10 seriously queer animals – from gay dolphins to gender-switching lizards

Queer bearded dragon

Animals can most certainly be gay. From ostriches to penguins, we highlight some of the gayest animals out in the wild.

  • Ostriches

That’s right: ostriches have been known to engage in same-sex behaviour every now and then – and who could blame them?

  • Bearded dragons

Research suggests that some male bearded dragons can develop with a female brain, which can only mean one thing: trans dragons.

  • Bears

From brown bears to black bears, various species have been seen hunkering down for the winter with same-sex partners.

  • Chickens

Chickens also join this queer old list. In 2020, one viral Twitter thread even showed an owner sharing how she realised her two chickens were in a lesbian relationship during lockdown.

  • Penguins

These birds are famous for their same-sex relationships, with Humboldt penguins Ronnie and Reggie nestled up as sweethearts at London Zoo for many years. Likewise, New York City’s Central Park Zoo was home to Roy and Silo, both born in 1987, who were observed performing mating rituals by staff in 1998. One of the duo even attempted to hatch a rock – as if it was an egg.

  • Tortoises

Tortoises have been seen mating with members of the same sex, with one 186-year-old male having spent 26 years with a fellow male – instead of breeding with a female.

  • Dolphins

Male bottlenose dolphins have been known to mate with both males and females. They’ve been known to be exclusively homosexual, too.

  • Vampire bats

Blood-sucking fiction is wildly popular among the LGBTQ+ community (Buffy The Vampire Slayer, anyone?), so it’s fitting that vampire bats have been recorded getting cosy with members of the same sex – including grooming and licking.

  • Spiders

Some areas of research have claimed that homosexuality in arachnids is linked to being more active, a better forager, or a better competitor. Slay.

  • Killer whales

Bisexuality is also relatively common among killer whales, with males often enjoying relationships with other males – sometimes even more than with their female counterparts.