A Pit Bull, A Christian, and a Lesbian Walk Into a Bar

rainbow paws

What would happen if a Pit Bull, a Christian, and a lesbian walked into a bar? It sort of sounds like the set up for an off-color joke and it’s pretty much what it felt like when this tweet crossed my feed:

“This has been an historic and momentous amount of work involved, started for 1 little disabled girl’s dog.”

In that moment, I wasn’t labeled, the Pit Bull wasn’t labeled, and the Christian woman wasn’t labeled: It was just a tweet acknowledging a pure love of a shared interest involving dogs.

Stereotyping Sucks

The town of Moreauville, Louisiana, banned all Pit Bull Terriers and Rottweilers as of October 13, 2014. In the order, these two particular breeds could no longer reside with the pet parents who owned them. If not, confiscation and “further disposition” of the dogs would occur should pet parents ignore the ban.

Breed-specific legislation targets many areas across this nation (and world, for that matter), but this particular town caught the attention of international media.

According to KALB-TV’s website, one of the pit bulls in question is the support dog for a young woman who wears a halo (and now even the kind we cannot see)  and requires the use of a wheelchair. The dog, Zeus, alerts the girl’s mom when she has seizures during the night.

The dog never received complaints, never bit anyone, and took the family (and the village) by surprise. Even the White House says breed-specific legislation is a bad idea.

Thankfully, on December 1st a hearing took place to revisit the law. The decision was overturned and youngster reunited with her loving dog.

pit bull
courtesy KALB-TV

We’re All Strangers Online

Sometimes it feels like we are all completely intersecting on the Internet, doesn’t it? And other times it’s as if we are all strangers and have no idea who the person is behind 140 characters.

I know because most folks who identify in their online profile as a “proud Christian woman” don’t particularly identify with me, she who came out after 20 years of being in.

If you read this blog regularly, the “in” part refers to hiding the one part of my identity that is as much a part of me as breathing: Who I am born to love. I am married to a woman.

dog_two_mommies
So say the word of Dog.

I want to celebrate and think that people are open minded and that the world is changing. I want to cling onto 140 characters when shared in the name of dog. I want to feel proud that someone I don’t know shared a sentiment about a dog who had the eyes of the world cast upon him: And then was set free.

You see, the Christian woman included me in her tweet because I’d been blogging about the story. I don’t identify as lesbian in my social media because I prefer to identify as a human being who loves dogs. I don’t want to have a label slapped on me any more than an innocent dog wants a label on their identity. And I am certain the Christian woman doesn’t only want to be known as a Christian, despite showcasing the fact in her profile.

Would she still tweet me and include my name if she knew my societal-given label? Does it matter when we all have the same interest of a dog in mind?

Some things shouldn’t matter, yet it breaks my heart time and again that they do. In that moment, for those characters, the celebration of a dog’s freedom is all that mattered.

the end

I Didn’t Make the Cut

With that in mind, what if someone you knew online for a number of years and who:

  • Blogged for you;
  • Asked you for advice on dog party games;
  • Interacted with you on social media;
  • But whom you never met….

Suddenly unfollowed you and abruptly stopped “e-talking” to you soon after coming out, would that seem odd? It did to me, but we live in a time of fast moving accounts and e-changes galore so I let it pass. I never met her after all, and we aren’t really friends IRL, I surmised.

I finally had the opportunity to question her on her timing  last weekend while bantering about something on a mutual friend’s Facebook page.

“Carol it isn’t because you’re gay, it’s because you just didn’t make the cut.”

Whoa, hello seventh grade flashbacks. I’d be lying if I said she wasn’t lying through her teeth, but why are people so stinking judgmental?

Be honest: We love dogs and share a common interest in Cockers. You’ve been awesome and now you are gay so take your gay cooties and go away. That’s a whole hell of a lot better than “you didn’t make the cut,” which made me giggle aloud.

She didn’t like my gayness and now I am free of her bigotry: Yay me!

dog lovers

The Moral of It all

If that pit bull, the Christian, and the lesbian walked into a bar and shared a round of sparkling water, we might just find that:

The dog breathes the same air the Christian and the lesbian breathes.

The dog has a name and the Christian has a name and the lesbian has a name.

The labels can stay on the bottles of libations lining the shelves.

And those of us who don’t make the cut in the eyes of the another can simply take their ill intents and walk away while I stay to cuddle the dog.

The solace and acceptance of open-minded people and the unconditional love of dogs is a place where everybody knows my name.

How about you?

Comments

  1. Didn’t make the cut? What if Jesus said we didn’t make the cut because we are rude? As a Christian, I am sorry that happened to you, and I am saddened that she has not learned more from the life of Christ. I follow many people on twitter that I may not have anything in common with IRL, but we may have a shared social media interest. It is a process….

