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Abstract

Queer Entanglements provides the first comprehensive account of the intersections of lesbian, gay, bisexual, queer, trans, and non-binary people's lives with the lives of animals. Exploring diverse topics such as domestic violence, grief following the loss of an animal, veganism, cruelty-free makeup products, Pride events, and community activism, the book offers a theoretical and empirical basis for understanding the contexts that bring together human and animal lives. By using real-world examples, it provides a lively and engaging view of what it means to think about the connections between animal and human lives, even when human experiences operate at the expense of animal wellbeing. This critical, intersectional, and interdisciplinary perspective on human-animal relations will be of interest to scholars and students in human-animal studies, psychology, sociology, social work, and cultural and gender studies.

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By drawing on empirical research that explored trans people’s experiences of domestic violence and abuse (DVA), this article problematises the ‘gender asymmetry debate’ in DVA discourse. It does so by highlighting cisgenderism and a heteronormative bias, which have led to the invisibility of a trans perspective. Qualitative data was collected via narrative interviews and this was examined using a voice-centred relational technique. A total of 24 interviews were undertaken with trans people (n = 15) and domestic abuse practitioners (n = 9). In relation to the presentation and impact of DVA, and in the context of trans and cisgender people’s abuse experiences, the research findings report both similarities and differences. Four narratives are presented here to illuminate both. This article adds new insight and challenges normative and dominant discourses by promoting the need for further theorising about the gendered nature of domestic violence and abuse.
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Previous research has found that domestic violence (DV) victims who seek refuge in DV shelters often report the abuse of companion animals as a form of psychological control. However, these studies have mainly involved the use of interviews and questionnaires which restrict the quality and depth of data collected (e.g. these methods increase the probability that victims will withhold information due to embarrassment or ethical constraints). The current study utilized a novel method previously overlooked in the literature on companion animal abuse in an attempt to overcome these problems; domestic violence victims' stories of companion animal abuse were obtained from online forums where victims voluntarily shared their experiences. Seventy-four stories were analyzed using thematic analysis and four key themes were identified: The Victim-Companion Animal Bond; Companion Animals Used to Control Victims; Victims' Perceptions of Abusers' Behavior; and Support for Victims and Companion Animals. A number of DV victims reported that companion animals were one of their main sources of support, and many chose to stay in an abusive relationship because DV shelters did not have the facilities to house their pets. Findings have policy implications for police, DV shelters, child protection organizations, and animal welfare organizations.
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The link between domestic violence and animal abuse has now been well established, indicating that where there is one form of abuse, there is often the other. Research on this link, however, has almost exclusively focused on heterosexual cisgender people's relationships. Lacking, then, is an exploration of the possibly unique links between domestic violence and animal abuse in the context of lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans (LGBT) people's relationships. In this paper we adopt a feminist intersectional approach informed by Critical Animal Studies to advocate for a non-pathologising approach to understanding LGBT people's relationships with regard to the link between domestic violence and animal abuse.
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This article reports upon research on vegan transition, which I bring into dialogue with Sara Ahmed’s figure of the killjoy. Ahmed’s work on affect and the feminist killjoy is found to be apt for considering contemporary vegans and their transgression of normative scripts of happiness and commensality in a dominant meat and dairy consuming culture. The decentring of joy and happiness is also found to be integral to the critical deconstructive work of the vegan killjoy. Ahmed’s ideas further complement the frame of practice theory that I draw upon to understand the process of transition especially in the sense of opposing the meanings of dominant practices. Although food and veganism are not commented upon by Ahmed, the vegan subject constitutes, I argue, a potent further example of what she terms an “affect alien” who must willfully struggle against a dominant affective order and community. Drawing upon interviews with 40 vegans based in the UK, I illustrate examples of contestation and negotiation by vegans and those close to them. The article finds in the figure of the killjoy not only a frame by which to partly understand the negotiation of relationships between vegans and non-vegans but also an opportunity for further intersectional labour between veganism and feminism.
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In this article we explore the history, culture and practice of the phenomenon known as ‘puppy play’. Puppy play is a practice in which people take on the persona of a dog (or handler), with participants often wearing specialist gear to further enhance the experience of being a puppy. We argue that puppy play is best understood sociologically as a ‘postmodern-subculture’ (Greener and Hollands, 2006). Additionally, we use Irwin's (1973) model of scene evolution to explore the socio-history of the community. Whilst this practice appears to have its historical roots within the highly sexual gay leatherman subculture, there is a division within this community between sexual and social play, with some participants eschewing the sexual entirely. We explore possible reasons for this split through an analysis using recent political theory concerning technologies of the self, sexual citizenship and BDSM. Through this analysis we contribute valuable empirical evidence to debates and discussion about the development of sexual subcultures and tensions therein concerning claims for rights and the ‘politics of respectability’ (Cruz, 2016a, 2016b).
