Top 20 LGBTQ+ Animals Who Reached Worldwide Fame

During the past few decades, there has been major progress in the social acceptance and visibility of sexual diversity. But you would be surprised to know that not only are there LGBTQ+ humans but LGBTQ+ animals as well! Homosexual behaviors have been recorded in no less than 450 species of animals, and some of them have even become famous! Here’s a list of the 20 most famous LGBTQ+ animals in history!

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#20. Bull, The Cat

In 2014, a seven-year-old Nigerian cat named Bull found himself catapulted into the limelight when his owner kicked him out of the house after finding out he was gay. Allegedly, he had been found mating with male cats on numerous occasions, and his homophobic owners decided that such behavior was inadmissible.

Photo: Courtesy of Philadelphia Magazine

Bull’s story spread throughout the world and he was labeled as the world’s first famous gay cat by The Huffington Post. But, jokes aside, this story also shed light on the fact that millions of LGBTQ+ people all over the world face similar forms of discrimination just for not being heterosexual.

#19. Bruiser, The Dog

Of course, there had to be a famous gay dog too! The 2019 TV movie My Gay Dog and Other Animals proved the world that many dogs may display homosexual behaviors as well, and guess what? Some gay dogs have reached worldwide fame, just like our cat friend Bull.

Photo: Courtesy of Today Show

If you’ve ever watched the all-time favorite comedy film Legally Blonde 2, you probably remember that Reese Witherspoon’s character, Elle Woods, owned a dog named Bruiser, who loved to mount other male dogs. Luckily, Elle was way more open-minded and pro-rights than Bull’s former owner!

#18. The Bellbird From New Zealand

In 2012, scientists were shook when a conservationist discovered what seemed to be a gender non-binary bellbird in a wildlife sanctuary in New Zealand. The Dominion Post picked up this piece of news and soon, the whole world was talking about this beautiful songbird.

Photo: Courtesy of SciTechDaily

This gorgeous chanteuse featured both male and female plumage and gave out both male and female calls to potential mating partners. After that, other birds from different species but with similar traits have been discovered, although scientists haven’t come to an agreement whether they should be considered as “non-binary gendered”.

#17. Clownfishes

Just a few months after the non-binary songbird from New Zealand became the center of attention, scientists discovered other species which also seemed to share features of both genders, and here’s another amazing example.

Photo: Courtesy of PinkNews

Scientists discovered that in some clownfish colonies (if you’re not sure what a clownfish is, they’re the ones from Finding Nemo!) when the female matriarch dies, the largest male of the group may sometimes become the female that replaces her. The animal kingdom really does work in mysterious ways!

#16. The Albatrosses Of Dunedin

During the early 2000s, scientists were shocked when they discovered that a couple of female albatrosses were engaging in mating rituals near Dunedin, New Zealand. This lesbian bird couple decided to take things to the next level and began raising a baby together.

Photo: Courtesy of The New York Times

Locals took this news quite well, to the point in which Dunedin’s tourism board held a public contest to pick the name of the lesbian couple’s baby. Just a couple of years later, a scientist discovered another lesbian couple of albatrosses in Hawaii.

#15. Romeo And Juliet, The Swans

In 2005, two swans who lived in Boston’s Public Garden began watching over a giant egg. Everyone assumed they were the parents, so they named them Romeo and Juliet. But after a few weeks, the animal caretakers realized that neither of them had fertilized the egg. Can you guess why?

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When one of the caretakers approached the swans, he realized they were both females! They were just a modern lesbian couple, and as of 2019, they are still together. But these gals weren’t the only lesbian swans to reach fame. For an even more unusual case, slide to #11!

#14. Dashik And Yehuda, The Vultures

In 1998, a group of tourists where visiting the Jerusalem Biblical Zoo, when they realized that two male vultures named Dashik and Yehuda were mating. Once they finished, they built a nest together, proving that they were willing to take things to the next level.

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The zookeepers decided to give these two an egg, just to see how they would react. Surprisingly, they incubated it and then raised the chick together. Sadly, they broke up three years later, and Dashik was soon sent to a different zoo. In 2016, zookeepers at the Amsterdam Zoo and the Berlin Zoo also discovered male vultures mating.

#13. Buddy And Pedro, The Penguins

Somewhere around 2011, the Toronto Zoo was under the spotlight after its staff made the controversial decision of separating Buddy and Pedro, two male penguins who had paired ever since their arrival at the zoo.

Photo: Courtesy of Topix

While different LGBTQ+ news outlets in North America protested against this decision, labeling it as an “anti-gay” move, the zookeepers defended themselves by claiming they were just trying to protect the survival of the species. The international pressure proved effective, as the zookeepers were left with no choice but to reunite these two lovebirds.

#12. Benjy, The Bull

In 2013, a group of farmers in Ireland realized that one of their bulls named Benjy was gay. One year later, when animal rights and LGBTQ+ rights activists found out that Benjy would be sent to slaughter, they initiated a global Crowfunder campaign to save him and pay for his transport to an animal sanctuary.

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The campaign was a success, and Benjy’s story hit the silver screen with the release of the documentary One: Benjy the Little Gay Bull. Do you know who became one of the main donators? Sam Simon, the co-creator of the classic animated show The Simpsons!

#11. Thomas, The Goose And Henry, The Swan

Believe it or not, Romeo and Juliet weren’t the only celebrity LGBT swan couple to reach the headlines. Somewhere in the late ’70s, local residents in a rural town in New Zealand realized that a goose named Thomas and a swan named Henry, both native to the Katipi lagoon, had hooked up.

