On his new Netflix show, Bill Nye Saves The World, our favorite "science guy" makes a pretty compelling argument against conversion therapy — using talking ice cream cones.
A video clip from the show, posted to YouTube on April 24, shows many different flavors of ice cream gathered together for a meeting called by Vanilla. Pretty soon, we and the ice cream cones learn that this "meeting" is actually Vanilla's latest attempt to get all of the other ice creams to change their flavor.
"As Vanilla, I feel that I am the most natural of the ice creams. And therefore the rest of you should just go ahead and also be vanilla," Vanilla said in the video.
"It's the one true flavor."
"Flavor" in this video correlates to different sexualities — with Vanilla obviously standing in for straight people. As Nye says to intro the video, "there are lots of flavors to sexuality."
Although the video uses a lighthearted analogy, conversion therapy is a damaging, outdated, and discredited practice. Those who perform conversion therapy attempt to change a queer person's sexuality — sometimes using harmful methods like electroshock therapy.
Medical professionals discredited conversion therapy decades ago, according to the Human Rights Campaign, and most people now realize that not only does the practice not work, it can also be harmful to the queer people who undergo conversion therapy, leading to things like homelessness, depression, anxiety, drug use, and suicide.
But some people — like, reportedly, Vice President Mike Pence — still support conversion therapy. It's an issue that has forced legislatures to reintroduce a bill that would make conversion therapy illegal nationwide.
It's unfortunately still necessary for people to watch videos like this, and to see how ridiculous it is to attempt to change something as inherent as someone's "flavor."
Nye's argument, of course, didn't go over well with everyone.
Some have taken to Twitter to air their complaints.
You guys let '90s nostalgia go too far with bringing back Bill Nye and expecting him to do real science. https://t.co/hUomLPmFfs— Ashley Rae (@Communism_Kills) April 25, 2017
And others used the YouTube comments.
"Why exactly did the media dig you up out of 20 years of obscurity? To feed political propaganda using the nostalgia of kids who used to watch your show? Choke on a lego, Bill Nye," one person wrote.
There is, however, one critique of Nye's ice cream argument that we agree with.
Toward the end of the video all of the other flavors turn on Vanilla and attempt to convince him that he should loosen up and try a different flavor.
"Come on Vanilla," Mint Chocolate-Chip said. "No one wants just one flavor of ice cream." Vanilla is visibly distressed (he's actually melting) and tells the other ice creams that he doesn't want to try another flavor. But they continue to push him and he eventually gives in, with a lick of Salted Caramel.
What happens next has been described as "an ice cream orgy."
While we love the first part of the video, and the argument against conversion therapy, the later half undermines this argument by claiming that Vanilla (the straight cone) actually could change his flavor with just a little bit of convincing.
If we're saying that queer people should be allowed to be queer, then straight people should also be allowed to be straight — and it's not okay to pressure anyone into thinking that they shouldn't be who they are.
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