Led by a brass band, the two swans named “Boston’s most famous waterfowl” will parade to their summer home in the Boston Public Garden today, welcomed by Mayor Tom Menino and other local luminaries. Despite their names—Romeo and Juliet—they are in fact a same-sex female pair who laid eggs and prepared for parenthood together, as the Boston Globe reported several years ago. (Unfortunately, the eggs were unfertilized and did not hatch, although visitors have suggested assisted insemination.)
Bostonians and other attentive readers will recognize the Public Garden as the setting of the classic children’s book Make Way for Ducklings, by Robert McCloskey.
HuffPo covered the swan news yesterday, and was kind enough to mention the post I did on the swans a few years ago for Change.org, wherein I observed, “Many a gay or lesbian teen has his or her own tale of forbidden love and parental disapproval. Some, alas, are just as tragic as those of Shakespeare’s pair. Perhaps the example of the beloved Public Garden swans will help to change that.”
(I’ve also previously covered the swans here at Mombian—but I contend an annual celebration of lesbian swans is a fine thing.)
I know—”lesbian” swans is anthropomorphic. As I’ve said before, though, proving same-sex attractions exist in nature is an important part of countering the right-wing’s argument that they are “unnatural”—even if animals and humans may not manifest their attractions in exactly the same way. Still, would it be too much to ask that the swans ride in a U-Haul behind the brass band?