Sydney’s gay penguins marched in their own WorldPride parade


Sea Life Sydney and gay penguins Sphen and Magic for WorldPride
Image: Sea Life Sydney

Sydney’s world-famous gay penguin power couple Sphen and Magic have marked WorldPride with a Pride March across their very own Sydney Harbour Bridge.

The same-sex gentoo penguin pair made global headlines in 2018 when staff at Sydney’s Sea Life aquarium announced the monogamous males had paired up. The two penguins have fostered two chicks since then.

Now as Sydney WorldPride and Mardi Gras take over Sydney, Sphen and Magic and their aquarium neighbours have proudly marched over a rainbow-adorned city skyline of the Sydney Harbour Bridge, Opera House and Sydney Tower Eye.

Penguin Keeper, Alie Selvaraj said, “The team at SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium proudly supports and celebrates the right for everyone, including our penguins, to express themselves freely.

“Our gorgeous king and gentoo penguins are so full of individual personality and are fitting representatives of love taking many forms in the animal kingdom.

Sea Life Sydney and gay penguins Sphen and Magic for WorldPride
Image: Sea Life Sydney

“They are the perfect ambassadors for our fun, Sydney WorldPride tribute!”

The pair marched with polyamorous, bisexual king penguin throuple Neptune, Arthur and Aurora and new king penguin couple Forrest and Nog.

Sea Life’s rainbow flag-adorned city skyline will be in place in the sub-Antarctic penguin enclosure until the end of the festival.

Gay penguin enclosure at Sea Life Sydney aquarium celebrates WorldPride
Image: Sea Life Sydney

Gay penguins Sphen and Magic are foster dads to two penguin chicks

Same-sex penguin pair Sphen and Magic went viral in 2018 when staff at Sydney’s Sea Life Aquarium announced the monogamous males had paired up.

The duo made headlines around the world after hatching two chicks together at the Darling Harbour aquarium.

The first chick they hatched was named Lara by their keepers. Last year, they fostered a second egg which they hatched in November 2020. The aquarium team named that chick Clancy.

Same-sex penguin pairings are surprisingly common.

Sea Life Sydney and gay penguins Sphen and Magic for WorldPride
Image: Sea Life Sydney

During the aquarium’s 2018 breeding season, the staff saw the gay penguins bowing to each other – a common way of showing love.

The two males also presented stones to each other – another form of affection – and built an ice pebble nest together for breeding.

Gentoo penguins typically lay multiple eggs but can often only care for one. So Sea Life Sydney staff gave spare eggs to Sphen and Magic, which the pair twice cared for and hatched.

Read their full story:

Love in a cold climate: Sphen & Magic, Gay Gentoo Penguins.

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Jordan Hirst
Jordan Hirst

Jordan Hirst is an experienced journalist and content creator with a career spanning over a decade at QNews. Since 2012, the Brisbane local has covered an enormous range of topics and subjects in-depth affecting the LGBTIQA+ community, both in Australia and overseas. Today, the Brisbane-based journalist covers everything from current affairs, politics and health to sport and entertainment.

QNews, Brisbane Gay, App, Gay App, LGBTI, LGBTI News, Gay Australia

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