If you're an amateur naturalist, like me, you've probably spent some time in the library or online looking for sexual ambiguity in nature. After all, one of the biggest arguments against the biodiversity of sexual orientation is this: Natural Law.
The argument basically says nature dictates what is (and what isn't) natural. The basic premise for years had been that animals and plants have clearly established sexual roles and are completely hetero-oriented. And that was a basic premise of my high school science and biology classes.
Because my own experience doesn't bear this out, I've always known that science would soon catch up - destroying the faulty premise of hetero-only natural law. My friend Alex Johnson - a bona fide environmental scientist - also had the itch to find the versatility of nature.
In his fascinating piece for Orion Magazine, Alex writes:
Where is the line between what is Nature and what is Human? Do I spend equal times in the parking lot and the forest? Can I really say the parking lot is separate from the forest? What if I end up staying in the parking lot the whole time? What if it has been a long drive and I really have to pee?
The problem is, the Nature/Human split is not a split. It is a dualism. It is false.
I propose messing it up. I propose queering Nature.
Like I said: fascinating. Alex continues:
As it would happen, I'm queer. What I mean is this:
A) I am a man attracted to men. B) Popular culture has told me that men who are attracted to men are unnatural, and so C) if my culture is right, then I am unnatural. But D) I don't feel unnatural at all. In fact, the love I share with another man is one of the most comfortable, honest, real feelings I have ever felt. And so E) I can't help but believe that Nature, and the corresponding definition of "natural," betray reality. From my end of the rainbow, this thing we call Nature is in need of a good queering.
This is a great essay, beautifully written. It provides excellent points of thought and conversation about nature and sexuality.
And yes, it does talk about same-sex animal behavior.
Read the full piece here. Then forward it to your high school science teacher.