3 Subtle ways to show your zoopride in public
As zoos we have lots of reasons to be proud of ourselves, our sexuality, our fellow zoo friends and allies and - of course - proud of our non-human companions. However, as much as we’d like to be able to go outside and wave an XXL sized zoo pride flag across our town, city or neighbourhood, the truth is that there’s still a lot of work to do until zoosexuality receives the social respect and recognition that it deserves.
Yet, despite how long our path may seem, we’re also here to tell you that we zoos are making steady progress. There’s no better evidence than the huge growth the zoo community has been experiencing over the last two years: many new faces, new platforms like zoocommunity.org, the “Zooier Than Thou” podcast which has recently started its 4th season and, of course, the launch of our very own online magazine, Zooey!
In this sense, in the spirit of optimism and determination to build a bright future for our community and loved ones, we are happy to share with you these three subtle ways in which you can show your zoopride in public. Also, we wouldn’t really be an online magazine if we didn’t resort to ‘top 10’ or ‘top 3’ lists from time to time now, wouldn’t we?
Without further ado, let’s get started!
1. Wearing zoopride colored clothes and accessories
This one’s ideal for that post-pandemic convention or meetup you’ve been itching to attend for a while now.
Whether you go for the blue-white-purple or the brown-green-blue variation of the zoopride flag, there’s endless ways in which you can introduce these color combinations in your accessories such as wristbands, necklaces or hair bands. The same can be said for clothing combinations such as brown hat, green shirt and blue jeans pants! Subtle, deniable but one more way in which you can express yourself.
How subtle you are with these color combinations is up to you and while there is a certain risk involved, it’s worth mentioning that these small exercises of expression of one’s identity can be empowering and have a noticeable positive effect on your mood.
2. Wearing matching collars or accessories with your non-human companion
Nowadays there’s an endless variety of collars, bandanas, harnesses or other accessories that are highly customizable and come in all shapes, forms and colors. Why don’t you try wearing a matching accessory with your non-human companion?
For example, if your canine partner regularly wears a black collar or a collar with a certain pattern, you could try to get a bracelet with a matching color or pattern!
Does your animal companion wear a bandana? Make it part of your outfit! Most people won’t really give it a second thought and will only see a person that has a deep bond with their animal… which is true. At the same time you and your closest zoo friends and allies know that it actually means so much more!
3. Be the one person who makes and laughs at zooey jokes
This one’s not for everybody, but if you’re know in your friend group for often making jokes and having a hearty laugh, then you might want to try to slip a few zooey jokes here and there.
The internet, and especially the furry fandom, is ripe with jokes about lonely farmers, knots and bones. It’s been reported that many zoos felt more comfortable coming out to their friends after they cracked some jokes with zooey innuendos. Granted, you’ll need to have good social awareness to notice if you’re taking it too far or not, but from multiple experiences we’ve read over the years, this might be a good strategy to subtly test the waters and see if it’s okay to come out to your friends.
4. (Bonus) When faced with anti-zoo drama, shut down the bigotry by ignoring the hate
While it’d be ideal if everyone could publicly step up and defend their friends and allies in face of injustice we understand and know that sometimes it can be too risky.
There’s many many ways in which you can actually start building up courage, setting down your foot (or paw) and tell a group of anti-zoo haters to shut up and mind their own business. And while we all aspire and sometimes even fantasize with that very moment, we are fully aware that it often takes time and effort to be able to do so. No worries, we’ll discuss this matter in future articles at Zooey!
In the interim, however, there’s one thing everyone of us can do most times: ignore the hate and ignore or refuse any provocations by haters to publicly pick their side. When there’s drama (especially in the furry fandom), 99% of the time there’s no need to say “I don’t condone this” or something similar just because the hate-brigade is pressuring you into giving in to their social blackmail.
This advice is especially important for our allies who often find themselves in a tough position when the anti-zoo rethoric makes its way across social networks. In such a case or if you yourself as a zoo have a public account: don’t panic!
Ignore and carry on! Or, if you feel like it, just tell them to mind their own business. From experience, I can tell you that having your favorite artists not give a fuck about the typical drama in which every other attention-seeker delves in, can be very reassuring to us zoos. Even if there’s no explicit public support, standing tall against pressure-driven virtue signalling can also be a powerful move.
Article written by Lykon June 2022
Find them at https://twitter.com/paintedlykon!