Why Queer Ecology?

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.

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Lesbian Lizards (Cnemidophorus sp.)

Rarely mentioned and often ignored as an anomaly or an evolutionary dead end (and haven’t we all heard that before?), there are several species of lizard, at least eight in the south-west of North America, who are completely female. There is not a single male in these species and there is no need for reproductive sex: females produce fertile eggs all by themselves.

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