I went ahead and saw The Shape of Water the other week and it seemed significant to me. Here we have a cast of protagonists: the first, a disabled individual, specifically a mute, talked down to for her disability, her humanity undermined, and her abilities underestimated. (And further someone whose socioeconomic class is discriminated against. Second, a gay man, whose social life and freedom are restricted for his sexuality. Third, a black woman, whose race is her primary limiter. And then fourth, we have a nonhuman, someone presented as an animal - who for all intents and purposes is an animal - who is the subject of all the injustices animals are often subject to.
And we have all of these people rising above, proving that they are worth more than they are given by heteronormative society in ability, intelligence, strength, and the ability to love. The Shape of Water is one of those unfortunate films that receives critical acclaim while being generally ignored in box offices, only playing in select theatres, and not even considered for annual awards (although it did take home one for its soundtrack). But if you want to point to Hollywood making one more step towards acknowledging and respecting human-animal relationships, this is a good one. Indeed, this is the first time I have seen a film glorify an explicitly sexual relationship between a human and something non-human very clearly pre-linguistic (at least expressively: he only makes single word utterances through ASL). Further, even when the protagonist describes this relationship in a rather explicit manner, no one takes issue with its interspecies nature.
Slowly, very slowly, zoophilia is peeking its way into accessible media and being portrayed as something beautiful, even if strange, and one more victim of a judgemental society. Go support this film if you get the chance, it's certainly worth it. Wonderful soundtrack, very daring depiction, well paced and with very real and flushed out characters that you can take home emotionally with you. Even for non zoos, of course, enjoy falling into, and even in love with, its weirdness.