Frog and Toad, the inspirational portrait of a stable and long-lasting gay relationship!
I don’t know when it hit me that Frog and Toad are probably gay life partners, but when it did hit me, it was as if Oprah’s face appeared in my head and said, “Aha!” I mean, they gave each other sweet gifts, did everything together, lovingly gazed into each other’s Pac-Man-looking eyes and wore color-coordinated matching outfits. They’re gay! I hate typing the words “relationship goals,” but they were the original “relationship goals.” They showed us gay dudes that you can get a man without a gym body. Although, I am throwing a “bitch, too far” look at them for those matching high-waisted, shirtless outfits.
Arnold Lobel, who wrote the Frog and Toad children’s book series starting with Frog and Toad Are Friends, never said that his characters are gay soulmates. But in a new profile for The New Yorker, Arnold’s daughter, set designer Adrianne Lobel, says that she believes her father created the Frog and Toad stories as a way of dealing with his own sexuality. Arnold wrote other children’s stories, but Adrianne says that the Frog and Toad was his only series that involved a relationship.
Adrianne suspects that there’s another dimension to the series’s sustained popularity. Frog and Toad are “of the same sex, and they love each other,” she told me. “It was quite ahead of its time in that respect.” In 1974, four years after the first book in the series was published, Lobel came out to his family as gay. “I think ‘Frog and Toad’ really was the beginning of him coming out,” Adrianne told me.
Arnold died from AIDS-related complications in 1987 at the young age of 55, and he only wrote a few Frog and Toad books before his death. In my mind, the series lives on with stories about how Frog and Toad adopted a tadpole and got a Fire Island share with their good friends Bert and Ernie, who they met through their great nephew Kermit. And there’d be a tale about how they shocked their friends by revealing that Frog is actually vers bottom and Toad is a power top. But really, look at the love between them. A Peter Gabriel song plays in their heads when they look at each other. They give us all hope!