things get pushed out of sight. The first is God’s view of pride. … The Bible warns us against pride and urges us to be prudent and to walk in humility.

The designer posted a photo of a doll wearing a green dress, saying the color is reminiscent of “God’s amazing creation and the beauty of nature.”

Another creator, ag.frogsoup, posted a photo of a doll wearing a yellow dress to represent “the joy we have in knowing that Jesus is our Savior and Lord.” The caption read: “This month is known to some as Pride Month. I am a Christian, and as a Christian I do not support this. I believe that God created two genders and this is male and a woman.”

Creator little.bird_studio cited Revelations.

Other creators who were part of the anti-Pride group appeared to delete their posts or make their accounts private after other AGIG accounts spoke out against the campaign.

The meme account klit.klittredge – a play on the Kit Kittredge doll – shared screenshots of two anti-Pride posts, sparking further debate within the AGIG community about inclusivity.

The livs_ag account posted in support of “Christians defending their beliefs” on their Instagram story.

“Just because they disagree with you politically doesn’t make them bigots or racists or any other colorful name you’ve come up with,” livs_ag wrote. “Everyone is entitled to their own opinion. I believe in the Bible and if that offends you, so be it.”

Reese, who only wanted to use his first name out of concern for privacy, is among the creators pushing back against anti-Pride messages.

On Instagram, 18-year-old Reese, known as honeyag_, posted a photo of two female dolls embracing. They said the anti-Pride posts “sounded weird”.

“We’re weird people who collect dolls, so we should honestly be the LAST to judge a bunch of people.”

Reese, an AGIG creator known as honeyag_

“We’re weird people who collect dolls, so we should honestly be the last ones to judge a bunch of people,” Reese said. “Especially something we can’t control and then use religion as an excuse, whatever they can choose.”

The AGIG community is generally a welcoming space, Reese said, so they were shocked by the number of AGIG creators who supported homophobic posts.

“It made me realize that they’re not as supportive as I originally imagined,” Reese said. “That it can be as obnoxious as any other community.”

Anti-Pride messages go ‘against the message of American Girl’

The American Girl doll community is no stranger to homophobia.

Last year, American Girl launched Kira Bailey, an animal-loving doll who spends her summer at her family’s wildlife sanctuary with her great aunts Mamie and Lynette.

Kira was the first American Girl doll with LGBTQ characters in her storyline, which sparked outrage from conservative groups. A petition to abort One Million Moms’ Kira storyline has garnered over 34,800 signatures.

A spokesperson for American Girl did not immediately respond to requests for comment on the homophobic posts and the backlash toward the Kira doll in particular.

Kyra, an openly lesbian AGIG creator who goes through saphic.ag, described the Kira doll as a “step in the right direction” and added that the AGIG community has provided fans with “a way for some people to get that representation. that they will never get”. see.”

Kyra, who did not want to use her full name out of concern for her privacy, said she felt “really disgusted” by recent homophobic posts.

“I was really angry at these statements left by the accounts,” Kyra, 19, said. “Because I use this page as a safe space for others and even for myself. … I generally like to keep my Instagram stories light, but I felt such rage from these Instagram accounts.”

Other members of the community echoed the idea, calling the anti-Pride posts “disappointing”.

Kelsey, an AGIG designer known as prettylittleelizabeth, has been an avid American Girl fan since she was 8 years old. Now 32, she said she has found “friends for life” through the AGIG community.

Kelsey, who didn’t want to use her full name out of concern for her privacy, stressed the importance of representation for young fans.

“Hate is a learned behavior, and to see it modeled here, for young fans to absorb, is so disappointing.”

kelsey, former designer known as pretty little elizabeth

“Hate is a learned behavior, and to see it modeled here, for young fans to absorb, is so disappointing,” she said. “It totally goes against the message of American Girl and everything the characters stand for.”

American Girl’s characters are “girls who challenged social norms and stood up for their friends,” Kelsey said.

“I can’t understand you being considered a fan if you’re not willing to do the same.”

While American Girl only recently released a doll with an LGBTQ story, AGIG creators like Kyra have been using their platforms to write their own portrayal for years.

Kyra said she and other creators “explore storytelling with their dolls” and create elaborate stories for each character, much like the original American Girl dolls.

She tries to fight homophobia within the AGIG community by writing queer stories for all her dolls, which she posts on Instagram. Kyra was especially encouraged by the influx of AGIG posts supporting the LGBTQ community, despite the homophobic posts.

“If queer AG doll posts on Instagram help at least one person feel supported, I think that’s amazing,” she said.

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