Pretty Flamingo

by Jon Mandle on May 22, 2007

I thought this news item involved several of those colorful British idioms that I never quite get exactly. But no – these are real birds.

A pair of gay flamingos have adopted an abandoned chick, becoming parents after being together for six years, a British conservation organisation said Monday.



Steve LaBonne 05.22.07 at 3:31 pm

Thank God Jerry Falwell didn’t live to see such immorality! ;)


Ivo 05.22.07 at 9:27 pm

Quite frankly, I find the practice, quite widespread in the mass media and manifested in the article, sticking human socio-cultural labels to animals superficial and misleading. Do our cultural norms, transitory themselves, apply to the animal kingdom? Are Flamingos really “gay”? By the same token, isn’t more appropriate to describe them as “bi-“? Or, wouldn’t be in fact more correct to say that in the case of Flamingos the basic social network – living in pairs – is apparently far more important that the actual sex of the birds?

Sure, “Gay Flamingos” sound more sensational and loaded but it obscure a much more interesting observation. There is no equivalence to Flamingos pairing mode in contemporary Western culture. Actually, in Western society the pairing mode works exactly the other way around – sex and gender divide, and come first in relative importance; living as a social unit lags far behind.

Please excuse me for my English, it’s not my mother tongue.


bad Jim 05.23.07 at 8:31 am

Actually, bird sex seems to be rather hit or miss. Ducks aside, if fucking is nothing more than cloaca to cloaca, it’s questionable whether birds can ever realize they’re gay.

Flamingos, though, are always flamingly so.


Jacob Christensen 05.23.07 at 1:12 pm

@bad jim: Could this explain why Donald Duck doesn’t wear any trousers?

Anyway, if we leave aside the fact that Carlos and Fernando are a couple of pinkos, then there must be some form of advantage from being in a same-sex partnership compared to being a single flamingo if the phenomenon is not uncommon.

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