Photo: Courtesy of PinkNews 

These two stayed together for a whopping 18 years, which is a lot even with human standards! But during the early 90s, Henry decided to move on and find himself a female partner. He paired with a swan named Henrietta and they had 68 children together. But what about Thomas?

#10. Henry And Henrietta, The Polyamorous Swans

Henry and Henrietta proved they were ahead of their time as they decided to open their relationship and ask Henry to be their third. Therefore, these two swans and this goose became the first pansexual and polyamorous interspecies couple.

Photo: Courtesy of Topix

Interestingly, nearly 25% of all black swans display homosexual behaviors, but what struck scientists the most was the fact that Henry had decided to pair with a bird of a different species. And that, my friend, is something you don’t see every day.

#9. Daz And Chip, The Otters

Are you ready for the world’s most heart-breaking gay animal love story ever? In 1995, two otters from a New Zealand zoo that went by the name Daz and Chip began mating, and they eventually became a monogamous gay couple.

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They were together for a decade and a half until Daz passed away as a result of heart failure in 2010. But it seems that this was too much for Chip to take, and he died only an hour later.

#8. Lance Bass And Freddie Mercury, The Flamingos

In 2019, zookeepers at Denver Zoo made public through a Facebook post that two of its flamingos were in a gay “relationship”. Their names are Lance Bass and Freddie Mercury, and they began mating nearly one year ago.

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But not only are these birds gay, but one of them is an immigrant since Lance was born in Chile. This proves that love knows nothing about sex, gender, or nationality. Is it me, or should these two have their own movie on Netflix?

#7. Silo And Roy, The Penguins

Curiously enough, Buddy and Pedro (see #13!) weren’t the only gay celebrity penguins in history. Over one decade before, in 1998, Silo and Roy, who lived together in New York City’s Central Park Zoo, began mating. However, unlike Buddy and Pedro, their story didn’t have a happy ending.

Photo: Courtesy of Queerty

At first, it seemed that Silo and Roy wanted to take things to the next level and become parents, as they made several failed attempts of stealing eggs from their straight friends. Thus, the zookeepers gave them a baby penguin for them to co-parent together. However, in 2005, these two fellas took separate paths after Roy began mating with a female penguin named Scrappy. For yet another penguin-related story, slide to #6!

#6. Missy And Penelope, The Penguins

While there have been several cases of male penguins displaying homosexual behaviors in different parts of the world, matings between female penguins have seldom been recorded. However, in 2014, Missy and Penelope became the first openly lesbian penguin couple that we know of.

Photo: Courtesy of Topix

Missy and Penelope lived in an Irish aquarium named Dingle Oceanworld, and they have engaged in mating rituals from 2014 onwards. Ever since then, other lesbian penguin couples have come forward, the most famous one being Thema and Louise, who raised a chick in a zoo in New Zealand in 2017.

#5. Ronnie And Reggie, The Penguins

OK, we promise this is the last penguin story! It’s just that they’re all too good to be true! Ronnie and Reggie started mating in 2014, but unlike Silo and Roy, they’ve stayed together ever since. In fact, they even had their own special party thrown during 2014’s World Pride Month. Beat that!

Photo: Courtesy of Topix

Ronald and Reggie, who live in the London Zoo, are still together up to this day. They are the second longest-lasting LGBT couple in the animal kingdom, only rivaled by a couple of gay elephants, of whom you’ll find out about in #1!

#4. Lonesome George, The Turtle

Lonesome George was a Galápagos giant tortoise who died in 2012 at the age of 100. He was discovered in 1972, and ever since then, scientists have made countless efforts of having George mate with other females of his kind.

Photo: Courtesy of Topix

Nevertheless, never has he wanted to mate with any female tortoise, leading the world to believe that he was asexual or simply not interested in females. This unique tortoise was featured in the nature film The Loneliest Animals.

#3. The Lions From Kenya

In 2017, the world was revolutionized when a wildlife photographer published a picture of two male lions mounting each other somewhere in Kenya. No-one could believe that the animal kingdom’s most famous patriarchs were breaking the rules of heteronormativity.

Photo: Courtesy of The Independent

Unfortunately, this news triggered several homophobic comments, and a Kenyan government official stated that these lions were “crazy” and possessed by “demons” and had probably copied such behaviors from gay tourists. Someone, please teach this man a bit of sex education!

#2. Aybo And Thabo, The Gorillas

In 2018, scientists from all over the world were shook when they found out that a pair of male gorillas who lived in the Rotterdam Zoo had become sexual partners. But not only where they both males… but also brothers!

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Trust me, this is not just a rumor, since a wildlife photographer actually managed to catch siblings Aybo and Thabo going at it. According to the photographer, they even attempted different “positions”. You go, guys!

#1. Ninio, The Elephant

Ninio the elephant began displaying homosexual behaviors ever since the age of 10, but in 2009 he became the talk of the town after he was purchased by a zoo in Poznan, Poland. Ninio’s sexuality became a matter of international controversy, as many people began criticizing him for his alleged homosexuality.

Photo: Courtesy of Gay Star News

In fact, a Polish politician from the far-right party Law and Justice publicly claimed that “We didn’t pay 37 million zlotys ($11 million) for the largest elephant house in Europe to have a gay elephant live there“. Despite such despicable expressions of homophobia, the zoo welcomed Ninio and accepted his homosexuality. He even partnered with another male elephant and they’ve been together for nearly a decade!

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    Hernán Tamargo

    Teacher. Political Scientist. Writer. Feminist... and much more!

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