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Dogs Love Gays and You Should Too

gay rights

“She’s staying home alone with the dog while her significant other visits her family on Easter,” my friend shared.

“Well, at least she has her dog with her and won’t be totally alone,” I reassured.

“Carol, they’ve been together 15 years, it shouldn’t be this way.”

Her significant other is a woman, and I was asked that if I blog about them, not to reveal their names. I understand the depth and darkness that comes with living in a closet: I did it for close to 20 years. Who am I kidding? I did it for my whole life until I kicked the door down.

After 20 years with my “significant other” – because partner sounds like someone you share a business with – I married the love of my life on June 12, 2014, exactly 21 years after we fell in love.

Why can’t people be as accepting as our pets?

The reason the first gal is staying home alone with her dog on Easter is because her partner’s family doesn’t know about her relationship: the one she’s had for 15 years. You see, if her partner’s family found out, they’d definitely “disown” their only daughter.

Can you imagine the heavy burden that acts as the silent but ever-present third partner in that relationship. It’s more than a white elephant and less than a ghost but makes its presence known any time a situation arises that involves family.

So she stays home alone with her dog.

“For most dog owners, our dogs are not possessions, they are family. Gay men in particular have found joy in bringing dogs into their nuclear circles. Their dogs love them unconditionally, without judgment or regard to sexual orientation; comfort them when they are in pain; and because most men outlive their dogs, teach them extraordinary lessons in how to cope with loss.”

From the book, Paws and Reflect: Exploring the Bond Between Gay Men and Their Dogs, the above statement applies to any of us: Gay or straight, single or married, any age, any creed. Dogs love us unconditionally without judgment and without reservation.

I wonder how many folks who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender have a fear of being who they are, and they take extra comfort in knowing their pets are nonjudgmental.

I wonder how many folks are straight and are reading this have something they are holding deep inside and they wish with all their might that it never is revealed. Secrets are safe with our pets.

lgbt rights

Dogs don’t judge us.

I realize that I waited so long to share all of myself with my readers, my friends, my co-workers, and hell, the world for that matter because I was afraid: of being judged, chided, humiliated, fired, picked on, abused, harmed, ignored, laughed at, and most of all, losing those I truly care about.

I wonder why dogs don’t care about stuff like that. It is in those moments I am reminded why my heart beats dog®, why this blog is called Fidose of Reality, and why I will never stop being true to who I am ever again.

After a recent national uproar over bills guised as religious freedom measures and criticized as anti-gay, lawmakers in Indiana and in Arkansas approved new legislation today to remove certain language.

Had the bill stayed as it was in Indiana, businesses would have been able to legally discriminate against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered individuals.

For those not following it, Indiana’s original Religious Freedom Restoration Act was signed by Governor Pence last week. In it, an individual or corporation could legally cite religious beliefs as a defense when sued by a private party. In doing so, this opened the door for widespread discrimination against those who identify as LGBT.

So if I went to Indiana and wanted to buy treats for my dog in a pet supply store, my dog might be welcome, but if I revealed I am married to a woman, I could be denied service.

When an Indiana pizza parlor owner told a local news station that if a gay couple wanted to order pizzas for their wedding, “we would have to say no,” all hell broke loose. Threats ensued, Yelp was inundated, and chaos resulted. The pizza shut down. Never fear, a GoFundMe page set up for them, which raised over $400,000 as of this writing.

Yikes, but I don’t feel as alone as I did five years ago.

dog teeth brush

People spoke up. Company CEO’s spoke out. It’s pretty cool to be on the side of the minority who could be the majority if and when they all decide to come forward and come out.

Folks who would rather my rights be denied have dogs.

Folks in closets have dogs.

Folks who kicked the closet door down have dogs.

Dogs don’t judge us nor do they care if the door is open, closed, or even if a door exists.

Even if you are not gay, lesbian, transgender, or bisexual, it’s really important to care about LGBT rights. It’s really important to be a straight ally and incite equality and squash hate. It’s really important to be, well, more like our dogs and not judge.

Here are some things you can do to be a straight ally.

 

Comments

  1. How terribly sad for your friend. I can’t imagine how hard that must be. It’s so sad that people are still so ignorant and close minded. But, this is why I love dogs more than humans, because you’re right – dogs don’t judge us no matter the status of the door!

