Showing posts with label Gay Animals. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Gay Animals. Show all posts

September 3, 2019

Same Gender Attraction on Animals is More Common Than Most People Realize

These Gay Gorillas Remind Us that Animal Homosexuality Is Much More Common Than We ThinkNEWS

These Gay Gorillas Remind Us that Animal Homosexuality Is Much More Common Than We Think

Written by Daniel Villarreal  
This week, a photographer with the Caters News service snapped some images of two young male gorillas‚ Aybo and Thabo, engaging in homosexual sex play. However, the Metro story used judgmental words like “mischievous,” “naughty” and “awkward” to describe the gay gorillas’ behavior, reminding us how often humans — both gay and straight — treat stories of same-sex animal pairings as uncommon and a way to push human sexual values. This doesn’t line up with reality, though — animal homosexuality and same-sex pairings, like the gay gorillas, are common in the wild kingdom. 

Gay animals are much more common than most people might realize

In his 1999 book Biological Exuberance, Canadian biologist Bruce Bagemihl’s said that animals exhibit “much greater sexual diversity — including homosexual, bisexual and nonreproductive sex — than the scientific community and society at large have previously been willing to accept.” He then documented same-sex activity in over 450 animal species including creatures in every major animal group and every major geographic region around the world. Since then, over 1,500 animal species have been documented as exhibiting homosexual behaviors.
This flies in the face of anti-gay activists who call homosexuality and bisexuality “against nature” Of course, confronted by evidence of same-sex activity in nature, these activists then claim that humans should be “better than animals” by resisting their same-sex orientation.
LGBTQ activists, on the other hand, point out that of the over 1,500 animal species that exhibit homosexual behavior, only one exhibits homophobia — humans. Who’s unnatural now?

Here’s a Discovery Channel video discussing the prevalence of gay animals:

Why do animals exhibit same-sex sexual behavior?

If Charles Darwin’s groundbreaking 1859 book, On the Origin of Species, is correct and all animal behavior serves to spread one’s genes via sexual reproduction, animal homosexuality may seem abnormal or a waste of energy. Keep in mind, however, that not all animal homosexual activity involves actual sex: Sometimes it just involves courtship, grooming, bonding, mounting and parental activities. 
Bagemihl and other biologists have found that same-sex animal behavior actually serves several purposes: Some animals pair with same-sex partners because of a shortage of opposite-sex partners. Some do it to build strong and peaceful social bonds or to avoid raising their young alone. Some male insects deposit sperm on same-sex partners with the hopes that these partners might inadvertently impregnate females with their sperm. And other animals have gay sex just because it feels good, provides comfort or burns off excess energy.

