Well its Halloween again, my favorite holiday! I love all the spooky decorations and scary costumes. And whats the scariest thing out there this season? Vampires?...no. Flesh eating zombies?...wrong again. Brain sucking aliens?...Ha! you wish! The scariest thing this Halloween is.....Penguins! Yup you heard me right. Lock your doors!Hide in the closet! and put on your tinfoil hats because the penguins are coming to get your children!
This article over at www.news.bbc.co.uk.com was forwarded to me on youtube, about an event in San Francisco protesting the banning of certain books in schools and libraries across the United States. The event is part part of the 27th annual banned-books week which is organized by the American Library Association.
Can you guess what book tops the list of of tomes considered too intellectually dangerous to exist? The answer is, "And Tango Makes Three", a charming...and true...childrens book about two gay male penquins in the New York Zoo that raise an egg together. Wow...scary stuff.
If you haven't heard of this book or would like to know what the heck has got everyones knickers in a twist...then gather around and pull up a chunk of rug because its time for Daddy Jay to read everyone a story:
Got your pulse racing didn't it?...no?...well thats because it shouldn't. Its a childrens story about gay families that happens to use penguins to deliver its point. It also happens to be a true story, even though these particular penguins are no longer together. Ultimatly, its about love and what actually makes a family.
Books like this one and "king and King" are used by conservatives in anti gay-marriage political ads to scare people into thinking that gay mariage will be taught in school. It won't, neither marriage model is taught in school. But thats usually the part of the commercial that makes conservative sphincters across the land involuntarily tighten.
This is the part that gets me though. Even if it were to be read in a school do you really think that counts as a blanket endorsement of homosexuality or that it would encourage children to be gay?... No!...No more so than the stories of Princes and princesses are meant to be a acurate primer on heterosexuall marriage. We all grew up with Disney tales about thin pretty girls growing up to marry their "handsome prince charming". Did anyone read this story as a child actually marry a prince and move into a castle? come on! Not a one of those stories ever made me straight. All of those tales of love and marriage are heterosexually based. Hows that for brainwashing?
Why is it not fair to have one story that shows a gay family. Is it really that threatening? Can you not, as parents sit your child down and explain to them why you dont agree with the story instead of taking the fascist route and banning books? Is the reason why you can't explain your point of view to your children because you can't adequatly explain it to yourself? I know as a parent that if they were going to teach creationism at my school one day, that I would let my son attend. BUT...afterword, I would have a good long talk with him about fossils, darwin, and evolution. Because My kids need to understand both sides of the issue in order to one day make their own informed choices. That is a part of growing into a reasoned adult.
But thats clearly not what an idividuall who would ban a book would want is it? They are not looking for reasoned debate, nor are they looking for understanding. They are looking to shield their children from what they view as corruption. Fine. Its not my place to take away your beliefs...but lets be clear that YOU have the responsibilty to teach your children why your beliefs are important if you truly want them to grow up and value those beliefs as their own.
And then there are those that will take issue with the fact that this story is about animals. That it cant be taken as a reason to approve of homosexuality because clearly, we as human beings are not animals....Oh Really?
No, we are not animals but you can not have it both ways. You can not argue that homosexuality is against nature, then when presented with examples of homosexuality in nature, then claim you are above nature. You as a human being have little idea how much of your life is driven by the needs of your body. In that sense we share much with animals. If you don't belive me, try not eating for couple days and see how that affects the way you think and how you deal with life little frustrations. The "homosexuality is unnatural" argument is a cyclical argument tool usually employed by those with no argument.
On a more positive note, This article from www.towleroad.com reports that the authors of "And Tango Makes Three", Peter Parnell and Justin Richardson, recently welcomed there own little egg. Gemma Parnell Richardson hatched into the world this febuary proving beyond a shadow of a doubt that it takes more then two to tango. Welcome to the world Gemma, be good to your daddies.
Please support these authors and help keep "And Tango Makes Three" alive by puchasing on Amazon.com