Aquatic Gender Fluidity at Heal the Bay Aquarium - Atlas Obscura

Santa Monica, California

Aquatic Gender Fluidity at Heal the Bay Aquarium

Celebrate Pride Month with an after-hours evening of education, entertainment, and inspiring creatures!

Come enjoy cocktails, listen to speakers from the LGBT community, and learn how many of the species beneath our seas change sex, gender roles, and use forms of asexuality to survive at Heal the Bay Aquarium, a hidden gem located beneath the Santa Monica Pier.

Did you know that Semicossypuhus pulcher, better known as the California Sheephead fish, transitions from female to male over its lifetime? Or that anemones reproduce both sexually and asexually? These are just two of the many colorful creatures we’ll meet face to face while exploring the eclectic nature of biological life.

We’ll begin the night's festivities with an introduction of the Aquarium and the gender diversity of its local marine inhabitants by Associate Aquarium Director, Laura Rink, followed by a presentation by transgender speaker and educator, Michelle Dennis, who joins us on behalf of PFLAG. Michelle will educate us about understanding gender fluidity in our human world, as well as some recent transgender and gender non-conforming milestone events. Then guests will be free to mingle among the tanks and pools, where Aquarium staff will be on hand to discuss specific gender-fluid animals in intimate detail.

Our fluidity theme extends to the realm of libations as well! Each adult guest will receive one complimentary drink ticket to choose from a selection of specially-themed cocktails. Additional cocktails will be available to purchase at the cash bar throughout the evening.


Heal the Bay is an environmental nonprofit dedicated to making the coastal watersheds of Greater Los Angeles safe, healthy, and clean through science, education, community action, and advocacy. PFLAG is the largest organization in the United States dedicated to uniting LGBTQ people with families, friends, and allies. A portion of proceeds from this event will go toward supporting the missions of both organizations. 


  • Ages 13+ (all minors must be accompanied by a parent or guardian).
  • The Aquarium is located on the beach level of the Santa Monica Pier, directly beneath the carousel.
  • Event begins promptly at 7:00 pm. Please arrive on early to park and find your way to the Aquarium.
  • Please bring cash and your I.D. if you would like to drink, the bar is cash only and will require an ID check. And please be mindful of your drink intake among your fellow humans and animals.
  • Directions to the Aquarium and parking instructions can be found here.
  • Additional information for parking in Santa Monica can be found here.


Email Carlyle Coash at

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Advance tickets only. All sales final. No refunds or exchanges.