Love like Dogs

By Camilla Vazquez

In the midst of life and its constant intensity, I found myself pondering on the the fact that I always felt an inclination in my mood throughout the day. What was it that was making my day gradually better?I had figured mornings were rough and it was the whole routine of it all. Wake up, hour train ride, work, hour and a half train ride, school.

For the past eight months I had begun my transition. The thought of conversation and connecting with others caused me discomfort. But there was still this question- what was it that was making me happy. Had it had been my friends, hormones, or even that majority of the day I was by myself in my own existence? Not seeing what was right in front of me, it had finally clicked, it was the dogs!

Camilla & Ava

The day I realized was the first day I came to work presenting as female. Being a dog walker, outside the Fed-ex delivery guy and the occasional nanny, it's mostly just you and the dogs. Presenting alone was the greatest fear I had accumulated. The hate trans people receive on the daily is excruciating. I’d endure the usual comments, stares and even at times assault. But this particular day was so affirming and easy. The dogs that I had created such strong connections with loved me for me. It may have taken an extra two seconds to come to the conclusion that it’s me but then came the kisses and never ending tail wagging. They all saw me and recognized me for me. I’m their friend who takes them to the park, plays with them and has the best treats. They don’t see gender how our society views it- which is stricken by binaries. Once I finished my shift I had felt such a wave of emotion for these pups like Ava, Frankie and Maddie. They were the ones who made me more comfortable with myself as they never judged me.

I believe our world can learn a lot from dogs.

As long as you show loyalty, respect and love- the rest comes naturally. The hate doesn’t have to be as prevalent if we take just a minute to realize that Trans people are still people who love just like these dogs.

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Midtown East, NY 10022