As a trans woman and an ecologist, I find queerness in non-human nature a profoundly important subject. I can’t count the number of hours I’ve laid in the bath reading Biological Exuberance (Bruce Bagemihl) or Evolution’s Rainbow (Joan Roughgarden) – there’s something about knowing that there are lesbian lizards in the world and orgies of gay manatees and polyamorous oystercatchers and trans clownfish and bisexual red deer and masturbating baboons and kissing zebras that just gives me hope.
Dolphins are one of the most charismatic groups of animals in the world. From Flipper to Seaworld, they are adored by humans everywhere (except when being hunted, poisoned and incarcerated, obviously.) Little did we know that they’re also total perverts.
Few animals have filled as many children’s picture books as the mighty giraffe. Little do those illustrators know how totally gay they are.
If there is one species which stands alone as practically a queer superstar of the primate world it’s the bonobo. This species, Pan paniscus – our closest living relative along with the chimpanzee – is endangered and lives only in a single area of the DRC. They have, as you may have guessed, an incredibly raunchy sex life.
Oystercatchers (Haematopus ostralegus) are common shore birds across Africa, Eurasia and the Middle East. They often live in flocks and although most oystercatchers form monogamous pair bonds for breeding (you know, that story…), others have a very fun sex life.