This is the story of the bigot and the butterfly and it does involve dogs. Why oh why do people who have nothing nice to say choose to verbalize disdain for my dog in a public setting? This dog blog is all about health, wellness, and a dose of humor now and then, too. This includes emotional and mental well being, so when a bigot recently crossed my path: First thwarting insults about my dog and then towards me, well, I do what any good blogger does: I tell the world, teach, and stop that nonsense in its hateful tracks.
Oh No You Just Didn’t
While vacationing recently in Provincetown, Massachusetts, the following occurred in a t-shirt shop while my family and I stood in line to pay for our selections:
“Look at those ladies. They are together and they have a goddamned stroller for their dog!”
This woman was several customers behind us but loud enough so that these words were audible to me.
Being that I was the only one in line with a “goddamned stroller,” I turned to look her way.
Something in me just said, “No more.”
Me: “You never saw a dog stroller before?”
Ignoramus: “Yeah, lady I have.”
She sighed and said aloud to her (I assume) husband, “Listen to that crap!”
Me: “My dog has better manners than you. Take a lesson”.
I smooched my wife. The Ignoramus told me I was disgusting.
At that point I just smiled and ignored her. Hate is hate. I never argue with an idiot and I never take issue in a battle of wits with an unarmed person.
This is Provincetown
I took to social media during our vacation because this upset me but also because I wanted people to read the hateful words directed to me, my wife, and our dog.
“It is no coincidence that for more than 50 years, the gay and lesbian community returns every summer to Provincetown. The recent development/tourism development of Provincetown owes much to this community here where one can find a place to feel at home.” This is a direct statement from the Visit Provincetown website.
One of the most pet- and LGBT-friendly towns I’ve ever visited is Provincetown, Massachusetts. Cape Cod hiking trails are enchanting. The federally protected uplands and bogs of the national seashore encompasses more than 27,000 acres and takes up more than half of Wellfleet, Massachusetts. Both Wellfleet and Truro are near Provincetown, which is more beachy than tree-lined but a perfect spot to end a day of sightseeing with your dog. Leashed dogs are allowed on some beaches in the off season, too. We’ve been there close to a dozen times, so when bigotry makes itself known, I have a zero tolerance policy. It is not acceptable in Provincetown nor is it acceptable in any town.
While there, we visited the Human Rights Campaign store, where we purchased some items and chatted with the employees, sharing our tale of “whoa,” which will be shared with the Chamber of Commerce in Provincetown.
Love trumps hate. Love triumphs over hate. Two of the thoughts that spun round in my mind during this verbal attack:
- How did the hater know I was with my wife? To the naked eye, we were two women standing in a long line with their dog and a stroller. Even so, why are you hating on me/us?
- Why attack my dog’s stroller? Even if I wanted to ride in the stroller, this is my right. My dog has a stroller because he had two leg surgeries. Many dogs have strollers. This is 2016. Dogs are family. Dogs of all sizes ride in strollers for convenience, for injury, or any number of reasons.
I won’t tolerate hate. I stayed silent and “closeted” for over 20 years and the proverbial closet is now stuffed with shoes. I won’t go back in.
I thought about getting a tattoo while in Provincetown. Tattoos were never my “thing” personally until my first Cocker Spaniel died. It was during my horrific time of dealing with the grief that I gifted myself her replica pawprint on my leg. You can read all about my pawprint tattoo experience below.
This girl now has three dog-related tattoos, all from the same shop in Provincetown over the years, and now a fourth tattoo spoke to me. I believe the bigot solidified my decision.
When our Brandy Noel died in 2008, a butterfly hovered over her the day we took her to the vet to help her to the Rainbow Bridge.
After 20 years, I finally “came out” a few years ago. I did so with pride: A rainbow of pride.
Darlene is my wife, soul mate, and wind beneath my wings.
A butterfly makes progress when she spreads her wings and flies.
The above is my latest tattoo. It didn’t tickle but it was tolerable and I love the guest artist, Kati Vaughn, of Mooncusser Tattoo, who did this beautiful artwork.
If you told me 23 years ago that this would be my life and I would have four tattoos…. I’d have laughed. Today I flutter my wings and smile with pride.
If you are considering a tattoo and looking for a dog-themed design, here is my journey with my first tattoo. My heart beats dog® and I’m taking that and my tats to the grave. Bigots be gone!