Meet Mmamoriri The Transgender Lioness

Phaylen Fairchild
3 min readJul 17, 2019

You’ve heard of gay penguins, but species throughout the world also count transgender members among them.

Meet Mmamoriri, the Lioness from the Okavango Delta in Botswana where she is at least one of 5 trans lionesses in the Delta who have elected to adopt the physical characteristics and mannerisms of the opposite gender.

At first, on observation, researchers thought Mmamoriri was a traditional male Lion. She has a beautiful full mane, a deeper, more masculine roar than her female counterparts and her behavior within the pride is undeniably a role exhibited traditionally by males, both dominance, leadership and protection.

Mmamoriri and a Male from her Pride.

Transgender Lions, both MtF and FtM have been witnessed in the wild across the Savannah

We often discuss homosexuality occurring in nature, but rarely do we take a look at the many species who embrace the transgender among them.

Marsh Harriers, a type of bird in most places around the world except North and South America, have been given some pretty offensive labels by journalists. “The Only Cross Dressing Bird Of Prey” was published by NewScientist; “Why some Birds of Prey Become Transvestites!” enthused LiveScience.com. In reality, the almost 40% of Marsh Harriers defy gender roles and decidedly live as the opposite gender. Some even find comfort displaying a more non-binary gender presentation where their behavior moves fluidly between being male and other times female. The biological males that are transgender go to great lengths to embody the female of their species. They mimic their movements, stay small in stature and in the more outstanding cases, even their plumage resembles that of the female Marsh Harrier than it does the male variation which boasts brighter, more brilliant colors of feathers.

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Phaylen Fairchild

Actor, Filmmaker, LGBTQ+ & Women’s Rights Activist All work copyright phaylens@gmail.com