  2. I wish people could love as unconditionally as dogs, that would be pure Utopia. I have a cousin that we are certain is gay. She’s had a lovely “friend” for many years who we believe is her significant other. I wish she felt comfortable enough to tell us, I wish she knew how strongly we would all support her and welcome her other half into our family. I guess she isn’t ready to share, but I wish I could tell her how much I love & support her, and that they would both have our love and support. I cannot imagine that your friend’s family would actually disown her if they knew her secret – how could they? I wonder if she might already have their support. Perhaps they already know or suspect that she’s gay and don’t know how to tell her? I hope she can soon be open with them about it.

  3. It’s sad that people still need to live in the closet and can’t be true to themselves, and that such discrimination continues in this day and age. If you love someone, you love everything about them including their preference to be with a man, woman or whomever. Thanks for continuing to raise this issue and help bring down those barriers! Your wedding last year is still one of my Facebook feed highlights – I was right there with you sharing in the excitement. Look forward to seeing you again in Nashville!

  4. I agree – all humans should be treated with the same respect no matter how they choose to live their lives.

  5. Dog love is the closest thing to Agape, God’s unconditional love, that we have on earth. Beautiful post. Thank you.

  6. What a shame for your friend’s family! I’m sure they worry about her being alone and wish she could find love. How sad is that they will never know her amazing truth, or that if they were to hear it, they will not be happy for her. Hate and prejudice is so destructive for both sides.

    Thanks for speaking out and reminding all of us to help squash hate and inequality.

  7. I don’t know how any parent could kick their child(re) to the curb because of their choice. That makes me sick!!! They should be so proud that their daughter or son has someone that Loves them and wants to make a good life together. We are no longer living in the dark ages.
    I live in Indiana and Gov. Pence in disgusting and a total idiot! I think he hates Indiana and he needs to go!
    Dogs are our BEST and LOVING part of our family! To bad people can’t be like dogs and give that unconditional love to everyone!

  8. I was volunteering at a dog adoption event when two gentlemen came to the booth. The first one was visibly upset. The second one tried to get him to look at the dogs but he just shook his head and turned away. At this point, the second gentlemen asked, “Would adopting be a problem if we are a couple?” I stared for a moment because I was thinking ” a couple of what?”. Then the second gentleman told me that a woman in another booth had told them they could not have a dog from their organization because the men were gay. I blurted, “What idiot told you that?”which made him smile but sadly, his friend’s day was ruined and they didn’t get a dog.

    • Wow is all I can say. When gay couples apply for any of our deaf dogs they go immediately to the front of the line because what we find over and over again, gay couples are the best pet parents as well as the best human kid parents. Their children (furry or human) become their entire world and those are the kind of caring individuals we want adopting our deaf dogs. I wish all of our applicants could be as loving, patient, giving and protective as gay couples. We probably have more gay couples volunteering and adopting deaf dogs from our partner rescues (at least if it is one of our pulls and we get to help with the decision making process), then straight couples. Shame on who ever was at that booth that day. They would have gotten an earful from me!

  9. I truly believe that if humans could be just half as good as other sentient animals, this world would be a much better place for all of us to live. We have much to learn from our dogs, first and foremost being their divine quality of unconditional love and acceptance of us regardless of our many foibles.

    I hope your friend works up the courage to share the truth with her family. They may already “know” but are afraid to say something, too. She might be surprised that after a little bit of shock and hubbub, the family makes peace with it and still loves her. My cousin has a daughter and a son in same sex relationships. That was not his choice for them and is not in his religious belief system, but to his great credit he put the love of his children over both those things and they’ve all won because of it.

  10. I try to live everyday a little more like my dogs.They are such beautiful creatures and love without condition. I am heart broken that some people have to live in shame because ,as a society, we are not open to all lifestyles and love. Beautiful post, thank you for sharing with us.

  11. I’m glad that Dexter has made you feel so free to be yourself. We all need permission to do that. Humans are strange, judgmental creatures. No matter who you are, you are wrong for being that way in someone’s eyes. At least our pets always have our backs!

  12. “I wonder how many folks are straight and are reading this have something they are holding deep inside and they wish with all their might that it never is revealed. Secrets are safe with our pets.”

    The answer to your question is ALL OF THEM. Every single one. On the pages of the most quoted book of all time, I believe it says (and I paraphrase), ” Maybe when you wipe the dirty sneer off your own face, you’ll be fit to mention the small smudge on your neighbor’s.” 🙂 *sigh*

  13. Dogs love anyone who pays attention to them. Even if one does not agree with the lifestyle, judgement is not theirs to throw around.

