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Whales. Homosexual interactions are an integral part of male Orca social life. Males of all ages often spend the afternoons in sessions of courtship, affectionate and sexual behaviours with one another. Some males have favourite partners with whom they interact year after year, while others interact with a variety of different partners.[i]
Female Grizzly Bears sometimes bond with each other and raise their young together as a single family unit. The two mothers become inseparable companions for a year, traveling and feeding together as they share the parenting of their cubs. Young male black bears sometimes mount their siblings, male and female. Intersexual or hermaphrodite Black and Grizzly Bears occur in some populations. These individuals are genetically female and have female internal reproductive organs, combined in various degrees with male external genitalia.[i]
Cock-of-the-rock. Male birds engage in ritual dancing ceremonies to entertain both males and females. Catriona Sandilands comments, “Read the cock-of-the-rock as a drag queen both to call into question the ‘naturalness’ of any particular sexuality or gender, and to force us to consider the situatedness of all interpretive practices around ‘nature.’” [i]
Sheep. Same-sex courtship and sexual activity occur routinely among all male Bighorn and Thinhorn Sheep. Female Mountain Sheep also occasionally participate in sexual activity with one another, including licking one another’s genitals and mounting. So pervasive and fundamental is same-sex courtship and sexuality that females “mimic” males in order to attract a heterosexual mate.[i]
Dolphins. In both Bottlenose Dolphins and Spinner Dolphins, animals of the same sex frequently engage in affectionate and sexual activities with one another. Sexual activity between female dolphins includes stimulation of the genital area by flukes or flippers, and a kind of “oral sex” in which one animal stimulates the other’s genitals with its beak. Sometimes female Spinner Dolphins swim together while one inserts her fin into the other’s genital slit.[i]
Elk, Wapiti, Red Deer : Homosexual mounting occurs in both sexes outside the breeding season. Males masturbate by rubbing their antlers against vegetation.[i]
Geese. In Canada Geese, two birds of the same sex sometimes form a pair-bond. Both male and female homosexual pairs occur, and often persist for many years.[i]
Seals. Homosexual activity is prevalent in male Harbour Seals. Two males embrace and mount each other in the water, continuously twisting and writhing about one another while maintaining full-body contact. [i]
Jays. Photo shows two female scrub jays sitting on a nest, with a male jay looking on.
Ducks. Homosexual pair-bonds occur in both male and female Mallard Ducks. Male Mallard that have been raised together frequently develop homosexual bonds of great strength and longevity. When large numbers of such birds are present, they often form their own groups, known as “clubs.” [i]
Ravens. Female homosexual pairs occur in Ravens. Birds in same-sex pairs engage in intense courtship activity similar to heterosexual pairs, such as mutual preening and courtship-feeding.[i]
Tapeworm. The broad fish tapeworm may grow to 35 feet and live for 10 years inside a person’s intestine. Each mature segment comes complete with male and female sex organs resembling Japanese characters.
Wolves. Among Wolves homosexual mounting occurs frequently when the breeding female is in heat. Non-breeding animals help the breeding female raise her young — feeding, guarding and baby-sitting them.[i]
Worms . Individual worms typically have both male and female organs. To mate they align their bodies with a partner and cross-fertilize one another simultaneously.[i]
For documentation and more information see:
Biological Exuberance: Animal Homosexuality and Natural Diversity, New York : St. Martin ’s Press, 1999
Catriona Sandilands, “Lavender’s Green? Some Thoughts on Queer(y)ing Environmental Politics.” “Queer Nature,” special issue of
UnderCurrents, York University Faculty of Environmental Studies, May 1994.
Nature Canada, Autumn 2001 (p. 27).