The mention of a female bearded dwarf reminds me of one of the storylines in "Castle Waiting" (http://www.amazon.com/Castle-Waiting-Linda-Medley/dp/1560977477) It involved a convent inhabited by women who grew facial hair. Presenting gay characters in kid-friendly entertainment is a good way to intitiate dialogues with pre-teens and tweens. Kids may be too young for romance and dating, but they still have questions about how other families live, how other kids' parents are different, what certain words mean, and especially about name-calling and bullying. If the media and entertainment industry bring up a new topic in a comfortable atmosphere, they can also ask what their parents believe about it. This allows parents to explain alternate lifestyles to their kids, as well as teach them about bullying - how not to be a bully, and how to stand up for someone who is being bullied. They can learn not to use cruel words for gay, bisexual or transgender people, and that people with conservative views are not "bigots" and "haters." (My late father had the wisdom to teach me that "hate" was a bad word.) "Day of Dialogue" (dayofdialogue.com) encourages discussion among high school and college students, who can also reach out to their younger brothers and sisters if the subject of homosexuality comes up.