swansThe city of Boston today celebrates the Nineteenth Annual Return of the Swans to the Public Garden, the park captured in the childhood classic Make Way for Ducklings. A parade will be held in their honor as the swan pair, Romeo and Juliet, return to the Garden from their winter home at a nearby zoo.

Why should anyone aside from Bostonians care? Because Romeo and Juliet are actually a pair of females who laid eggs and attempted to care for them together, as the Boston Globe reported, and I discussed, a few years back. The eggs were unfertilized, alas, and there was no friendly keeper like And Tango Makes Three‘s Mr. Gramzay to give them a viable egg to hatch.

The official announcement from the mayor’s office this year about the swan ceremony is coy about their gender, doing the “no pronoun” dance that so many of us know so well. A missed opportunity to attract marrying same-sex couples to our state to wed, I say. We’ve got competition now.

If you happen to be visiting Boston over the summer, however, take your kids to the Public Garden to see the Make Way for Ducklings statue and ride the Swan Boats, while you take photos of the “lesbian swans.” (There’s also an enormous wading pool and a playground at nearby Boston Common.)