  14. Dogs are a lot like Jesus. They love us no matter what. As a Jesus follower I’m really sick of people using Jesus’s name to further hate.

  15. Gays are regular people …I’m a bit thrown off by the title. Dogs naturally love any human being who is kind to them whether gay or straight. Lets be kind and loving towards each other and the world will be a better place

    • Gays are regular people. Some of society does not think so. I agree that dogs love humans who are kind. Some people aren’t kind.

  16. This is a wonderful post. I wish some people would understand that being LGB or T is NOT a choice or a lifestyle. It is who they are, just like being straight is NOT a choice or a lifestyle. Think about it for a minute. If you are straight, when did you decide to be that way? You didn’t, it is who you are. The same applies to the LGBT community.

    Thank you for sharing this information with your readers. I have a nephew who is gay. He did not choose to be that way. Why would anyone choose to be LGBT with the hate, discrimination and bigotry that surrounds their lives? It ISN”T a choice, it is who they are!

  17. How sad for your friend. Imagine what this world would be like if more people loved as dogs do and did a little less judging of others and society. What a beautiful post, thanks for sharing!

  18. I love this post! It infuriates me that a law like that went into effect in Indiana, and the bigoted governor shouldn’t receive any praise for “tweaking” it. He should admit he was wrong and get rid of it. A person’s sexual preference is nobody else’s business.

  19. It breaks my heart that in this day and age people have to hide who they are because others can’t handle it. So sad. I hope people can learn to be less judgemental and more accepting of one another so that people don’t have to live in shame and hiding!

  20. Families that don’t accept their children/siblings for the people they are, don’t deserve the title of family. Blood doesn’t make you a family, unconditional love and support makes a family.

  21. It’s so disheartening to hear about your friend – and sadder still is that I’m sure your friend is not alone having to stay at home this holiday. If more people were as open and loving as dogs this world would be a much better place. I was so glad to hear so many companies and public figures speaking out about tha Indiana bill this week – hopefully things will keep moving in the right direction and giving equal rights will be something we can look back upon as history.

  22. I think you are spot on with the secrets thing – a lot of people have them, regardless of their sexual orientation. Having deep secrets you are fearful to let people know about is a HUMAN thing. I also agree that people of all sexual, religious and whatever orientations have pets for the same reason – they love us and accept us unconditionally.

    I, too, find it is sad that your friend can’t go with her significant other to a family thing. I certainly can’t make any statements about the right thing to do as every situation is so different. However, my grandparents did not accept homosexuality. Their son ran away for two years in his late teens because he discovered that he was attracted to men and felt they would never accept him. Eventually, my grandparents found out the truth and having their son back was more important than any belief they held. I would like to say it was all sunshine and roses after that but it wasn’t. They still struggled with his life choice but they never entertained the thought of disowning him and always embraced his “partner” when he attended family events with him.

  23. BRAVO for this wonderful post! I’m so sorry to hear about your friend, that is heartbreaking. As a mom myself, I cannot ever imagine “disowning” my children for any reason at all, much less because of who they love. Thank you for opening up with your own experience as well – you are an amazing human being and I admire you so much – not just for speaking out about these things, but for all you do, and of course because you spread the love about pets as well. 😉

  24. You don’t have to be gay to be disowned, disapproved of and exiled from your family. I know, I am not gay and my family decided that since I told my abusive mother to STOP the abuse or I would have no choice but to stop talking to her, they sided with her… well, my brother sided with her and took his kids away from me, too. Now my aunts and uncles and father are all gone. So is my mother. And the only ones left believe my mentally ill abusive mother’s lies, so I have NO family and it is a TERRIBLE thing.

    People that hate and discriminate against others should have NO PLACE in America nor anywhere on earth. Perhaps we can spew them out and send them to another planet?

    Anyway, it is abhorrent to me that the bigots have raised $1 million for their hatred of gay people (in Indiana, the pizza parlor that said they would refuse to cater to gay weddings). I do not know anyone who has pizza parlors cater to their weddings but that people are sending them money for their bigotry is disgusting.

    dogs know better.

  25. It’s a hard thing to learn how to do, but I think we should all strive to love people – even when we may not agree with their lifestyle choices, behavior, or decisions.

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