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Intimate partner violence (IPV) takes on unique dimensions when directed against transgender individuals, with perpetrators leveraging transphobia to assert power and control. Standard IPV measurement tools do not assess this type of IPV. Four questions to assess transgender-related IPV (T-IPV) were developed: (a) being forced to conform to an undesired gender presentation or to stop pursuing gender transition; (b) being pressured to remain in a relationship by being told no one would date a transgender person; (c) being “outed” as a form of blackmail; and (d) having transition-related hormones, prosthetics, or clothing hidden or destroyed. The T-IPV tool was administered to 150 female-to-male transmasculine individuals completing a study of cervical cancer screening in Boston from March 2015-September 2016. Construct validity was assessed by examining correlations between T-IPV and two validated screeners of other forms of IPV (convergent) and employment status and fruit consumption (divergent). The association between T-IPV and negative health outcomes (posttraumatic stress disorder [PTSD], depression, psychological symptoms, binge drinking, number of sexual partners, and sexually transmitted infection [STI] diagnosis) were also calculated. Lifetime T-IPV was reported by 38.9%, and 10.1% reported past-year T-IPV. T-IPV was more prevalent among those who reported lifetime physical (51.7% vs. 31.7%, p =.01) and sexual (58.7% vs. 19.4%, p <.001) IPV than those who did not. Lifetime T-IPV was associated with PTSD (adjusted odds ratio [AOR] = 2.23, 95% confidence interval [CI] = [1.04, 4.80]), depression (AOR = 2.70, 95% CI = [1.22, 5.96]), and psychological distress (AOR = 2.82, 95% CI = [1.10, 7.26]). The T-IPV assessment tool demonstrated adequate reliability and validity and measures a novel type of abuse that is prevalent and associated with significant mental health burden. Future work should further validate the measure and pilot it with male-to-female transfeminine individuals.
Article
Providing culturally competent and medically knowledgeable care to the transgender community is increasingly falling within the realms of practice for primary care providers. The purpose of this article is to provide an overview of best practices as they relate to transgender care. This article is by no means a comprehensive guide, but rather a starting point for clinicians as they provide high-quality care to their transgender patients.
Article
To what extent do modern Westerners imagine animals as spiritual beings? How do they view animals’ interiority compared with their own? In this article, I explore vernacular ontologies about animals that exist alongside dominant Western notions. In these narratives, animals are portrayed as having interiority similar to that of humans, living on after death in spiritual form, and interacting with humans as messengers from spiritual realms. My findings, based on a large mixed-methods study and ethnographic data, demonstrate that across religious traditions, people create vernacular ontologies that contradict official religious and scientific teachings, but are at least partly based on interpretations of empirical experiences. I hypothesize that as personhood is increasingly extended to companion animals, people are more likely to imagine afterlives for all animals that parallel their beliefs about human afterlives. Moreover, people are more likely to deviate from scientific and religious tenets when they have personal experiences of a spiritual nature involving animals. © 2018, Department of Folklore and Ethnomusicology, Indiana University.
Article
Visual methods offer social scientists some promising possibilities for valuing the work of women and animals in domestic homes and formal organizations, such as schools, hospitals, residential care facilities and other workplaces. In this article, we consider how visual methods might be used to ‘put women and animals in the frame’. We draw data and inspiration from our What is it About Animals study [2015–2016], which involved an online call for people over 16 years of age, to post pictures, poems, stories and videos depicting what animals mean to them. We pay attention to attempts to resist sexism and speciesism in the valuing of work, including emotional labour. We consider the possibility of post‐humanist methods for animal subject‐hood, and a sociology of animals, emotions and work. We end with a discussion of possible future visual methods projects to value the work of women and (other) animals.