  2. Wow! I am so glad I came by here today!
    I had no clue where this post was going when I read the title but it had peaked my interest. I am sure I don’t need to tell you how rude and ignorant that person was, you know that, but wow! I just love how you tied this post in with that amazing PitBull story (so glad it all worked out) and the Christian. Well done, eye opening post, thank you!
    ღ husky hugz ღ frum our pack at Love is being owned by a husky!

  3. What a thoughtful post. I really enjoyed reading this. Dogs do so much better at the “unconditional love” and “open-mindedness” than most people I know. Maybe we all can learn a lesson from them.

    Also, how wonderful that Moreauville removed their ban and that little girl (and all of the other pit bull owners in the town) will get to keep their dogs.

  4. I’m sorry that happened to you (unfollowed).
    Since becoming a ‘dog person’ my life has changed for the better. I have met so many amazing and genuine people through our common interest – yourself included. I’m sure that snub was incredibly hurtful to you but it will prove to be their loss in the end.

    I’m from Ontario where we also have issues with breed-specific legislature. I’m glad this story turned out to have a happy ending. Thank you for sharing.

  5. I think it is just the nature of humans and the entire environment. It is not nice, it is not fair, but I don’t think people will ever change. Depending on how and where you are brought up, some things are instilled in the brain from day one and it is hard to change that. Mom says preferences are okay, and opinions are alright, but there is no excuse for being rude. That “person” could have simply said you are a great person but I don’t agree with your choice of lifestyle. It isn’t like you were trying to force anything on her, nothing changed except she got more knowledge. People are just not nice a lot of the time.

  6. I love your quote, “The solace and acceptance of open-minded people and the unconditional love of dogs is a place where everybody knows my name.” Thanks for being honest and true to yourself. I hope we all keep moving forward in the journey of looking at what’s in a person’s heart rather than the shade of their skin, what’s between their legs or who they commit to share their lives with.

  7. Carol,
    A mutual friend posted this on FB and I had to read your blog. Obviously, the title caught my attention. I’m saddened at the hatred some people have against those they don’t agree with. I’m also grateful that you practice what you speak. I appreciate you. Thank you for being a trustworthy and honest writer.
    Several years ago you wrote a glowing review of a scrapbook I made through my business, Personalized Pet Tales. I’ve since changed the name, dropped the “Pet” as I have expanded to making products about anything and everything to help celebrate and/or memorialize life. I’ve also expanded my product line extensively.
    Debbie

  8. Sorry Christian-lady-whose-name-I-do-not-know, but Christ’s greatest teaching is simple, “God is love.” We all make the cut in his eyes. So in the spirit of love all I can say is, bless your heart.

  9. “Didn’t make the cut!” What kind of Christian woman is she? God loves us all, remember the song. “Jesus loves me this I know for the Bible tells me so!” he didn’t say he loves you because you are black, white, yellow or red, he loves you because he made us.

    People with the attitude of this woman, will find out in the end who God really loves and she may not “Make the cut!”

  10. *Facepalm. I get that we all have different beliefs, and it’s ok not to get them. Like I don’t understand Judgey McChurchlady’s belief that she can’t be virtually connected on Facebook to someone just because they’re gay. Does she think that she’ll go straight to hell if she reads one of the updates about the rescue work you do? That it automatically now means that you’ll be posting hardcore lesbian porn on your wall? I see posts from my Facebook friends daily that I don’t necessarily agree with. But I don’t cut them out of my life. They way they want to live and love is their own business and has nothing to do with me or where I end up where I die.
    I’m proud to call you my ‘Merican friend – you’ll always make my cut.

  11. Humanity never ceases to amaze me. This is why I have dogs instead of children – can you imagine raising a child in this horrible society?! I mean….our DOGS get discriminated against. I remember when I heard the news about the ban in LA. It was so heartbreaking. Many of my friends have amazing bully breeds that mean everything to them and I can’t imagine the heartbreak that would occur in so many households. All we can do is educate and spread awareness. Can we ban stupid people from the world?! Wouldn’t THAT be nice.

