Z IS FOR

Zealots Where would our community be without zealots, those fanatical types whose devotion to a cause borders on the superhuman? On the one hand, we can thank zealots -“ in the form of never-say-die activists -“ for some of our biggest law reform wins. And we can rely on the same rabblerousing types to keep the fight alive today, often in entertaining fashion. But it cuts both ways, and another type of zealot -“ the one who invokes God in a wacky war on homosexuality -“ remains a pain for us queer folk. These blinkered religious types enjoy particular sway in the US, as their well-organised campaign for a constitutional gay marriage ban shows. Closer to home anti-gay zealotry is the bag of people like NSW politician Fred Nile and the prime minister John Howard, whose reference to the same-sex marriage push as minority fundamentalism last week was classic zealot-speak.

Zoos While pollies and the like get uptight about school reading lists, they’re surprisingly ignorant about a hotbed of same-sex sex seen by hundreds of under-agers on the north shore every day. The animals at Taronga are almost as queer as the fauna seen on Oxford St on any Saturday night. Some penguins are gay, like Roy and Silo who have been in a long-term relationship in Manhattan’s Central Park Zoo and the gay couples that a German zoo recently tried, unsuccessfully, to turn straight with Swedish temptresses. Boy swans regularly form relationships, and bonobos are the true sluts of the animal kingdom. The Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence run tours of Taronga at Mardi Gras, but not just to point out interesting homosexual behaviours. As Sister Mary Mary Quite Contrary told the Star in 2005, the zoo tours gave the animal inmates of the zoo a chance to learn about the ways they can be cooked, and the wonderful fashion garments that can be made from them.

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