There has been a rich tradition of male children’s entertainment duos that the creators insist are “just friends” but that most adults see right through. Frog and Toad don’t spend that much time together just to be friends, though the law in the 70’s made it clear that’s all they could be. With the shifting tone in the United States, Frog and Toad have a few places they could move to if they’d like to take their “friendship” to a new level.

The next book involves them adopting a baby Chinese Fire Belly Toad and moving to Long Island.

There was a time in this country where a frog and a toad had to hide the true nature of their relationship for fear of offending the delicate sensibilities of bigots. Thankfully those times are slowly being put behind us. I am close friends with several gay amphibians and they are good, honest creatures that deserve the same rights and responsiblities as everyone else. Why shouldn’t they be able to swim in the pool and try to avoid getting sucked into that little filter thing like everyone else? Why shouldn’t they be able to hop around together in tall grass where you’re afraid you might step on them because you can’t see them and oh god would that be a hate crime?

What I’m trying to say is that the nature of Frog and Toad’s relationship shouldn’t have to be a secret, it also shouldn’t necessarily define them as people…or frogs…or toads…or whatever. You get what I mean.

People are always wondering, these days, about whether such and such celebrity or literary character might be gay. Sometimes we don’t have to wonder at all. The point is that it really doesn’t matter. Sexual orientation doesn’t define who someone is, it is merely a facet of their personality. Love is love and people are people, gay or straight. This applies to frogs, puppets (I’m looking at you, Bert & Ernie), entertainers, craftsmen, and all the other sorts of beings that might have a sexual orientation.

I mean, Frog & Toad are a shining example of commitment. The two of them spent so much time together. They shared good times and bad. They have led active and productive lives side by side, and it’s clear that Toad, especially, relied on the love and friendship of Frog.

That’s a beautiful thing.

If you’ve never read Frog & Toad, I highly recommend them whether you have kids or not. They’re great books to get children reading and the illustrations are brilliant. Frog and Toad’s stories have a lot of great lessons to teach, however simple they may be.

And whether they’re gay or straight or whatever, they’re cute characters and their stories are meaningful. You’ve got to respect that.