August 16, 2019

Gay Same Sex Penguin Couple Can't Wait to be Parents Even Adopting A Penguin Egg

Skipper and Ping, male king penguins, face the sunlight as the one on the right incubates an egg under a flap of skin at their enclosure in the Berlin Zoo on Aug. 13. (Omer Messinger/EPA-EFE/REX/Shutterstock)
BERLIN — To the untrained eye, Skipper and Ping look like a typical king penguin couple.
Standing side by side at the Berlin Zoo with their flippers touching, they take turns carefully nestling an egg between their feet in the hope that it will eventually hatch the chick they have both long sought.
Except these two 10-year-olds are both male — and the latest in a long succession of same-sex penguins that have coupled up to adopt an egg.
At zoos in London, Australia and New York, male and female penguins have for years entered same-sex relationships to incubate eggs into chicks, delighting zookeepers and some visitors while stirring anger and revulsion in others.
Berlin has become the latest city to host a pair of “gay” penguins after Skipper and Ping showed an attraction to each other and a desire to become parents. Both unsuccessfully tried to hatch a stone for some time. Then zookeepers allowed them to adopt an abandoned egg.
“They look beautiful together,” said Youssef Rashed, a 23-year-old originally from Syria who was watching them from a visitor platform on Tuesday. Rashed, who is gay, came to Germany four years ago and found a haven.
“I feel the same way they feel,” he said, gazing at Skipper and Ping.
Germany has one of the world’s highest acceptance rates for homosexuality, and it legalized same-sex marriage and granted full adoption rights in 2017. The German far right, however, has been accused of stirring homophobia in recent years.
Two male penguins incubate an egg at the Berlin Zoo. (Omer Messinger/EPA-EFE/REX/Shutterstock)
German nursery-school teacher Hannelore Bauer said she first heard about the same-sex penguin couple on TV.
An animal follows its instincts and its feelings — just like humans, too,” Bauer said.
While Berlin Zoo officials said their penguin couple had so far inspired only positive reactions from visitors, similar instances — and even literature about it — have in recent years sparked fierce backlashes, governmental bans and religious protests around the world.
The forcefulness of that backlash has become a way to measure “where we are at any one location in terms of the acceptance of gay rights,” said psychiatrist Justin Richardson, co-author of a children’s book that tells the true story of same-sex penguins adopting an egg at New York’s Central Park Zoo in 2000.
The two chinstrap penguins — Silo and Roy — were able to successfully hatch their adopted baby penguin, Tango. Five years later, Richardson and Peter Parnell immortalized the story in “And Tango Makes Three,” which was illustrated by Henry Cole.
The book was written after the authors heard from parents and teachers looking for a child-friendly way to explain homosexuality.
It soon drew the attention and ire of conservative groups worldwide, which were offended at the content and the fact it was targeted toward children.
In the United States, some parents rallied alongside Christian groups to have the book banned from libraries. For years, it was the publication with the most restrictions or outright bans in the United States, according to the American Library Association.
In Singapore, the government banned the book from the National Library in 2014 but changed course after a public outcry. Copies were instead transferred to the adult section. Last year, it was amongliterature banned from Hong Kong’s public libraries. And this year, protests erupted in Birmingham, England, over its inclusion in a school program.
“There have been so many challenges to the book around the world — it is sometimes hard to keep up with it,” Richardson said in a telephone interview.
With their charming waddle and tendency to remain in monogamous relationships, penguins appear to have resonated with both supporters and opponents of gay rights unlike any other of the more than 450 animal species that have been observed to show homosexual behavior.
Ping and Skipper adopted an egg abandoned by its mother at the Berlin Zoo. (Annegret Hilse/Reuters)
Richardson said the backlash to his work is because this behavior among penguins reaffirms that homosexuality is indeed natural and not, as some opponents argue, an unnatural choice.
“Nobody thinks that penguins are particularly smart,” he said. “And so, in a way, it does serve to undercut certain biases.”
Biologists have been more cautious about drawing links between homosexual behavior of animals and humans, saying that occurrences of same-sex coupling or mating rituals are rare in the animal world and that there is not enough data to say whether members of certain species, including penguins, can be gay. Most likely, animals sometimes called gay in public discourse are, in fact, bisexual, researchers say.
Opponents of LGBT rights have said that animals are being used for propaganda, a notion that Richardson said has gained momentum among conservatives in nations where support for LGBT rights is on the rise.
Singapore’s government, for instance, tried to ban “And Tango Makes Three” as public visibility of LGBT groups grew. In Australia, a same-sex penguin couple that adopted an egg stirred tensions in 2018 — one year after the country voted to legalize same-sex marriage following a divisive public debate.
Meanwhile in Poland, the country’s first openly gay mayor, Robert Biedron, faced right-wing condemnations for actively promoting the book in 2009, as the country’s LGBT community was becoming more vocal.
Approval for LGBT rights has generally increased in the country since, but opposition — supported by the Catholic Church — has recently intensified again. Encouraged by the ruling populist party, some towns and provinces in Poland have declared themselves free of “LGBT ideology.”
In an email on Tuesday, Biedron’s partner, Krzysztof Smiszek, said that in 2009, right-wing opposition to the same-sex penguin book was mostly ridiculed in the media.
“The situation today is rather different,” Smiszek wrote. Now, right-wing media outlets and politicians are trying to use LGBT issues “to divide the society and to stimulate hate.”
Whereas the story of same-sex penguin couples adopting an egg may have foreshadowed a looming culture war in Poland, the same story appears to resonate far differently in neighboring Germany.
“They’re good parents,” said Berlin zookeeper Nico Heydemann, 23, referring to Skipper and Ping, who hadn’t moved an inch in an hour. In about a month, the two could have their first baby penguin if everything goes according to plan.
Zookeeper Anja Seiferth said she hopes Skipper and Ping will remain a couple for the rest of their lives — perhaps for 15 more years.
If that happens, the two would outlast the relationship of the far more publicly scrutinized Central Park Zoo penguin couple. Silo eventually left Roy for a female penguin named Scrappy.

