It seems almost an annual event when the American Library Association releases their yearly Top Ten List of the Most Frequently Challenged Books and (guess who) Justin Richardson’s and Peter Parnell’s And Tango Makes Three makes the top of the goddamned list third time in a row.
The homos get all pissed over censoring a 3rd grade book about gay poultry and the conservatives get to bitch about how these faggoty penguins regurgitate queer values down their chickling’s throats. But anyone who has actually read the book and knows the real-life story of Roy and Silo—the chinstrap penguins who hatched their daughter Tango at the Central Park zoo—should be urging, nay, demanding their kids read it. Wether queer or bigot, find out why everyone wins in this depressing little caged romance:
Uptight conservatives worried about the book’s message probably envision page after page of hot bird-on-bird action when in actuality the book merely shows Roy and Silo swimming, eating, and playing together—things that little boys and girls do during lunchtime recess every day. Sure Roy and Silo like to play “house” by sitting on a rock like it’s a real egg, but we want young boys learning about responsible parenting, right? “Love” doesn’t even enter the picture until a zookeeper observes the fowl nuzzling (it gets cold in a penguin cage) and declares, “They must be in love!”
Instead of focusing on these innocent penguins that would probably snap at your hand if it smelled like tuna, everyone should focus on the zookeeper instead—he’s the real flashpoint of the book. Gay parents can point to him and say, “Awww! He recognized their love and gave them an egg so they could have a family! I wish our state government would do the same!” To them, the zookeeper then becomes a symbol of a just, equitable, loving paternal figure like a judge, senator or presidential candidate. And what if the zookeeper is also gay? How awesome would that be? That would explain his powerful animal gaydar! For just $11.08 or the hassle of a library card, your kids got FIVE positive gay characters in just ONE book: Roy, Silo, the Zookeeper, you, and your presumed other gay parent! Awwwwww… isn’t life good?
But on the same page conservatives can also point out the zookeeper to their little fascists-in-training and then play some dastardly piano music. Enter the villain—the voyeuristic zoo keeper! Long has he watched the penguins from the shadows. He’s a loner, talks to the animals, probably spends too much time cleaning the monkey house if you know what I mean. With his hungry eyes he has preyed on these young innocent penguins and it’s his insatiable lust for manflesh that has driven him to project his gay desires on these two perfectly innocent birds! How presumptuous to declare “They must be in love!” The zookeeper really is the perfect villain! The predatory older man who wants to turn every one of God’s innocent creatures gay. He even wears shorts and a vest for that extra child-molestery touch!
See? Everyone wins. The gays get their hero, the haters get their punching bag. The animals get to stay kid-friendly and child psychologists get to debate why the zookeeper anthropomorphizes animals in his free time. Then on the final page, the egg hatches and the dumb kids who can’t tell difference between male and female penguins anyway will have no idea which icy bird families are queer and which are boring and everyone lives happily every after in blissful ignorance! End of story.
Oh but only if it was the end of the story. You see, the conservatives have it right when they think that Roy and Silo were more than “just friends.” Roy and Silo regularly got to second base with their public displays of nuzzling and who knows what pygoscelis semen they passed from male vent to male vent in their depraved roost. Then there’s that gay penguin epidemic that has overtaken Japanese zoos. New York zoos also have a penchant for turning their penguins gay… oh that wicked city! Plus, penguins are really the jezebel harlots of the animal kingdom—they’re majestically slutty creatures who regularly dabble in bulimia and extramarital affairs. It just all goes to shows conservatives how “animalistic” gay sex really is.
And what about Roy and Silo’s impressionable young daughter Tango? She ended up turning into a big ol’ lezzie! As soon as she came of breeding age, she shacked up with
another female penguin called Tanuzi—sounds suspiciously Japanese, doesn’t it? They’re all perverts too. Ever seen Legend of the Overfiend? Disgusting.
But on the same, queer families can point to all the delightfully gay penguins in Japan, New York, and Germany and celebrate the demise of gender-typed sex roles while conservatives can thank God that at least all these Godless beasts are already behind bars where they can’t rape their children.
And as a bigot bonus, any young mind wondering, “Whatever happened to those two penguins?” will learn that Roy and Silo ended up separating when Silo flew the coop for a female partner named Scrappy (yes, penguins can’t actually fly but still). Roy remains a bachelor and may forever remain that way. One penguin eventually renounced the gay lifestyle and found a fulfilling nest with a nice ladybird! They’re like the Oscar Wilde and Lord Alfred Douglas of the Central Park Zoo. The godless sodomite (Oscar) ended up behind bars (Reading Gaol) and his lover (Bosie) left him for another woman (Olive Eleanor Custance).
But as usual any parent who would bother trying to ban And Tango Makes Three from their local library would do better to remind everyone another paradoxical maxim about censorship—”There’s no better way to get people to read a book than by banning it.”