On this day February 9: Tinky Winky outed

tinky winky teletubbies jerry falwell sr february 9
Screengrabs: YouTube

Let’s not party like it’s 1999 because on February 9 that year, renowned bigot Jerry Falwell Sr outed Tinky Winky of the Teletubbies as gay. Falwell Sr founded Liberty University and the Moral Majority. However, he’s better remembered now as the father of alleged cuckold Jerry Falwell Jr.

Discussion about Tinky Winky’s sexuality began earlier in the year when the Washington Post included him on an In/Out list. They placed the life-size purple plush doll in the ‘In’ column opposite Ellen DeGeneres and then-girlfriend Anne Heche in the ‘Out’. By implication, Tinky Winky was closeted.

An article in the February 1999 edition of Falwell’s National Liberty Journal carried the headline ‘Parents Alert: Tinky Winky Comes Out of the Closet’.

“He is purple,” said the paper, “the gay pride colour; and his antenna is shaped like a triangle – the gay pride symbol.”

The article went on to complain that the Teletubby carried a red handbag despite his male voice. Falwell described the so-called ‘subtle depictions’ as intentional.

In case anyone still doubted he was a complete and utter moron, Falwell then issued a personal statement on February 9, backing up the article.

“As a Christian, I feel that role modelling the gay lifestyle is damaging to the moral lives of children.”


Now I can think of something else with a big purple head. But Falwell Sr didn’t need a costume for people to recognise him as a dickhead.

The same year he predicted the coming of the Antichrist within a decade. And we’re still twiddling our f_cking thumbs and waiting.

And as for Tinky Winky’s sexuality, I’m willing to take the world of Kenn Viselman, a producing partner on the Teletubbies franchise.

“He’s not gay – he’s not straight. He’s just a character in a children’s series.”

Read more: February 8 <— On this day —> February 10

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1 Comment

  1. Paul
    12 February 2022

    The year when I came out too. I always loved the humor in tinkly winky characters and the church opposing this – it straight out was hypocritical from conservatives I must say back in the day!

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