Fezco has found a new home. And a new name!
Did you hear about Fezco? He is a mixed-breed dog that was left at a dog shelter in North Carolina last week because the owners feared that he was gay. That’s worth saying again: They gave up their dog because they were afraid he was gay.
The nameless owners witnessed Fezco mounting another male dog and instead of realizing that this is common canine behavior associated with asserting dominance, they assumed that he was gay and panicked. They wanted to rid of their dog as soon as possible. Their ignorance and bigotry were on full display when off-loading the dog at Stanly County Animal Protective Services.
This may seem like a ridiculous, even silly story but it is symptomatic of something more important. Living in liberal Massachusetts and belonging to a progressive, Open and Affirming church like FCC means that it can be easy to forget that our society still has a very, very long way to go when it comes to ending LBGTQ discrimination and hatred let alone fostering full inclusion.
Sure, this is a story about a dog. But the owners’ easy willingness to disown Fezco over misinterpreted behavior reveals what many still feel about people who don’t conform to their warped sense of “normal”: they are to be cast aside at best.
There is no real evidence to say that Fezco is gay, but so what if he is? Homosexuality exists among dogs and most other animal species. What’s the big deal? It feels a bit like Fezco’s owners feared they might “contract gay” from their dog so they had to get away from him. This is an absolutely abhorrent notion but it’s an attitude that too many LBGTQ people have confronted.
The treatment of Fezco felt familiar to long-time partners Steve and John who quickly adopted him from the shelter. They updated his name to the similar-sounding “Oscar” in honor of Irish poet and playwright Oscar Wilde who was gay.
They also committed to giving Oscar better medical care since he has heartworm and other medical concerns. Plus, Oscar will now have a sibling to play with: A Terrier-Chihuahua mix named Harry. So a happy ending all around!
Thank you to Steve and John for rescuing Fezco and may we all work to rescue our society from this kind of ongoing, deep-seated ignorance and hatred.
See you in church,