PHOTO GALLERY: Queers with Pets

Welcome to Queer IRL, a monthly Autostraddle community photo series that gathers little clips of lesbian, bisexual, queer and otherwise-identified women, trans and non-binary folks, just living our lives in 2017.

Let me tell you a little something about yourself: you have really, really been looking forward to this gallery. Since like, January. Over 225 of you rolled up into my inbox with your furry/feather/gilled/planted pals! That’s so many. In fact, this is our largest gallery to date!

If you’re even barely considering adopting a new pet friend of your very own, I have to warn you: this gallery will for sure put you over the edge. Proceed with extreme caution.

Ok it’s time for pets!! Place a bet: how many goats do you think are in here?


Ariana and Archer / 25, 6 / Our Apartment in Los Angeles, CA

“I adopted Archer from the South LA Animal shelter in 2013. He was the derpiest looking cat I’d ever seen. He was so friendly and chose me. We’ve been inseparable every since. I say inseparable because he was most likely abandoned as a kitten and has separation anxiety…he needs to always be near me or touching me. I named him Archer because like Sterling Archer (from FX’s Archer) he’s a loud-mouth ladies man that is also a mama’s boy! He’s been there for me through a lot – death of a family member, moving, break-ups, new jobs – but he still manages to brighten my day with cuddles and quacks (his meow is so deep and raspy it sounds like a quack!) This photo is us in front of the portrait I got of him a Disneyland which you can apparently do if you bring in a photo.”


Liz and Harper / 32, 5 / Los Angeles, CA

“Four years ago I fostered Harper through a small dog rescue in LA. He was severely malnourished and had pneumonia. He only weighed three pounds! After three months of nursing him back to health, there was no way that I could part with this little nugget! He is my first ever dog and I am in love.

Harper came with his name but sometime I think I should have named him Napoleon. The best thing about him is that he is that he loves the outdoors and hiking as much as I do! Harper might be small but he is very active like his Momma. We enjoy dog beach visits, long walks, hikes, and morning cuddles. The weirdest thing about him is that he has crooked front legs and a goofy little run. Love my little man!”


Haley and Wilma / 34, 8 / Atlanta, GA

“Rescued from the Atlanta Humane Society in the sweltering heat of August 2010, Wilma was originally supposed to be a kitten. Fortunately, her owner fell in love with her striking green eyes and decided to take a chance on a grown-ass cat.

All gruff and no meow, she takes her summers in the hall closet, and winters under a quilt. Unlimited belly rubs are the norm, with no time limit ’til impending bites or scratches like ordinary cats. She likes hair bands, quarters, and milk caps, though not in that order. Never a playful cat, she will ignore toys for weeks on end then stay up playing with them on a three-night bender, foregoing sleep for the thrill of the hunt like her ancestors upon the savannah.”


Lisa, Sampson, and Kiernan / 40, 6 months, 24 / Houston, TX

“We got our pretty boy at Houston SPCA. He frequents roller derby bouts and is a very enthusiastic supporter!
*not pictured, cats Fritz (18), Gumdrops (6), Kiri (3), Korra (3), Lilith (1), and Ramona (~3 mo)”


Alex and Kiki / 23, 6 months / Denver, CO

“Kiki was found all alone in an alley by a friend. I saw her photo on their Facebook adoption post and just immediately knew she was supposed to be a part of my family. I’ve had her since she was only six weeks old! I love the film Kiki’s Delivery Service and couldn’t let go of the idea of naming my smoky grey cat after an adorable witch. Kiki loves her fancy cat food, Trader Joe’s knock-off Cheerios, destroying my plants and climbing up her favorite people to sit on their shoulder.”


