Some people won't even let birds love who they want without hurling homophobic insults at them. The Denver Zoo tried to correct them.
Trigger Warning: Homophobia
All over the world, people are celebrating Pride Month, an entire month dedicated to honoring the LGBTQ+ community. Just like in humans, our friends in the animal kingdom also experience homosexuality. To educate the world about that phenomenon, the Denver Zoo posted a video about a pair of coconut lorikeets - who just happened to be a same-sex couple. As you would expect, just as with humans, the birds quickly became the easy targets of homophobic troll attacks. Rather than sit back and watch the drama unfold, the Denver Zoo decided to clap back at all the haters and defend their feathered friends.
Uploading a video to Twitter, they stated, "If you thought our flamingos are cool, our coconut lorikeets are already dressed in their [rainbow/Pride Month] best! These birds are native to Southeast Asia, but you can find them in a couple of places at Denver Zoo, including our Lorikeet Adventure! Birdcare expert Anton tells us a little bit more about our same-sex lorikeet pair: Apollo and Trey." In the video, Anton describes what mating and friendship looks like in the world of coconut lorikeets. He explains, "So this is Trey on the right and Apollo on the left. They are coconut lorikeets and they are a same-sex pair of lorikeets."
If you thought our flamingos were cool, our coconut lorikeets are already dressed in their 🌈 best! These birds are native to Southeast Asia, but you can find them at our Lorikeet Adventure! Bird care expert Anton tells us about our same-sex lorikeet pair: Apollo and Trey. pic.twitter.com/ugSwMkB5AT— Denver Zoo (@DenverZoo) June 13, 2019
"Lorikeets [live] in a flock setting," he continues. "[They] have a lot of choice in who they want to be around. They have their family, friends, and choose whoever they want to be with as a mate. They definitely have birds that they don't like as well. Just like people." Chuckling, he adds, "There's a lot of drama that goes into all of that." The video in and of itself was pretty darn adorable. The birds can be seen munching on a delicious afternoon snack - teeny tiny worms, yum! - and jumping around their enclosure together. While they are named "coconut" lorikeets, they have colorful feathers, very much like a rainbow. Quite fitting for Pride Month!
We stan a beautiful, gay rainbow bird couple. 😍😍😍 pic.twitter.com/qi7Bq4i27B— Wynne Richport (@WynneRichport) May 24, 2020
Hi Kimberly, our lorikeets live in a large aviary where they have the freedom to choose with whom they do or don't associate with, with plenty of choices from either sex. We see this with social groups and with breeding pairs.— Denver Zoo (@DenverZoo) June 14, 2019
However, people are people and not everyone is kind. One Twitter user responded, "Act like brothers or sisters. However, if females were put in there then the situation would be a different story. Can we end this trash of same-sex and Pride garbage, please?" The only thing that's garbage is, obviously, this person's attitude. Another user posted, "Stop with your same-sex PC zoo advertisements. It’s a huge turn-off and I will cease money donations supporting the zoo. It’s irritating having to continually hear about same-sex gay rhetoric." Well, it's pretty irritating to have to deal with your homophobia as well, but you don't see us complaining! Though perhaps we should be.
And they were roommates. Jk they were boyfriends ❤️— Joji Stan 2.0 (@radicalrebeck) May 27, 2020
Thankfully, the Denver Zoo didn't stay silent and complicit. Taking a very factual and scientific approach, the zoo decided to reply to the haters (who honestly don't even deserve a response). They wrote, "We've gotten a lot of questions about our same-sex lorikeet couples! We don't assign sexuality to animals. We document what we see as we care for them. With these lorikeets, they perform courtship dances, preen each other, build nests, defend their territory, and copulate." That sounds absolutely adorable, doesn't it? People are out here policing humans' sexuality, we may as well save the birds from the same treatment. Thankfully, Trey and Apollo are able to love each other freely. One day, let's hope humans will be able to as well.