A Day in the Life of Marlon Bundo
Written by Marlon Bundo and Jill Twiss
Essay by Jarad Johnson
We’ve recommended this book before in passing. Even though its white-hot popularity has faded somewhat, we’re here to make a more in depth recommendation. Why? Because it’s becoming increasingly clear that the stories we tell each other and our children are very, very important. Often in our society books and stories, particularly fiction are swept aside as hobbies, something to do when you’re not doing something more important. Math and science are celebrated as “real” contributions to society both for the technology they produce and for their money-making potential. But the reality is that stories about other groups of people can affect our views, politics, and actions in society for generations to come. So, let’s take another look at A Day in the Life of Marlon Bundo.
This wonderful little book was written in response to another book about the Vice President of the United States, Mike Pence. Pence’s book, A Day in the Life of the Vice President, shows Marlon Bundo following Pence around his day through meetings, signings, etc.
The Life of Marlon Bundo is a book about a gay bunny who wishes to marry another male bunny. A Day in the Life of Marlon Bundo was not written in response to the content of the Vice President’s book but to the content of his harmful beliefs. Not only does it satirize Pence and refute his beliefs, which is its main purpose, but it also is a great book to read to children. If there were more children’s books like this, perhaps the LGBTQ+ community could be normalized to kids at a young age and toxic views would not be so widespread..
The fact that this book was necessary, and that there aren’t hundreds more like it, is disheartening. To deal with homophobia espoused from citizens of the U.S. is one thing; it is something else entirely when the second highest office in the nation not only maintains those beliefs but is vocal about them. When Pence was governor of Indiana, his administration there passed a law called the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, which enabled individuals to assert their individual rights as a way to discriminate against others. According to Freedom for All Americans, this law undermines an, “important value we all cherish—treating others as we ourselves would like to be treated.” After this law was passed, many organizations and businesses decreased their activity or left the state completely in protest, and as a result the state lost an estimated 256 million over 6 years. Pence has an established history of affiliation with many homophobic groups and has been an active and outspoken critic of the LGBTQ+ community and gay marriage. As recently as September 22nd of this year, he spoke at the Values Voter Summit, hosted by the Family Research Council, which is a designated anti-LGBTQ+ hate group, known for their radical views on the transgender community. For more information on this SPLC designated hate group click here.
When such views are normalized at high levels of our government, a book like A Day in the Life of Marlon Bundo, helps spread the opposite message. It makes acceptance and love foundational to the next generation. So, this amazing, adorable and funny little book is very important. Not only will it provide little kids with a way to humanize gay people and eliminate otherism, it is also subversive towards a morally corrupt administration. It reminds me of a quote from Lin Manuel Miranda, who said, “Love is love is love is love is love is love is love is love and cannot be killed or swept aside.” We must remember that, even if our elected officials don’t. Let’s hope that many more books like this are written in the future.
Jarad is the co-administrator for Sacred Chickens, attends college at MTSU, loves tea, and tries to spend every spare second reading. Jarad wants to be an English major. Bless his heart! Let's all light a candle for him and send him happy thoughts!