Breathtaking shadow puppet video shares tender gay giraffe love story with a powerful message

Shadow puppets of two gay giraffes rubbing necks

The Beijing Queer Chorus has released a breathtaking shadow-puppet video about the tender love story of two gay giraffes.

The group performed a song about a romantic relationship between two male giraffes and released the accompanying video on International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia (Sunday May 17).

Writing on Facebook, the Beijing Queer Chorus said: “The goal was to show how sexual diversity is included in nature and to provoke thought: if nature can respect different sexual preferences, then why can’t humans do the same?”

The song, entitled “Giraffe, the Sweet”, was also posted on Weibo.

“Besides giraffes, there are many gay couples among other animals such as penguins,” chorus member Yifan told the Global Times.

“If you can understand them with a curious and open mind, we hope more people can use this kind of understanding, open and friendly attitude to look upon differences in the human society.”

Gay giraffes have been the subject of some political controversy in the UK.

In October 2019, Labour’s then-shadow equalities minister, Dawn Butler MP, referenced gay giraffes in a PinkNews Awards speech calling for LGBT+ inclusive relationships education.

But almost immediately, a senior aide to then-Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn called Butler “homophobic” for her comments on gay giraffes.

The senior adviser on domestic policy to Corbyn said that male giraffes have sex with each other to assert dominance, which is “not gay behaviour”.

This led to a week of division within both the upper ranks of Labour and the national press, as journalists produced giraffe sexual behaviour experts to back Butler’s claim, which was then disputed by other giraffe experts.

Anyway. With their romantic love story of two male giraffes, the Beijing Queer Chorus has put the question of whether male giraffes can be gay to bed — hopefully for the last time.

Beijing Queer Chorus sing ode to gay giraffe love.

In the video, a male and a female giraffe approach a tree, using their long necks to eat leaves from the branches.

The female giraffe exits, stage left, and the male giraffe continues eating from the tree alone.

Then, from the same direction that the female giraffe exited, another male giraffe enters the scene. We know the genders of the giraffes, by the way, because the Venus or Mars symbol is displayed above the head of the giraffe when it enters the scene.

Soon, little hearts rise from the heads of both the gay giraffes. They lollop towards each other, and the subtitles — which show that the Beijing Queer Chorus has been singing “So long, so long” throughout the first two minutes of shadow puppetry — finally change.

Gay sex accounts for over 90 percent of sexual activities in male giraffes.

The Beijing Queer Chorus sings: “Your / My neck is so long,” as the two male giraffes move towards each other, hearts still rising from their heads.

“Your / My long, long neck bends,” the choir sings, as the giraffes nuzzle each other. There follows almost one whole minute of incredibly gay neck nuzzling, before the scene gradually fades to black with the giraffes outlined in a heart.

A factual section at the end of the shadow puppet video informs viewers animals don’t just form heterosexual couples – among giraffes, there are more gay couples than straight ones.

“Researchers found gay sex, rather than mating-driven sex, accounts for over 90 per cent of all observed sexual activities in male giraffes,” the video text continues.

“Young male adult giraffes would gently rub their necks along the partner’s body as foreplay.”