Shannon and Sprinkle Dot / Tucson, AZ

“This is one of my cockatiels, Sprinkle Dot, at the adult spelling bee in Tucson, AZ wearing the diaper and flight harness that I sewed for her. She likes to ride along on my bicycle and hang out in trees at the park. My preschool-aged child named her and our other birds when they were naked chicks (not pictured: Cinnamon and Vanilla). We often take a bird with us when we go places. They’re very sweet and social. Instagram: @superfreshcandypants


Coco and Dog Mary Oliver / 24, 4 / Brooklyn Bridge Park, NY

“This is my pup Dog Mary Oliver (nee Oreo), who goes by Ollie or DMO. I adopted her after moving to New York because I couldn’t survive grad school on glitter trash island without the “soft animal of [my] body.” That’s a line from Mary Oliver’s poem “Wild Geese.” Ollie was an owner surrender from the Manhattan ACC; her adoption fee was only $20.16 as part of an “elect to adopt” campaign. Because my lease technically didn’t allow dogs, I went with my partner at the time (also queer) and one of his dogs; we played the “co-habitiating couple” act. We met a dog I originally wanted, then I threw up at like 10 am on the street outside the East Harlem shelter, then we went inside and met Ollie. He signed all the papers, but I walked out with her.  It was all very gay. Now I live in one of those New York apartments that’s 90% hall, and Ollie and I like to play this game where I jump and pretend like I’m going to chase her and she scrambles down the hall so fast she body slams into to the wall while turning the corner. I could go on or you could just follow her femme Aries adventures on Instagram @dogmaryoliver.”


Brigid and Elliot / 22, 2 / Louisville, KY

“I adopted Elliot from a shelter about a year ago; I fell in love with his chatty and cuddly personality! He loves attention and is a total lap cat. I love coming home from work and just spending time with him. In this picture we’re watching Star Trek: The Next Generation. He loves it and luckily I do too!”


Rebecca and Stella / 24, 3 / Charles Village, Baltimore, MD

“This is my beagle mix, Stella.  I adopted her last July after finally moving into a place that allows dogs.  She’s named after Gillian Anderson’s character in The Fall, but fun fact: if you name your very independent dog Stella, every trip to the dog park turns into A Streetcar Named Desire.  Our favorite things to do together are go for long walks around Hampden in Baltimore and snuggle on the couch watching The X-Files.  The best thing about Stella is that she’s very sweet and affectionate and loves every single human she’s ever met, and the weirdest thing about her is that her favorite treat is tortillas.”


Katy and Toby / 24, 3 / Denver, CO

“I adopted Toby from a shelter a little more than a year ago. The 110-pound mastiff/lab mix came into my care with the name Toby, and it suited him so well that I stuck with it. He’s very skilled at lying down and eating things off the counter. We love going on walks together and snuggling. Toby is known for his impressive drooling and relentless pursuit of squirrels, ducks, geese and rabbits.”


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Laneia is the Executive Editor and founding member of Autostraddle, and you're the reason she's here.

Laneia has written 913 articles for us.

86 Comments

  1. I want to pet all of them. Even the house plant.

    Also, I really, really wanted to participate in this one, but unfortunately my cat doesn’t live with me and I couldn’t make it over to my mom’s in time for the deadline. I even had the photo all planned out!

  2. Wow, after looking through all of these I have that kind of post-TV-binge feeling, like I am slightly stunned and unsure what to do with my feelings or my body.

    Also, did I miss Sue Perkins the sourdough?!

  3. 1. Weare, NH is one town over from where I grew up! Wow!!
    2. Everyone’s pets are so charming, omg
    3. I did not know there were this many queers in Ohio?
    4. Marty and Olive are delighted to have been featured <3 <3 <3

  4. Having a real moment over here with all the cute.

    I’m also shocked that the entirety of my crazy dog lady verbal diarrhea made the cut.

  5. This post combines two of the best things in the world:queer women and pets.

        • I feel like this is something that can be rectified, also probably needs to be rectified as it’s unfair if the world cannot witness Friday’s glory.

