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Banned Book Review 2: And Tango Makes Three

October 17, 2012

For the list of banned books I’m working from for the second Banned Book Review, see my Top 100 Banned Books of 2000-2009 post.

4. And Tango Makes Three, by Justin Richardson/Peter Parnell

Reason: depicts homosexuality and therefore deals with a sexual topic

And Tango Makes Three is based on the true story of two male penguins who paired off and were given an egg to raise together.  It’s a rather cute little story that illustrates two things.  First, that homosexuality happens in nature and there is nothing wrong with it.  And second, that there is a certain subset of people who will always equate “homosexual” with “sex,” regardless of whether or not any actual sex has occurred between a same sex couple.  The penguins are never actually depicted as having sex in any way.  They are shown rubbing head, swimming together, and preforming the courtship rituals which are common to their breed.  At one point the story references the pair “sleeping” together, but it’s about as sexual as two cats curled up in the same cat bed.

Won’t somebody please think of the children?  Also, my sock.

The automatic assumption that anything depicting homosexuality is sexual in nature is about as absurd as assuming that anything depicting food is automatically scatological.  While it’s probably going to wind up getting dirty [1] eventually, there’s a whole lot of nice things that happen before then which most people are perfectly okay with happening right out in public.

[1] Please note, I do not personally believe that sex in inherently bad.  I just couldn’t resist the pun.


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