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Pride Month 2024: A Celebration of Queer Ecology

Anyone who claims that being gay is unnatural has never met a Canada Goose. Or a bat, raccoon, porcupine, squirrel, bear, deer, fox, egret, cowbird, bluebird, grouse, swallow, gull, swan, butterfly, skink, or turtle. Homosexual behaviour has been scientifically documented in over 1,500 animals, including more than 260 mammal species and 130 birds. To say nothing of the countless animals and plants that change sexes over the course of their lives (sometimes more than once). For much of its history, western science was reluctant to discuss the diversity of gender and sexuality in nature. Scientists omitted data from papers, fearing that they’d be perceived as Queer themselves for simply reporting their findings. In many cases biologists attempted to explain away the behaviour they saw, dismissing it as a mistake on the animal’s part, or behaviour like dominance displays, a form of greeting, or social bonding. Any excuse that might preserve the status quo. Thankfully, over the past 25 years, the field of Queer Ecology has developed rapidly, challenging outdated, heteronormative assumptions about the natural world.





Today, many environmental organizations are championing human diversity alongside biodiversity. The Oak Ridges Moraine Land Trust is excited to announce its first-ever Pride Month programming for 2024, including a guided nature walk and Queer ecology webinar. These events were created for and by members of the LGBTQ2S+ community, but everyone is welcome to respectfully take part. As an organization, the safety of all participants is our top priority.






So, join us to learn how male Hooded Warbler couples raise young together. Hear how Jack-in-the-Pulpit and Red Maple can change their sex. Discover how some birds are born half-male and half-female. Be prepared to have your view of nature changed forever!






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