Move over New York, the biggest Pride of the year is right in the city of London or, to be exact, ZSL London Zoo.
The flippin’ amazing mini-Pride saw zookeepers give a mini banner to the zoo’s resident same sex couple, Humbolt penguins, Ronnie and Reggie.
The banner, in a charity Stonewall-style font, read: ‘Some penguins are gay, get over it.’
The capital city zoo’s celebrations come ahead of its main Pride event held on 5 July, to coincide with the London Pride parade over the weekend.
All same sex penguin couples have an invite to the big day, according to zookeepers.
Penguins are said to mate for life, and same sex penguins are no exceptions. While some play it cool, others, like Ronnie and Reggie, have been together since 2014.
Moreover, the pair even adopted an egg abandoned by another couple a year later. Their baby chick, Kyton, until he fledged the nest.
Furthermore, Ronnie and Reggie share their home with 91 other penguins including fellow same sex couples Nadja and Zimmer and Dev and Martin.
As well as one-year-old Rainbow who hatched during Pride celebrations last year and will celebrate her first birthday this weekend.
‘We have a lot of stories to tell’
ZSL’s managing director, Richard Storton, told Gay Star News that the penguin Pride is all about teaching people about LGBTI topics. ‘It’s the first time ZSL has really stood behind LGBT Pride,’ he said.
‘The animal kingdom is a great way to think about it all a little differently. Some people think it’s not for them, but we have a lot of stories to tell.
‘Such as how some of our fish are trans – they frequently change gender – and that’s absolutely crucial to their survival and is true to their nature.
‘Being gay – being trans – is true to many species’ natures, and it’s a great story to tell though the animal kingdom. Especially as an attraction in London.’
Can penguins be gay?
For some people, ‘being gay,’ certainly isn’t as simple as ‘having gay sex.’ Sexual orientation and identity are not purely carnal; emotional and romantic connection plays a part, too, for many.
Many of us see ourselves as larger than simple biology. Identity is a social thing that we are self-aware of. Does this apply to penguins and other animals?
So, to ask if penguins can be gay in the human sense might be the wrong question here.
Why does it matter?
Many, many queerphobic people enforce the view that queerness is ‘unnatural.’ But the fact the queerness and same-sex-attraction is observable in the animal kingdom suggests otherwise.
As far as we know, homosexuality and queerness has been seen across more than 1,500 species.
But homophobia has only been observed only in one.