The Don’t You Want Me project examines the lives of queer people and their rescue dogs and creates a visual global platform for them to tell their stories. Finding strength and purpose in the unconditional love, compassion and non-judgemental nature that is embodied in dogs, we watch the participants heal and transform. DYWM aims to highlight what happens when marginalised and historically misunderstood beings receive love and support. This bond - and the stories and personal growth that spring from it - forms the backbone of Don’t You Want Me.
Coupling compelling images and personal narratives, we aim to show that individuals of all stripes have the ability to transform their lives, given love from their rescue dogs. The question of ‘who rescued who’ becomes universal, no matter how you identify.
Society has been conditioned to respond with indifference, fear and loathing to anyone 'different', or falling outside 'traditional' lifestyles and genders. Hate by some, affects us all. Queer and trans people have a unique experience of gender, identity and family. By helping them tell their previously untold stories - with the help of the bond they share with their dogs and through images and storytelling - we are starting on the road to help create a more compassionate society.
Help us to continue unfolding these stories by consistently connecting with people in the global LGBTQ community. With your support, we can reach them!
Your kind donations will go directly toward these FOUR crucial costs:
TRAVEL AND INTEGRATION: While our early stories are unfolding in urban or populated areas, many potential participants are in harder-to-reach, isolated communities. You will be helping to fund their integration into the project and be a part of bringing their voices to the forefront, by covering costs associated with getting one of us to them, or helping them come to us.
VIDEO COVERAGE AND EDITING: One big step in broadcasting these stories in a stronger and more intimate way, is to use video documentation. Your donations will go toward employing videographers and editors within the queer community - especially ones who have been marginalized and/or unemployed - whose skills can help inform our sessions with personal insights that might otherwise be missed.
EXHIBITION AND VISIBILITY: Getting Don't You Want Me in front of as many eyes as possible involves exhibiting and promoting it. Your generosity will enable us to display the project in different types of physical locations around the world. This would involve printing and framing visual materials, renting venues, and promoting our work. We also want to be able to provide an honorarium for each queer or trans volunteer giving their time and skills to assist with events and exhibits.
DON'T YOU WANT ME RESCUE GRANT: Help alleviate the costs of dog ownership that have historically have been major blockers for potential adopters within the LBGTQ+ community. Our grant recipients will have our support as they navigate a new healing experience with a rescue dog, saving two lives at one time. 15% OF OUR FUNDRAISING WILL GO TO THIS GRANT, UNLESS YOU SPECIFICALLY WANT 100% OF YOUR DONATION TO GO THERE, In which case, please make a note of this on your donation. THANK YOU!
We aim to make Don’t You Want Me part of a Universal Theme that ultimately resounds around the world, so join us and be a part of making history!
Please share this fundraiser with everyone you know. Use the Share button to spread it far and wide. This gives us the best chance to raise the most funds.
Together, let’s change the narrative.
**the project is still in its infancy, and we are aware that our current participants do not yet fully represent the diversity of the queer and trans communities.
ABOUT THE DON'T YOU WANT ME PROJECT:
Photographers, dog lovers and humans on a mission Jack Jackson (Toronto) and Deb Klein (UK via Brooklyn) connected overseas in a blast of serendipity involving the mutual admiration of each other’s work, a friend in common across the globe, close ancestral UK roots, and most importantly their shared belief that all people and animals - including the overlooked, underserved and marginalized - have a right to LOVE and RESPECT, which informs their work and their images. The often harrowing journey that their subjects experience, and how their stories can help everyone, is what drove Jack and Deb to create the Don’t You Want Me project.
Kicking off in Toronto, Brighton UK, and NYC, this on-going photo project (and ultimately book) reaches out across borders, from North America and Europe, and onward.
Deb and Jack are currently shooting sessions for the project in Brighton, UK, London, and Toronto, respectively AND via Facetime.
We are seeking a diverse pool of participants who identify as LGBTQ and who have a rescue dog (or dogs). This relationship must have had a significant transformative effect, and potential participants should be willing to share their stories.
IN THE PIPELINE: THE DON'T YOU WANT ME RESCUE GRANT
Don’t You Want Me, in partnership with Wild at Heart Foundation in the UK, are incredibly proud to introduce the Don’t You Want Me Rescue Grant: an idea sprung from the shared belief in the power of rescue dogs, and the joy, hope and comfort they can bring to our everyday lives.
The grant will seek to provide a suitable person from the queer and trans community with the opportunity to adopt a dog when they need it the most, and provide ongoing support.
In the hopes of enabling an ongoing cycle of reciprocal love and support, this campaign will provide a stray dog with a safe and loving home, whilst also providing a member of the LGBTQ+ community with a source of strength, friendship and healing.
Approximately half of DYWM's participants have said that their rescue dog saved their life.
Far more than basic financial aid, the Don’t You Want Me Rescue Grant aims to provide a complete practical and emotional toolkit to help transform the life of the individual who receives it. We’re keen to ensure that this grant helps to markedly improve the mental health of a recipient who we've determined - with the help of our mental health partner organizations - would benefit from dog ownership on several levels, and who has always yearned for a dog but could never have one, for many reasons.
READ MORE ABOUT LAUNCH OF THE GRANT IN CANADA HERE: http://www.dontyouwantme.com/dywm-rescue-grant.html
UK - you're next!!!!
***The project is still in its infancy and we are aware that our current participants do not yet fully represent the diversity of the queer and trans communities.
- Samantha Margis
- Nicole Baxter
- Fynn Stewart
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