  12. I absolutely have tears in my eyes…what a wonderful story…I am the mother of a gay son who hates labels as well and am so behind your story and will share it proudly as a human with the same love for dogs as you and manymany others no matter who, what or where they come from. Carol as always you touch my heart <3

  13. Great post!
    I loved the title. 🙂 Some people would call me a “Christian” this is a title I don’t want to be associated with. I prefer to say “follower of Christ”. The term Christian has to many negative connotations and I don’t want people to decide that I am a “hater” or judgmental of others choices. You have a right to your opinion and I have a right to mine, you can choose to live how you want just like I can choose to live my own way. If I want to live in a hobbit hole you are not forced to live in the same manner. We are all wonderfully different. <3
    I agree with you, I wish the world didn't label everyone. A dog is a dog, a human is a human regardless of race, sexual orientation, language, and lifestyle. Being a pibble mama, I hate the term pit bull. Why? Because it isn't a real dog but rather a body description – I promise i'll stay off my soap box, i'm sure you already know this anyways.
    We followed the Zeus story, and were elated when the town revisited the decision and overturned it. I don't think people think these things through or who it is going to hurt, they don't do the research and make a quick and emotional decision only hearing the one side. Someday we hope to see all "pit bull" type dogs freed of their societal chains and stigmas.
    In the mean time I love dogs, and though others see a "pit bull" I see just a dog who loves other dogs, loves to play and loves all people regardless of the labels society has placed on the human.
    Dog's don't judge us they just love, this is a lesson everyone could benefit from learning.
    CHEERS!! We'd be happy to sit and share a sparkle with you! <3

  14. Mum speaking :
    It always makes me angry to face such an attitude (close-minded) : I miss the words in English to express subtly my mind, so here’s the rough way : you impose nothing to anybody, and you just want to live your life like anybody else. I don’t care if you’re gay or not, if you believe in God or aliens : you don’t impose me to be like you, and I don’t impose you to be like me, we share the same love for our pet for example, and I think that differences, whatever they are, are rather a wealth. It’s sadly often easier to close the door than to keep it open and accept the other one simply as he is.

  15. Mum speaking again :
    Did I say that I’m unbeliever, straight, a crazy cat lady, and that my best male friend is gay ? Thank you for being “you”, Carol, don’t change !

  16. I’m not saying what she did was correct because I believe as a Christian woman, I am to love and accept everyone as Jesus did. But are you also not judging her (and “most Christians” when you say they would choose to not associate with you because you’re a lesbian? Moreover, are you not judging this woman based upon what she did? I mean no offense whatsoever here. I just want to give food for thought.

    Stereotyping and judging hurts, no matter who it is or why. As a blind woman, I’ve been overlooked, underestimated, overestimated, judged, treated like a dependent child, discriminated against, etc. It hurts me when people stereotype me based on my blindness or my status as a Christian.

    I would suggest that we ALL stop judging each other so much and start learning about each other’s differences and how they make us special. Everyone is unique. We all deserve to be treated with love and respect.

  17. Wow. Imagine all the amazing and wonderful people who wouldn’t “make the cut” in this woman’s eyes. People like that make me especially grateful for accepting and open-minded people.

    I love that you’re out online because I get to see your posts and keep up with you and Darlene and Dexter, and it makes me smile to see people happy and in love. I suspect for every person who has unfriended you, there are a thousand who, like me, are very happy to know you and call you a friend.

  18. Great article and title. I agree with you of course, no one deserves to be labeled, everyone should have the chance to show the world what kind of human they are, and that is the only criteria people should use to find their friends….and you my friend…are a GREAT human!

  19. I don’t know why it shocks me every time I hear something so stupid & hateful. The ignorant will always be a burden to the rest of society. Clearly, SHE is the one who doesn’t make the cut! I always admire your raw honesty and candor, you are a wonderful and brave woman Carol! By the way, I love the t-shirt in this photo, so cute! Inclusion rules, baby!!!

  20. You know… prejudice is prejudice no matter how you try to disguise it. It’s never fun to be on the receiving end… sometimes it happens in the most unexpected places or from the most unexpected people.

  21. I am sorry that such bigotry exists. Some of my best friends (and my favorite brother-in-law) are gay. I am also from the Bayou State and am still amazed at the hypocrisy of “Christians”. I call them hypoChristians (hipocrites and Christians). I avoid them at all costs. They are no more Christians than I am flying to the moon tomorrow.
    I was lucky enough to be Mom to a horribly abusef APBT. Our local kill shelter did not adopt them out at the time I was a student intern there but they knew that my husband and I would never hurt her so they let us adopt her. She was the greatest girl! She lived everyone and every animal. Such a great breed ambassador! She was diagnosed with stage 4 lymphoma when she was six years old. Our furbabies are our kids and we spent over $14,000 on chemo for her. Essie Mae had a wonderful 18 more months and helped to keep her rescued Bulldog brother, Lumpy, calm as he had horrible separation anxiety. We still miss her terribly. We will rescue and adopt another pibble one day.
    Thank you souch for what you do! You are better off without the hypoChristian in your life! 🙂

    • Trish, many blessings and gratitude to you. Good for you on all counts for helping Essie Mae. She knew love and dedication and care. Happiest of holidays. I am sure my Brandy Noel met Essie Mae at the bridge.

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