'Boys can be Emma.' The Wiggles' Emma and Lachy's Instagram post has upset a lot of parents.


Who knew The Wiggles could be so controversial?

On Friday, the Yellow Wiggle, Emma (Watkins), posted a photo to her Instagram that has divided the comments section more than the discussion about whether Jeff should be woken up or just be bloody left alone.

The photo shows her former husband, Lachy Wiggle, (a.k.a. the Purple Wiggle and Lachy Gillespie) proudly holding a sign that says:

“Boys can be Emma.”


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A post shared by Emma_Wiggle (@emma_wiggle) on

It’s just four simple words, but in just over an hour the post has garnered 7,200 likes, and attracted significant backlash.


“Umm… sorry, no they can’t. It’s called biology,” one commenter wrote.

Another was equally concerned about the gender-neutral message.

“I have nothing against the LGBT community but please, please, don’t bring it into kids shows. Go my baby watch[es] and loves The Wiggles. Too young to be exposed to this. Just saying, cause that’s how it starts.”

What ‘it’ means is not entirely clear. For some, the post signalled the end of their relationship with the super-group.

“What?! Farewell Wiggles, it’s been fun, but no. Boys can’t be Emma,” one Dad said.

And another added, “Boys and girls are not the same why are people trying to confuse the poor kids these days.”


The Wiggles are Australian icons.

Emma Wiggle – and Lachy – are role models to millions of children around the world. Their messages have been helping develop young minds, and educate them, for years.

All this post means is: You can do whatever you want, and be whomever you want to be, and you will be accepted and safe.


As a parent, I’m grateful for this post.

It’s challenging gender norms, which are nothing more than a social construction.

Our kids need to see more of that, because the alternative is for those who don’t feel ‘normal’ to suffer in silence for their whole lives.

This post is helping our kids to see there is no such thing as ‘normal’.

We live in a world where more and more children as being raised as gender-neutral, without disclosing their genders, or one even needing to be assigned. In April this year, that’s been supported by new legislation coming into effect in Tasmania.

The overwhelming question I have to people in the comments section is: what does it matter to you? It’s a simple message encouraging kids to explore their identity, and grow up to be whoever they want to be.

As one smart mum wrote: “Girls can also be Lachie and Simon!”