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The Magic of Dog Companionship for LGBTQIA+ People

The Magic of Dog Companionship for LGBTQIA+ People

The Magic of Dog Companionship for LGBTQIA+ People

Why we need pride.

Pride Month celebrates the beauty of LGBTQIA+ culture and community. It honours the 1969 Stonewall Uprising in Manhattan, which was the catalyst for the gay liberation movement in the United States.

During Pride Month, we acknowledge the struggles experienced by the LGBTQIA+ community during the fight for equality and justice. Acceptance of the LGBTQIA+ community has come a long way, but in 2022, its progress is still being gravely threatened.

With laws passing in parts of the world that mark the complete erasure of LGBTQIA+ education in schools, and the ban of gender affirming medical care, queer youth and adults are at an all time high risk of mental health crisis and suicide.

Why do some LGBTQIA+ individuals need extra support?

LGBTQIA+ people are often subjected to bullying, discrimination, harassment and abuse. They often experience rejection, abandonment and isolation from their friends, family and peers.

LGBTQIA+ individuals are at a much higher risk of suicide than their heterosexual and cisgendered peers, with an even higher rate of suicide in transgender and non-binary individuals.

Let’s talk about how dogs can help manage and reduce trauma symptoms, and provide emotional support to queer people.

 

How can dogs help LGBTQIA+ individuals?

Dogs in particular have a strong sense of the feelings and emotions of their human companions. They can sense our emotions, read our body language and facial expressions. They seem to have a sixth sense for knowing exactly how their human companion is feeling.

Dogs can provide a strong sense of companionship for those who have been rejected and outcast from their friends, family and community. Pets can give unconditional love and support to those experiencing social discrimination and isolation.

The responsibility that comes with having a dog companion can also often boost feelings of self-worth and self esteem. Dogs encourage people to go out, get fresh air and exercise, which inherently improves their physical and mental health. For some, dog companions give a reason to get up and keep going every day.

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Humans and their bonds with their dogs can mimic the much needed social support system that they may be missing from their families and those around them. The comfort received from pets can provide a necessary buffer from the stressors that many LGBTQIA+ people experience on a daily basis.

 

How dogs can be a beautiful saving grace.

Dogs will never make fun of you, judge you, or discriminate against you. They provide a safe space for LGBTQIA+ individuals to freely be themselves and receive love, acceptance and companionship.The relationship between dogs and humans is a profound and beautiful bond that can only be described as truly magical. For some queer people, dog companions are their only saving grace.

Note: If income is a barrier to pet ownership for you or any LQBTQIA+ individuals in need, there are organizations that can help. Reach out to the Animal Food Bank at animalfoodbank.org

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