A few nights ago, I was sitting in a dark theater — popcorn in hand and tears leaking down my face — embarrassingly bent out of a shape from a movie trailer. Fred Rogers was to blame.

The whimsical theme song to "Mister Rogers' Neighborhood" concluded a short but powerfully nostalgic preview for the new documentary about the soft-spoken star, "Won't You Be My Neighbor?" And yeah, I'd morphed into a teary-eyed hot mess in a matter of seconds.

A question popped into my queer little brain right then, though, and I'm not entirely sure why:



Could Rogers have quietly been a homophobe?

He was a religious dude who grew up in a wildly different era than today. It's a toxic combination that, if we're overgeneralizing and I reflect on my personal experience, tends to produce the worst kinds of homophobes. Had the former Presbyterian minister been as saintly to queers like me as he'd been to seemingly everyone else?

I needed answers! So I went searching.

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There's a wonderful reason why Mister Rogers always said aloud he's feeding his fish.

Warning: This article is about Fred Rogers and his neighborhood, so there's a 50/50 chance you'll shed a tear.

On Feb. 19, 2018, "Mister Rogers' Neighborhood," turned 50 years old. And the internet was feeling feelings over it.

Photo by PBS Television/Courtesy of Getty Images.

After premiering on Canadian TV in 1963, Fred Rogers' beloved children's program debuted in the U.S. in 1968, inspiring generations of kids across North America to be more thoughtful, kinder neighbors.

One person feeling the feels on the show's anniversary was model, author, and Twitter goddess Chrissy Teigen.

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A familiar face helped us deal with a tragedy-filled world in 1981. He still does.

Whatever happened in the news today, this will help.

There have been a lot of tragic, hard-to-understand things in the news lately.

It can feel like the world is falling apart around us, with barely any time to make sense of it all.

When you're a parent, you know there's another dimension to these hard-to-stomach news events. Not only do you have to cope with them, you have to find a way to explain it all to your children.

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