I’m Obsessed With These Queer-Supporting Millipedes in SF

The San Francisco invertebrates in question each have over 400 legs — and they’re putting all those little feet down against homophobia.

Few things in life bring me as much predictable joy as a stroll (or scroll) through a zoological facility (and its social media accounts). It’s an experience rife with both biophilia and natural wonder; it’s also an excuse to fawn over, say, large African wildlife without the need to bust out one’s passport.

An often overlooked gem in any zoo is the reptile and insect houses — bastions for ostensibly creepy-crawly ectotherms society has otherwise cast aside as unfavorable to more warm-blooded beings. But what those indoor exhibits contain are nothing short of alien-like creatures that even James Cameron couldn’t render into worthy CGI animations.

Case in point: Giant African millipedes are simultaneously mesmerizing and phallic. At the San Francisco Zoo, these elongated arthropods — the largest species of millipede alive today — are also queer allies. 

“Our Giant African millipedes are celebrating Pride Month with this luscious rainbow-themed presentation made up of strawberries, sweet potato, carrot, mango, lettuce, blueberries, and beets,” reads an Instagram caption for a post showing two of the zoo’s millipedes noshing on the colorful medley. “In the wild, millipedes are important detritivores, feeding on a variety of fungi and plant material. They are important for transforming dead organic matter into rich forest soil.”

The post quickly garnered nearly 1,900 likes, becoming the zoo’s most popular IG uploaded this year. Of course, the homophobic and anti-queer comments followed; one user wrote “June is for Jesus” in response to the zoo honoring Pride Month, while another user noted that the zoo’s “political” instance on human equality means that we, as a society, “are all screwed.”

Thankfully, the better side of the internet rallied behind the zoo and quickly denounced those comments for the absurdity that they are.

(Like babes, they’re just insects eating a well-balanced meal. What if they’re gay or allies? Who cares? Just let them vibe, they’re not causing traffic.)

“Happy Pride,” the zoo concluded in its caption. Happy Pride, indeed.

Here’s you’re a reminder that homosexuality has been observed in hundreds of animal species… but only one of them has expressed homophobia. Want to take a guess which one that is? (Us. It’s us, FYI.)

Feature image: Courtesy of Instagram via [at]sfzoo

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