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The world can't seem to get enough of Mister Rogers, and for good reason. In an era of salacious reality television, online trolls, and non-stop political scandals, Fred Rogers remains a pure beam of light and goodness, even 16 years after his passing.

The movie "A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood" opened to rave reviews Thanksgiving week, and has spawned a slew of stories and articles about the beloved children's television star. But one little-known Fred Rogers story in particular seems perfectly fitting for this holiday season.

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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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