Do Gay People Make the Best Dog Owners?
Today, the last Sunday in June,is Gay Pride Day, the climax of Gay Pride Month, and atime for dispelling negative stereotypes about our homosexual brothers and sisters. But there's one very positive stereotype that'spaws for celebration every day of the year: It's often said that gays and lesbians make the best pet owners.
Ask anyone who works in animal rescue: Finding a gay adopter is like winning the lotteryon behalf ofthe dog in question. As the pet of a gay person, thatdogcan pretty much count on enjoying the best, most loving and pampered life imaginable.
Doting dog lovers who are high-profile and gay include TV talk-show host Ellen DeGeneres; musician k.d. lang; actor Harvey Fierstein; fashion designers John Bartlett,Isaac Mizrahi, and Todd Oldham; and author-columnist David Toussaint. They are Dogsters extraordinaires!
Yesterday, John Bartlett hosted an adoption event for North Shore Animal League America at his flagship store in New York City. How seriously cute is that photograph (above) of John, his boyfriend John Esty, and two adoptable pups showcased at the event?
"It's a clich to say that animals love you unconditionally, but it's also really true," says Gretchen Dukowitz of San Francisco. "Animals don't care who you are; they don't care about politics. All they know is that you care for them, and they're ecstatically happy to see you."
Shelter pets and strays have special appeal, Dukowitz says. "I think on the whole, we're suckers for a hard-luck case," she points out. "Often, mutts and strays are passed over, and gays and lesbians often feel totally ignored, so there's an affinity there."
Call it ... Stray Pride!
And perhaps gay people, having experienced intolerance, can relate especially well to misunderstood, overlooked, marginalizedanimals. Author Mark Welsh calls this "the affinity of the underdogs."
He ought to know: His late, great dog Sweetie wasa poster child for Stray Pride. A magnificent mixed breed, Sweetie transcended her ordinaryorigins to become a mutt model and Elle Magazine arbiter who counted among her many fans the actress Elizabeth Hurley and the supermodel-cosmetics entrepreneur Iman.
Mark penned Sweetie's autobiography, "Sweetie: From the Gutter to the Runway." In its delightful pages, illustrated with photographs and drawings, he does his girl proud by reading her racy thoughts and translating them into wisdom we mere humans can understand. To wit: "The best way to get over a dog is to get under another one."
And that, as the out-loud-and-proudVillage Voicecolumnist Michael Musto would say, is fagulous.
Happy Gay Pride Day!