  6. I met some wonderful pups hiking Triple Falls in DuPont National Park this summer. One of my favorite parts of hiking is all the dogs I meet. I used to have a Springer that hiked all over Pisgah National Forest and The Smokey’s with me. As well as playing on the beach in Isle of Palms. It’s been a couple of years since my last Springer passed away. I have had all kinds of dogs, but we foster Springers. Hopefully, my sister and I will be able to adopt a couple of dogs soon. We already named them Biscuit and Grits.

  7. Hello I am in love with everybody of every species in this gallery.

  8. Lovely! So heartwarming to see the photos and read how all these lovely animals found their human companions.

  9. ok do you all have professional photos taken with your pets or what?

    …wait, can I have professional photos taken with my pet?

    • Right? I tried to use my good camera but that was a no-go with Mr. Grumpy Pants, so I ended up having to use my crappy phone camera instead. I am impressed with everyone else’s well-behaved fur friends.

      • (To be fair though he was only grumpy because I made him wear a costume)

    • Everytime I take a pic of reptar I am RISKING MY VERY LIFE because he hates phones. I think the screen doesn’t refresh fast enough for bird eyes to make sense of them? I’m p sure phones are murdery strobe lights for him

    • Al

      Maybe a little food before and after the shoot could make it more professional? Food to distract then food as reward when your pet does a good job.

    • yes, you can! or painted portraits. I do pet watercolors. check out my ig @_welltrained_

    • Yes you can have professional photos taken with your pets (says the woman who has signed her dogs up to be calendar models).

    • I’ve done that before but Boris was very scared in the studio and tucked his ears all the way back. I sent one of those I turns to my dad and he answered me “your poor dog has no ears”

  10. If this was a coffee table book, I would read it every night when I got home from work.

  11. So much cuteness! I thought I was going to die there for a minute.

    Glad to report that the result was this instead:

  12. Also wow wasnt aware we were meant to write essays on our animals?? I worked so hard* to condense mine

    *”hard”, “for five minutes”, potato, potahto,

  13. El

    I wish I knew about this! I would love for you guys to meet my pet cock, Pirri, 10! I love that guy. ?????

  14. So many good animals and so many good animal names and so many good faces and pictures and ahhh! So much good I so desperately needed today. <3

  15. Thank the gods for this post today. I was already crying last night out of overwhelmed-the-world-is-the-worst-dumpster-fire-ever types of emotions. Then I woke up to the tragic news about vegas. This is a nice reminder that not all is bad.

    Thanks.

    ps. It looks like my pic with my dog is lumped into the folks pictures above me.

  16. meg

    Oh thank you, this helps. Sorry I didn’t get it together to send a picture of my rescue dog.

  17. All of your pets are adorable and I’m jealous that I am a poor grad student with a lease that forbids dogs and cats.

    Also I reeeeeally hope the next gallery is a Halloween costume gallery.

  18. Oh how I needed this gallery today! Rather than try to pick favorites, I’ll simply say that y’all and your pets are just *the cutest*. Thanks, everyone! <3

  19. This is the best thing ever. I have officially followed all of your instagram accounts, because whenever the world is bad I follow another 20 or so animal instas and this was a perfect opportunity. This thread is amazing and I wish I hadn’t forgotten to send in pictures of my amazing cats. You can see them on my instagram if you want; my username there is also ankhmorpork. It’s 90% my cats with a few selfies here and there. I don’t pet sit as much anymore but I tend to take pictures of the dogs and cats I sit for as well.

    P.S. Atlanta people, we should become friends so I can pet your dogs. And because half my queer friends have moved away and you seem like fun people. But also, dogs.

  20. Oh, my goodness. OH, MY GOODNESS! My heart. I can’t handle this right now. Look at all of this cuteness. Precious babies.

  21. So many beautiful humans with amazing animal friends! ?

    I was kind of expecting at least one snake or lizard though…but I’m very glad nobody sent in a photo with a pet tarantula! ?

