August 16, 2005

Why I love Massachusetts, reason 82a

We take our lesbian waterfowl very seriously.

Via Brutal Women, the following story from the Boston Globe (password-protected; go through

Romeo and Juliet, the mated swans in the Boston Public Gardens, are, according to new tests, both biologically female. Ok, this is fun news - yay, Boston is irrevocably queer; yay, the biggest symbol of summer lovin' turns out to be a lesbian couple. This is amusing.

But holy hell ... people have been taking this to heart!

The news ignited something of a debate among swan spectators in the Public Garden yesterday, with some insisting the city now should buy a true Romeo and others saying the city should embrace the two as a couple.
"Buy a true Romeo"? Ok, maybe I'm a big ol' gender outlaw, but don't we already have a true Romeo? Why can't a girl swan be a Romeo? And also? They're swans. C'mon.
"I think this proves that there's something in the environment in Massachusetts," Brian Camenker, director of the Article 8 Alliance, a Waltham-based organization fighting same-sex marriage, joked in a telephone interview. "Maybe it's the water that's causing all this lunacy."
Umm ... female swans will pair up with female swans no matter where they find themselves - in Massachusetts or otherwise - if they're the closest pair of swans to each other. So will male swans with male swans. Sorry to break it to you, but if there are swans in Kentucky, some of them are probably homos. If there are swans in Utah, some of them are probably homos. And if there are swans in Texas, there are probably a few queer little swans living in sin. And also? They're swans. C'mon.
Some same-sex marriage advocates hoped the swans' celebrity would not be diminished by the revelation of their same-sex status.

Marty Rouse, campaign director of MassEquality, said in a telephone interview: ''We should still cherish and love our swans, no matter whom they choose to swim with."

'Cause Marty Rouse, campaign director of MassEquality, has nothing better to do than talk to the Boston Globe about the mating habits of swans.

These aren't people, folks. They're not fussed about their rights. They're not looking to get married. They haven't been fired from their jobs at the Public Garden for having a queer swan relationship (although if they replace Romeo with a boy swan, that might be a different story). They don't have babies, and if they did they wouldn't be denied the right to raise them. They can't visit each other in the veterinarian's office or inherit breadcrumbs from each other, but that's more about them being swans than being lesbians.

What if we worried less about the mating habits of public fauna and more about people? 'Cause, honestly? They're just swans.

A visitor from Fort Lauderdale, Fla., suggested that the city should try to have one of next year's eggs fertilized so that Romeo and Juliet could become same-sex parents. "I'm sure they'd probably be perfect parents," said L.D. Hollingsworth, smiling as he watched the swans grooming themselves.
Ok - this, on the other hand, was adorable. What, you wanted me to be consistent? ;-)

Also - if they do decide to buy male swans, can we name them Tybalt and Mercutio? Seriously. Now that would be a cute couple.

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