Are Zoosexuals Accepted?

Awoo! Hi! Alissa here again, long-time writer for this project, Zooey Dot Pub. I wanted to talk today about something that I think would benefit the zoo community if we had better vocabulary for it. It's a topic where I think we often use the wrong words without meaning to. It may even be a topic where we use the wrong words sort of on purpose in emotional moments, because we want to say something is all sunshine and rainbows or that something is all doom and gloom.
Basically, what I want to talk about here all stems from this one question: Are zoosexuals accepted?
In my own life, the answer is, yes! My friends and family know that I'm a zoosexual. They know that I have been in love with dogs, they know that I have been intimate with dogs, they know about my involvement in zoo activism via editing for this magazine, and they are all very happy for me that I'm living my best life. Zoosexuals are perfectly accepted.
But, a lot of people would also tell you that the answer is no, zoosexuals are not accepted. We see it all the time from people venting on social media, or even in Zooey Dot Pub's own articles when we talk about issues that we as zoophiles face. Our sexuality is considered criminal, and if rumors spread around about us, we could find ourselves in jail, fired, we could lose all of our friends and be shunned from our families. We bear this terrible secret, this shameful curse.
So, *are* zoosexuals accepted? Well, I would say that the answer depends on which culture you're being zooey in. And I think we would benefit from trying to remember that that makes a big difference when we talk about acceptance. The answer isn't that zoos are perfectly accepted, or that zoos are perfectly outcast; the world isn't our safe haven, but the world also isn't our Hell. You can find good places to be a zoo and you can find bad places to be a zoo.
As one example, let's take a look at The Internet. You're probably reading this on the internet! Unless someone printed this article off and handed it to you, which, like, that would be pretty cute. But anyways. If we open up Twitter/X, tap on the search bar, and enter the word "zoophiles," it would seem like zoos are *not* very well accepted, as evidenced by most of the posts saying things like "Zoophiles are not welcome here" and "Stand against abuse stand against zoophiles." But then, there are also some posts from Milk and Vex spreading zoo positivity, saying that zoos are valid, making little pieces of art and memes for each other. If I'm a zoo on the internet, and I see all of that, I have three paths before me. I can engage with the negativity, I can engage with the positivity, or I can disengage and look for somewhere else to hang out.
Depending on which path you've chosen, it can seem like "the whole world" is that way. But, it isn't! All of these things exist. Twitter/X, and really all social media, is driven by engagement. And since more people in that space feel comfortable saying negative things towards zoos, that's going to be the prevailing opinion. If you randomly picked a post out of all of them, chances are it would be to some degree negative.
But there are, of course, also spaces set up by zoos, for zoos, to be zooey with each other in. Classics that we like to promote are the Zoo Community forum and the Zooey Dot Pub Discord.
It's possible to create a very zoo-positive culture in your own life. It comes with challenges sometimes, things that can be tough decisions if you're not used to standing up for yourself, or if you're unfamiliar with actually experiencing that a zoo-positive social group can even exist in real life. But, just like how you have choices about what kinds of content you want to engage with, you are also empowered to think about what kinds of personalities you want to be around. If you have friends who make you feel safe and loved, heard and considered, you can hang out with them more, send them memes you think they'll like, compliment whatever it is that they're up to. If you have friends who make you feel paranoid and defensive, hated and demonized, you can stop DMing them, leave your mutual groups, stop putting yourself nearby them. For me it's something that I had to work on in steps: losing the friend group that was openly racist was a pretty easy decision to make; losing the friends that were progressive and funny and supportive in all ways but being zoo-negative, that was tougher, but, this is who I am; my love of animals is what I am most deeply defined by, personally; if my true self doesn't work for them, then it wasn't going to work out anyways.
And now, I'm here, mostly able to say that for me, the answer to "Are zoosexuals accepted?" is yes. Not because it's true everywhere, but because I have found my niche of friends and spaces that are yesses. Cutting away the fat, contributing to the good. I wouldn't want to speak for every last person's circumstances, but, to some extents, we live in a time fortunate enough where you have the power to choose just how accepted you want to be. If you can get on the internet (like, again, it seems like you are right now,) then you have options in front of you about who to value and who to disregard. 
In general, we can take a more active approach to spreading acceptance as well. If we go back to looking at Twitter/X, those zoo-positive posts from Milk and Vex could save a closet zoo's life if they're seen in the right moment: a beacon of acceptance in a sea of filth. Adding more positive posts to the results helps even more: if it were 50/50 negative and positive posts, then it would seem not like an uphill battle, but like the kind of social fight we're more used to--big, but very winnable. The more zooey artwork, zooey memes, and zoo-positive statements that we put out into the world, the more other zoos will feel seen. We can do it in very public ways, posting zooey art to Tumblr, or we can do it in more private ways, sending subtly zoo-positive memes to group chats you're in, or sending zoo-supportive messages to friends directly whether you know they're a zoo or not. Putting it out there that you think it's good, normal, pleasant, for a human and a dog to date, that helps when anybody sees it. Or, if you feel like even that is too much for you, you can drop the whole "zoosexual" part and just really focus on animal rights. That's plenty zooey too! For some people, they're already so surrounded by this that it already does feel like the whole world is zoo-accepting, and that other zoos are being dramatic.
So, the point here is very small, but I think it's like taking a small pebble out of your shoe when it's been hurting you for a while: Zoosexual acceptance is a nuanced topic. "Nobody cares," "Everybody hates us," "Everybody accepts us," these are all statements that can *feel* true, but are usually only actually true within very specific scopes. I think I would feel very different levels of zoo acceptance in the world depending on whether I'm currently in the Zooey Dot Pub editing room vs at the bar vs in a police interview.
Remember that the world is big and there are a lot of different kinds of people out there. Find your niches, foster friendships with friends who love you for you, and, maybe go make friends at the dog park with the dogs, a lot of dogs are really amazing friendship material.
Article written by Alissa Dogchurch (June 2024)
Questions, comments or concerns? Check out our Discord server!

Related posts

A Podcast For Zoosexuals?!

Can you believe that zoophiles are allowed to have a podcast? I was sure surprised! When I first heard about…