Americans Think “50 Shades of Grey” is More Terrifying Than Gay Penguins But Not as Terrifying as Magical Gay Indians

Pop quiz, homos! Which of the following quotes is so monumentally offensive that parents demanded the book from whence it came be banned from their children’s libraries in 2012?

Is it:

Quote A:

Suddenly, he sits up and tugs my panties off and throws them on the floor. Pulling off his boxer briefs, his erection springs free. Holy cow! … He kneels up and pulls a condom onto his considerable length. Oh no … Will it? How?


Quote B:

If you guessed Quote A, you are correct — but barely! Yesterday, the American Library Association released its annual list of Most Challenged Books, and 50 Shades of Grey juuuust edged out And Tango Makes Three — a picture book about two adorable male penguins who love each other and want to adopt a baby penguin to make their family complete — in 2012’s top ten countdown. Grey came it an #4, while Tango came in at #5. Poor ol’ Roy and Silo. Last year, for the first time in the book’s history, the illustrated gay penguins didn’t make the list at all. (From 2006 to 2008, they took the number one spot as the Most Challenged Book of the year.) But in 2012, they were back, caring for their little egg and naming their little chick “Tango” and teaching it to sing and cuddling it up close to keep it warm. What a couple of cartoon assholes!

Even more challenged than And Tango Makes Three was Sherman Alexie‘s The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, a young adult novel that has the audacity to call gay people “magical.” See for yourself:

My grandmother’s greatest gift was tolerance. Now, in the old days, Indians used to be forgiving of any kind of eccentricity. In fact, weird people were often celebrated. Epileptics were often shamans because people just assumed that God gave seizure-visions to the lucky ones. Gay people were seen as magical too. I mean, like in many cultures, men were viewed as warriors and women were viewed as caregivers. But gay people, being both male and female, were seen as both warriors and caregivers. Gay people could do anything. They were like Swiss Army knives! My grandmother had no use for all the gay bashing and homophobia in the world, especially among other Indians. “Jeez,” she said, “Who cares if a man wants to marry another man? All I want to know is who’s going to pick up all the dirty socks?”

Baby Penguin (scary!), Handcuffs (scarier!), Magical Gays (scariest!)

And Tango Makes Three and The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian were the only pro-gay books to make the list this year. The top spot went to the children’s book series Captain Underpants, which features a hypnotized elementary school principal who saves the world while wearing only underpants, thanks to two fourth grade pranksters. Kind of like Wonder Woman’s costume, but less awesome.

You can see the full list of Most Challenged Books at ALA’s official website.