May 8, 2019

The “Stone Wall” For Penguins

       Gentoo penguin couple

It’s The Stonewall Inn for penguins.
Zookeepers at the Oceanworld Aquarium in Dingle, Ireland have revealed that eight of their 14 Gentoo penguin residents are in same-sex relationships. Coincidentally, their population of homosexual penguins leapt from just two to eight following the legalization of gay marriage in Ireland in 2015.
“We have had a gay couple here before. Five years ago Penelope and Misty got plenty of coverage but we never expected it to catch on,” Oceanworld animal manager Louise Overy tells the Irish Mirror. Since then, their homosexual population has quadrupled to two lesbian and two male-gay pairs.
“They woo each other with stones which the other partner uses to build a nest,” says Overy, who also explains that male and female penguins appear identical, and are only identified during mating. “The only way we know is when we see them mating and not producing chicks.”
But jealous penguin partners won’t stand in the way of evolutionary progress: Overy adds that lesbian penguins will “do what needs to be done” with male penguins in order to produce a chick she can raise with her lesbian partner. “They have maternal instincts the same as humans do.”
Male and female penguins are unique as they do not separate parenting responsibilities by gender, instead taking equal part in parenting duties, which may explain why, as a 2010 study revealed, penguins may engage in same-sex flirting simply out of convenience and a lack of options.
Homosexual penguin couples have been known to go back to their skirt-chasing ways, such as Roy and Silo at New York’s Central Park Zoo, who split after six years together when Silo took up with new girl in town Scrappy. Before that, the same-sex pair helped rear baby penguin Tango, whose story inspired the 2005 children’s book “And Tango Makes Three.”

January 16, 2019

The Gay and Foster Penguin Parents in Australia

SphengicCreditSea Life Sydney Aquarium

SYDNEY, Australia —

 It was a young penguin colony, and all but one of the couples were pretty bad parents.

They would get distracted from their nests, go for a swim or play, and so neglected eggs were getting cold, likely never to hatch. This was normal for inexperienced penguins, and the aquarium managers didn’t worry. Next mating season would be better.

One couple, though, was extraordinary. Not because they were the colony’s only gay penguins, though they were, but because Sphen and Magic looked like they would make great, diligent, careful egg-warming parents. They made the biggest nest, and they sat on it constantly.

Curious, the aquarium managers gave the two males a dummy egg. They took to it. And so then, when a particularly negligent heterosexual penguin couple looked to be leaving an egg exposed (females lay two, but usually only one survives), the aquarium workers figured they would give it to Sphen and Magic. 

In October, that egg hatched. Now the chick of a gay penguin union is waddling around an ice enclosure by the touristy docks in Sydney.

When Sphen and Magic became a couple, Australia had just gone through a bitter battle about whether gay marriage should be legal. The human gay marriage debate had brought out thorny personal and religious tensions. These two diligent Gentoos, unaware of the political heat around their courtship, became a larger symbol for the country. If a penguin colony could figure this out, a human nation certainly could.

Australia is famous for having many dangerous creatures on land and in water: some of the most dangerous snakes and spiders in the world, kangaroos that look like bodybuilders, great white sharks patrolling surfers. Suddenly, though, Australia’s biggest animal celebrities were two gay penguins, which their keepers noticed with pleasure.

“Everyone likes penguins,” said Tish Hannan, the head of penguin supervision at the aquarium. “They’re so cheeky.”

“They’re not like sharks,” said the senior penguin keeper Amy Lawrie, her second in command. “No one’s had a bad experience with a penguin.” 
Penguin keepers cannot say exactly why one penguin chooses another, especially two penguins as different as Magic and Sphen.

Magic, a 3-year-old Gentoo born at the Sea Life Melbourne Aquarium, is excitable and playful. He chases after toys and anything that shines. He greets visitors.

Sphen, who is 6 and from SeaWorld, is taller and has a bigger beak. He’s quieter, more serious and less interested in toys and humans.

But it was clear early on what Sphen and Magic were doing when they met one summer day at Sea Life Sydney Aquarium.

First, as is the Gentoo way, they began to bow to each other.

They brought each other carefully selected pebbles for the nest they hoped to build together. If either had not been interested he would have rejected the pebble, pushing it away with a beak. But each admired the pebbles he was brought.

Ms. Lawrie described it as “consent.” 

“You would see Magic standing in his spot looking for Sphen, and he would call and Sphen would come running over and give Magic a little bow and sing as well,” Ms. Hannan said. “They’ve chosen each other. That’s it. They’re bonded now.”

