Reading Journal Entry: And Tango Makes Three, by Peter Parnell and Justin Richardson

After seeing numerous news stories about this children's book I decided to check it out for myself. Tango and his adorable penguin parents provoked a complaint from some patrons of a Missouri library. Why? THEY'RE GAY! Yes, Tango, the adorable penguin chick portrayed in this picture book, is the first penguin with two daddies.

The story of Roy and Silo, who bonded with each other instead of with female penguins, is a true one. They live in New York City's Central Park Zoo. After several years of unsuccessfully trying to hatch rocks, the pair were given an extra fertilized egg laid by a conventional penguin couple, and a family was born.

Recently the book hit the headlines (probably doing wonders for sales) because of the 'homosexual subtext'. Two sets of parents complained about the content and bam! the next thing you know, there's an AP story being picked up by outraged newspaper editors around the country.

The librarian in question claims that the whole thing is overblown. The book was moved from the children's fiction section to the children's non-fiction section, because it's a true story, that's all!

On the one hand, the book has not been restricted. On the other hand, she sure did cave in. Quite solidly.

It's quite a nice book. Wonderful watercolors, adorable subjects.

I wonder to what extent the original complaint has to do with the 'family values' perception of the movie The March of the Penguins (courtesy of Michael Medved and others). Penguins! They're so conservative! Except when they're wife swapping and indulging in homo-gayness.

A sad coda to the story of Roy and Silo: After several years together Silo converted back to heterosexuality, taking up with a sexy young female penguin named Scrappy.

No news on how Roy weathered the breakup.

1 comment:

Banana Martin said...

Ironically, it seems the gay parental penguins heard about the uproar they caused; at least one of them has, since the book's release, found god and taken in a female mate.

Whether he is still involved in the pup's upbringing is not clear. However...one small step for gay family publishing, one equally small step backwards for gay animalkind.