Famous Animals Who Are Queer Icons Because We Said So

Last weekend, Flaco the Eurasian eagle-owl, who originally made headlines after escaping the Central Park Zoo, sadly died after colliding with a building, prompting an outpouring of love for the bold bird who could not be caged. Flaco’s death inspired me to put together a list of famous animals who have made headlines through the years who are definitely queer icons. Here we go!


Flaco, Eurasian Eagle-Owl

Flaco,The Central Park Escaped Eurasian Eagle Owl,Central Park

Photo by Sheryl Checkman / 500px via Getty Images

He’s an abolitionist king! He’s a queer activist who believes all people should be free. Down with the carceral state! RIP to a legend!


Pizza Rat, Rat

pizza rat carries a slice of pizza

That’s a dirtbag butch if I’ve ever seen one. I just know he’s got a hot high femme gf waiting at home. Perhaps that’s who he’s bringing the pizza to!


Fritz & Fiona, Hippos

Fiona the hippo in water

Photo by Jason Whitman/NurPhoto via Getty Images

These Cincinnati Zoo icons are definitely queer siblings, and everyone loves queer siblings!


30-50 Feral Hogs

Feral pigs feeding on a forest, Centre Corse, Corte, Haute-Corse, Corsica, France

Photo by Santiago Urquijo via Getty Images

Does anyone else think about this viral tweet regularly? Anyway, this is a polycule.


OR-7, Wolf

A close up of a gray wolf's face

Photo by Julian Stratenschulte/picture alliance via Getty Images

This is a queer person who gave themself an obscure name. They’re a bit of an introvert, but they’re also misunderstood.


The Gay Penguins and the Lesbian Penguins from the Dutch Zoo

Two penguins

Photo by Taylan Gökalp/picture alliance via Getty Images

Who can forget the time a gay penguin couple stole eggs from a lesbian penguin couple?! Listen, who are we to deny the fact of intracommunity LGBTQ squabbles 😔


128 Grazer, Bear

Grazer 128 on a rock, surrounded by waterfall

Photo by Mark Kostich via Getty Images

She was the winner of the famous Fat Bear Week competition for 2023! She’s a single mother! Nothing but respect for my fat mama bear!


Wendy, Sea Lion

a sea lion on a pool chair

Wendy went viral when she smoothly stole a human man’s pool chair. QUEEN SHIT!


Bounce, Dog

Bounce the dog being interviewed on the news

One of the stars of my wife’s pinned tweet, Bounce was once interviewed on the news. He’s a very distinguished journalist who deserves a GLAAD Award.


The Baby Owls Who Look Like Aliens

baby owls standing up in attic

These are girlfriends who insist they don’t look alike even though they totally do look alike.


Shoutout some other favorite queer-coded animals in the comments!

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Kayla Kumari Upadhyaya

Kayla Kumari Upadhyaya is the managing editor of Autostraddle and a lesbian writer of essays, short stories, and pop culture criticism living in Orlando. She is the assistant managing editor of TriQuarterly, and her short stories appear or are forthcoming in McSweeney's Quarterly Concern, Joyland, Catapult, The Offing, and more. Some of her pop culture writing can be found at The A.V. Club, Vulture, The Cut, and others. You can follow her on Twitter or Instagram and learn more about her work on her website.

Kayla has written 814 articles for us.

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