Others in the colony of 33 penguins were still flirting. Younger birds tend to take a little while to choose their partners.

“They were recognizing multiple different bird calls and bowing to different individuals,” Ms. Hannan said. “We saw none of that behavior from either Sphen or Magic. They weren’t interested in other birds in the colony.”

And so it was no surprise that the two began preparing for an egg.

“We knew they would start picking up stones,” Ms. Hannan said. “And we knew they would build the best nest.”

When they egg came, Sphen and Magic each took turns sitting on it for 28 days.


The penguin keepers had a discussion.

 Sphen, Magic and Sphengic.CreditCreditSea Life Sydney Aquarium

“We made the decision within the penguin team, and no one was against it,” Ms. Lawrie said. “Any pairs that want to pair up, it’s great.” 
They alerted aquarium leadership that there were going to be two male penguin parents. The aquarium executives embraced it. 
Sphen and Magic, two male penguins at the Sea Life Sydney Aquarium, looked after an egg when a heterosexual penguin couple wasn’t up to the task. The 3-month-old chick will be called Sphengic until it gets a permanent name.Published OnJan. 15, 2019CreditCreditSea Life Sydney Aquarium
The aquarium put out a video of the pair singing to each other. There is a video of them making their pebble nest.

Visitors now come just to see the new gay parents and ask tour guides which were the gay penguins.

There were those who objected to using of the word “gay.”

“The word ‘unnatural’ was used a lot,” said Samantha Antoun, the aquarium’s public relations manager. “People said we shouldn’t call them gay because maybe they’re just friends.”

The penguin keepers said they would bring no politics onto the ice.

“We’re not going to discourage any companionship for our penguins,” Ms. Lawrie said. “Love is love.”


The first sign of a good Gentoo parent is that they’re able to recognize an egg has hatched and that the chick is slowly breaking its way out. This can take days. Sphen and Magic noticed straight away.

“When it’s got its face out, it can start talking to its parents, and Magic and Sphen recognized this and started singing to the egg before it even hatched,” Ms. Hannan said.

Their chick — for now called Sphengic — was born on a Friday and weighed 91 grams. It was the only chick to have hatched of all the eggs in the colony.

For the first few months of a chick’s life, it stays close to its parents. Sphen and Magic feed and sing to the chick. They tuck it into bed at night. The chick needs to have its head faced toward the parents when it sleeps under them, so parents use their beaks to keep it in proper position.

Like any couple, Sphen and Magic did face challenges, mostly related to their age difference.

“Magic is the younger one, and he would try to pawn off the parental duties in the first couple days,” Ms. Hannan said. “Sometimes he would be like, ‘You feed the chick today’ and hop off and go swimming.”

But slowly he learned to co-parent. When Magic would feed the chick, Sphen would come over and sing to them. 

“He was singing to encourage him,” Ms. Hannan said. “So Magic would know he was doing the right thing.” 

Now the 3-month-old chick is almost fully grown. He, or she, does not have a permanent name yet. Nor does the penguin have a gender. A penguin’s reproductive organs are internal, so gender can only be determined by a blood test at maturity. Orientation and identity are not Sphengic’s most pressing challenges.

One recent morning, Magic was playing with the other members of the colony, and Sphen was minding Sphengic, who is set aside from the colony in a crèche. Another penguin, Rita, came a little too close. Sphen flapped his wings and lightly jabbed at her with his beak. Sphengic, whose personality has yet to develop, was busy eating ice.

Lunch that day would be pilchards and squid.

The penguin keepers said they do not think much about the politics of Sphengic. But they do see that he is inspiring visitors.

“Penguins are born with the ability to raise chicks from start to finish whether they’re male or female, and that’s quite an interesting thought to keep in mind,” Ms. Hannan said. “We’re the same.”

Many of the other penguins are searching for new pairs for another mating season. But Sphen and Magic remain together. Recently, Sphengic began learning to swim. Sphen and Magic padded nearby, ready to dive in.

January 3, 2019

"The Trouble With Normal" College Offers Studies for LGBT on Non Human Perspectives of The Same


These animals and insects only mate with each other

The course examines ‘the trouble with normal’

A public university is giving its students an opportunity to learn about “non-human perspectives” of LGBT identities and politics, though the professor teaching the class did not explain how studying such a perspective was even possible.

The Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer Studies Department at Montclair State University offers a 200-level course called “Queer Identities in a Transforming World: The Trouble with Normal.” The class is being offered this coming semester.

