First lesbian penguins in Ireland

Missy and Penelope courting

Gay boy penguins are more common than lesbian girl penguins. That is not to say that gay penguins are banal and mundane as the word common would imply, though if the shoe fits, etc.

Amongst male and female penguins, we don’t see the clear gender distinctions in


fabulousness that we do between other animals like the peacock and a peahen, for example. Males and female penguins look alike, which is likely a penguist thing of me to say. They probably look very different to each other. Point being, we cannot assume that it is gorgeous plumage or colorful disco bum that attracts males penguins to male penguins. But it does beg the question, why are there more gay penguins than lesbian penguins? Come on, girls! Invisibility is so Y1K.


Missy and Penelope courting

In an effort to take the bird by the bill, Missy and Penelope are waving the lesbian penguin flag. Lesguin? Pengubian? We need a catchier word because lesbian penguin is such a mouthful. Say it with me now…that’s what she said.

Kate Hall, head penguin keeper at Dingle Oceanworld in Ireland has reported the first known lesbian penguins at the aquarium. Six-year-old Missy and her sugar mama, seven-year-old Penelope, have been caught “exhibiting courting behaviour (as opposed to behavior without the u because when in Rome – or Ireland – etc.).

Surprisingly enough, courting behaviour between lesbian penguins has nothing to do with presenting your fish. Huh.

“The thing penguins do to show they like each other is they bow to each other and they are doing that,” says Hall. “When they come into breeding season, they do it to the penguin of their choice and it reinforces the bond between them.”

Surprisingly enough, when the lesbian suitor penguin bows down to the her suitee, the object of her affection does not respond with a series of vocalizations that mean, “While you’re down there…” Huh.

When you visit the Dingle Oceanworld website, you can read about all the penguins residing there. Missy is a “a fun loving girl, confident and brave” while Penelope “is a bit shy but absolutely loves swimming, preening, and keeping herself looking clean and beautiful.” No anthropomorphism going on there. Whatever their personality traits, the match seems to be a good one, probably because neither one of them hooked up with that tart, Pip who is “always in the thick of action and full of mischief.”

We certainly hope that their union is strong enough to withstand the challenges of long-term relationships. Central Park Zoo’s male penguins Roy and Silo parted after six years together when Silo took up with some crack whore named Scrappy, an interloper from SeaWorld. Roy and Silo’s daughter Tango has been with Tazuni, another lady penguin, for two breeding seasons, however. You go, Girls!

As for Missy and Penelope O’Penguin, I wish you all the best. Keep bowing down low and watch out for that Pip. Don’t let her give you her fish. She’ll probably give you crabs.

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