You see these two male lions? You see how one is behind the other while the other assumes a certain laying-down position? Yup, that’s exactly where I’m going with this. Here’s why:
In fifth grade every class in my elementary school had someone come into the class and divide up girls and boys. In each respective room, an instructor in what to expect with puberty and sex ed taught us some of the finer points about growing up. My memory is pretty fuzzy about what was actually taught to us. There was probably some really vague diagram of the vas deferens and the testes, which everyone laughed at, but nothing out of the ordinary. The girls had quite the show, I remember, as their instructor went nuts and started sticking pads all over her body to show they could stick to anything. But me being me, I of course had to ask something a bit out of the box.
My little fifth grade self used to jump out of my seat when the teacher wasn’t looking and roll around on the ground to the laughter of my peers, then jump back into my seat before the teacher caught me. It was a great game I played and really, fuck it, I aced my state and capital city test so I deserved it. That was really just the tip of the iceberg and my case in point is what I asked that day the sex ed guy came into class. After he was done giving an awkward and somewhat embarrassing talk to a room full of prepubescent boys, I shot my hand up and asked a simple but genuinely curious question.
“Are there any gay lions? Humans can be gay, but what about gay lions? You never hear about them.” It was actually a rather prolific question if you step back and think. Of course we’re concerned about homosexuality in our own species but as soon as other species are having consensual, homosexual sex we kind of chalk it up to some primal and under-evolved biological fluke. Well, the room may have laughed at the question then, and my instructor was literally speechless at the harmless question, but I’ve finally got my answer.
Thanks to wikipedia (and buzzfeed) there is a listing of the “25 gayest animals.” Among them are the African lion, “Male lions pair-bond for a number of days and initiate homosexual activity with affectionate nuzzling and caressing, leading to mounting and thrusting. About 8% of mountings have been observed to occur with other males.”
BOOM! it’s taken about 12 years or so but I’ve finally got my answer. Thank you, internetz.