According to the course description, the class will use an array of “textual and cinematic sources” to “explore issues such as gender performance, the third sex, transgender issues, intersex issues, the political underpinnings and the transgressive nature of ‘queer’, the history of queer politics (from AIDS activism to the gay marriage issue), schisms within the LGBTQ political movements, queers and disability, issues of race, class and representation within the queer community, and non-human perspectives on queer.”

The course is a two-and-a-half hour lecture that meets once a week, according to a listing in the university’s scheduling catalog.

The College Fix reached out to Andrea Dini, the coordinator of Montclair State’s GLBTQ Studies Minor, for comment on the course. Dini directed The Fix to the course’s professor, Caroline Dadas.

Dadas did not respond to The Fix’s queries seeking to learn about the course’s teaching of “non-human perspectives on queer.”

The course description also says it will have students, “engage in a critical analysis of gender, sexuality, race, class, and ecology, and synthesize methodologies from various disciplines in the humanities to gain a broad intersectional, multicultural and historical understanding of the term queer, and of queer and transgender studies.”

The prerequisite to take the course is the completion of GLQS 100: Introduction to Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer Studies. That course “introduces students to current research in the study of same-sex individuals, relationships and communities and the social construction framework for analyzing contemporary gendered identities, sexualities, and the discourses and practices that maintain them.”

The school’s LGBT course offerings are scant; in addition to the “Trouble with Normal” course and the introductory course, the university offers only two other LGBT-centric classes. One of them, titled “Queer Theory,” promises to explore how to “create new ways of thinking, not only about fixed sexual identities such as heterosexual and homosexual but also about other supposedly essential notions such as sexuality and gender.”

According to her official website, one of Caroline Dadas’s area of specialty is “queer online rhetorics” and her “primary research agenda involves studying the intersections of civic participation–particularly by queer-identified individuals–and digital environments.”


September 29, 2018

A Gay Couple of Penguins Were So Desperate in Having Their Offspring They Kidnapped A Baby Penguin From A Dad Not Paying Attention

Feathers were flying at one Danish zoo this week.
A same-sex penguin couple “kidnapped” a chick from another pair of birds within their home at Denmark’s Odense zoo this week.
The parenting scuffle went down while the baby penguin in question’s parents went for a swim in the creatures’ exhibit, Odense zookeeper Sandie Hedgegård Munck told Danish broadcaster DR.
According to Hedgegård Munck, the penguin pair decided the chick’s parents weren’t fit to look after the baby — and waited for the perfect moment to take action.
“The parents disappeared, and the kid was simply kidnapped,” the zookeeper told the outlet.
Gay penguin couple at Denmark's Odense Zoo
Gay penguin couple at Denmark's Odense Zoo
Hedgegård Munck places all blame for the animal miscommunication on the chick’s father. “I know that the female is very caring for the kid, and she is also very aggressive to us animal lovers if we get too close to the chick,” Hedgegård Munck explained. “I think the female had been out to get her bath, and then it had been the male’s turn to care for the kid. He may have then left, and then the [gay] couple had thought, ‘It’s pity, we’ll take it.'”
One day later, the chick’s biological parents wanted their baby back. In a video posted on the Odense Zoo’s Facebook page, the parents can be seen confronting the baby’s new adoptive family, who protectively nuzzled the chick in between their legs.
RELATED VIDEO: Adorable Penguin Gets A Wetsuit To Keep Warm

After their encounter turned physical, the chick was given back to his biological parents.
Nonetheless, the couple was rewarded for their paternal skills: They were given an egg from a female penguin that was unable to care for her child.
The happy pair aren’t the first same-sex penguin couple to want to start a family.
In 2004, the New York Times published a story about two chinstrap penguins who fell in love at the Central Park Zoo in Manhattan.
The penguins, called Roy and Silo, “exhibit what in penguin parlance is called ‘ecstatic behavior’: that is, they entwine their necks, they vocalize to each other, they have sex,” the New York Times wrote at the time.
Like the Danish couple, Roy and Silo were desperate to have a baby, so they put a rock in their nest and sat on it.
Chief keeper Rob Gramzay noticed this and gave them a real egg that needed parents. Gramzay explained that Roy and Silo eventually welcomed baby Tango, who they cared for until she was old enough to be on her own.
Roy and Silo remained together for six years, but later split up. However, their story was even turned into the book And Tango Makes Three by Peter Parnell and Justin Richardson.

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