  22. I love animals and I love you guys and everything is so cute and let’s choose to ignore the rest of the world, just for today

    • Thank you so much, Carmen! I told Nunu what you wrote, and now he’s considering signing up for Belgium’s Next Top Model.

      Gotta get perfecting that smize.

  23. YOUR PETS ARE ALL SO GREAT but now i feel guilty that i only posted my dog and not my cat, because he is also a star. instead of using a litter box, he likes to jump over our back fence, crap in the neighbor’s yard, and then come home, because cats are dicks. we used to be okay with this because we hated our old neighbors but now we have new neighbors, a nice gay couple who love him, so now he goes over there to crap and then they let him in their back door for food and treats. he has a second family and thinks we don’t know because he still comes home wanting dinner. anyway that’s my cat and i need you to know about his antics.
    my sister also has a ball python. she sleeps most of the day and hates men, so, ya know, relatable.

  24. This is the best photo gallery ever!! I just went and followed all the Instagram accounts! I kinda wish this was an ongoing queers with pets instagram. Haha. I also really want a cat now! I also absolutely loved that Kristin Russo and Jenny Owen Youngs had their cat here too and an instagram!! So exciting!! This has made my day. <3

  25. a/s

    this was soooo lovelyyy!!!

    anna^2 i really want a christmas card from you and yours. that is year-round fridge material.

  26. OMG the adorbs. Part of me regrets not including my parents’ new puppy Ms Frizzle for the amazing cuteness factor, but Mikoto’s my priority. I was getting nervous that we weren’t going to be on the list but turns out we were just near the end.

    I miss my camp buds and now I miss your pets too ❤️

    • First thing I did was Ctrl+F my cat’s name, and then look through the gallery once I knew he made it in ~^_^~

  27. It is 7:25 am on Bainbridge Island in Washington, and I have been up since 5:10 am to take the ferry over here – so forgive my emotions when I say that all of you and your bbs are perfect. Gosh. Thank you for sharing.

  28. I thought my favourite page on the internet was a cache of 215 pictures of Kate McKinnon at the Emmys, but I see I was wrong. I live here now.

  29. This gallery makes me SO happy. Like it is the most heartwarming, relaxing, adorable thing ever. Thank you for putting this together.

  30. Shoutout to the people whose dogs are named Henry and Hazel – those are our dogs’ names too! <3

  31. I’m going back through this a page a day and reading every single word you all wrote about your furbabies, and I just laughed out loud at this: “fun fact: if you name your very independent dog Stella, every trip to the dog park turns into A Streetcar Named Desire.”

  32. Yo bookshelf, I’m really happy for you, Imma let you finish but Pets is the best gallery of all time.

  33. lnr

    So good! I particularly love Boris the show cat who reminds me so much of my cat Spike. She was a show cat in her own mind.

  34. Lex

    The submission period was midterms crunch time for me so here’s my girls doing what they do best

    View this post on Instagram

    But Why

    A post shared by Lex (@lex_see_the_21stcentury) on


    Amber, the runt of an oopsie litter between a hunting dog and herding dog.
    Likes guarding and playing catch but not necessarily fetch.

    View this post on Instagram

    Snugglebeast

    A post shared by Lex (@lex_see_the_21stcentury) on


    Daisy Mae, abandoned pup and former fosterling her prime directive is cuddles. Has no sense of self preservation, she’s probably part terrier.

  35. Wow, I wrote a god damn essay. I am sorry ya’ll lmao. I love everyone’s pets!!

    If you and your doggo live near Sacramento, CA, we need to meet up ASAP!!!

    • Bee

      Beau and I are on page 13 and also we would love to be friends. He needs practice making friends because he’s not great at it and friends confuse him. Shoot me a message… I’m much easier to contact on Instagram or Facebook, so swap details with me and you can play with my dog?

  36. So many new instagram friends for Puck! I’m very glad we can keep this gallery going on instagram ^_^ And it’s nice to see there’s another mischievous Puck out there :)

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