If you’re gay, you might already know your giraffe from your Canadian goose, your mime from your monocle. But what about all the other animals in the Kingdom Animalia? As it turns out, a lot of animals exhibit homosexual behavior. From the tiniest insects to the largest predators, same-sex interaction is quite common among animals.
Some of it has to do with courtship or mating games, but much of it is simply about affection and bonding. Researchers have been documenting same-sex relationships between animal species for a long time. In 1911, explorer George Murray Levick observed homosexual activity between Adelie penguins in Antarctica. Unfortunately, his findings were repressed because of conservative social attitudes at the time.
Nowadays, scientists aren’t shy about the phenomenon, and a whole new generation of research has been documenting similar interactions in the animal world. From elephants to dolphins, many animals exhibit homosexual behavior for a variety of reasons.
Besides the fact that it’s pretty adorable, this also has some practical implications. It means that the prize ram you spend a fortune on may only want to have sex with other rams, for example. Of course, the same thing could be said for female sheep, bearded vultures and more. The bottom line is that animals in the wild display a beautiful breadth of sexual behavior, and we should celebrate it just as much as we do humans’ sexuality.