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The Clinical Significance of Companion Animals for LGBT+ Youth: Unconditional Love in a Straight Society Abstract Background: Research continues on LGBT+ youth, social isolation, and mental health. Prior studies have shown the linkage between lack of social support and unhealthy outcomes including depression, substance use, and suicidal ideation. In place of or in addition to human support, companion animal relationships for this marginalized population have not been studied through previous work. This qualitative study explored the experiences of LGBT+ youth who have used companion animals for social and emotional support as a twinship selfobject or attachment object using Self Psychology and Attachment Theory as a clinical lens. Methods: Ten self-identified LGBT+ youth aged eighteen to twenty-five were interviewed privately at two sites in the spring of 2017. Results: Participants were sought through convenience and snowball sampling. Key interview findings included 1) social marginalization based on sexual orientation and gender identity with heterosexism are a pervasive part of society 2) the unconditional love and acceptance from companion animals exists through both verbal and physical communication 3) personal, academic, and professional growth for participants is attributed to pet ownership during their time of sexual development. Discussion: Findings showed that companion animals fulfilled multiple purposes for the participants in this study during their adolescence. This connection merits further quantitative and qualitative research into the clinical significance of companion animals for this population.
Article
The human–animal bond is a relational theory which describes the dynamic between humans and nonhuman animals that satisfies needs in each for companionship and emotional support, framing companion animals as valued family members. Social workers have historically ignored the central role companion animals play in the lives of their clients, adopting an anthropocentric view underpinned by human rights and social justice. However, the need for companion animal-inclusive practice features in recent social work literature. As companion animals are intricately woven into the lives of their guardians, it follows that their inevitable death brings a profound sense of loss and thus an opportunity for social work intervention. The aim of this research was to see if there was a role for social work practitioners to support grieving animal companion guardians. Qualitative thematic analysis was performed on 218 candid online responses to an article on the topic of losing a companion animal, from which four major themes were identified: strength of the bond, anthropocentrically disenfranchised grief, anticipatory grief in the context of euthanasia, and the need for professional support. This analysis demonstrates the strength of the human– animal bond, illustrates how the dominant anthropocentric hegemony disenfranchises this variety of grief and loss, describes the experience of anticipatory grief in the context of euthanasia, and identifies the need for professional support. Implications for social work practice are identified, with opportunities for social workers to exchange their anthropocentric approach for a biocentric view, provide support to veterinarians and other professionals, and to work toward challenging the social constructs, which disenfranchise companion animal loss.
Article
Existing research on lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) youth homelessness identifies family rejection as a main pathway into homelessness for the youth. This finding, however, can depict people of color or poor people as more prejudiced than White, middle-class families. In this 18-month ethnographic study, the author complicates this rejection paradigm through documenting the narratives of 40 LGBTQ youth experiencing homelessness. The author examines how poverty and family instability shaped the conditions that the youth perceived as their being rejected because of their gender and sexuality. This rejection generated strained familial ties within families wherein the ties were already fragile. Likewise, the author shows how being gender expansive marked many youth's experiences of familial abuse and strain. This study proposes the concept of conditional families to capture the social processes of how poverty and family instability shape experiences of gender, sexuality, and rejection for some LGBTQ youth.
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Little is known about lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) adults who experience homelessness. The current review critically analyzes the scant literature on LGBTQ adults who experience homelessness, with a particular focus on: 1) pathways into homelessness; 2) support needs; 3) targeted programming; and 4) exits out of homelessness. A total of 143 articles were identified and 16 articles met the criteria of appropriate age-range, article quality, and relevance of topic. Results from this review demonstrate that homeless LGBTQ adults have unique physical and mental health challenges, largely concerning HIV and substance use. Transgender and gender non-conforming adults who experience homelessness encounter several challenges in the homelessness system, particularly in regards to safety and gender-affirming supports. Recommendations focus on practical implications for support and suggestions for future research.
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This article provides an insight into the sexual world of ‘dogging’; that of anonymous sex between men, and between men and women, usually carried out in car parks. Drawing upon interviews with 12 men who engage in dogging behaviours, this article provides insights into the micro-negotiations of the dogging encounter and men’s masculine subjectivities. It argues that masculinity may have limited analytical purchase in the dogging encounter. Instead, it suggests that dogging provides a space for desubjectification where men’s subjectivities are configured in gendered ways that are not dependent on conventional models of masculinity.
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Companion animals play an important role in many human's lives, including many Australian social workers and clients. Yet Australian social work has been slow to address the burgeoning area of human-animal studies. In this embryonic research, we focus on women's close relationships with companion animals and some of the broad implications this has for social work practice. We analyze some of the themes expressed by women who participated in three focus groups we conducted: two on a university campus and another in a community welfare agency setting. We also examine how the women interacted with each other as they spoke of "their pets," as these dynamics point to a potentially important source of inspiration and energy that social workers may wish to harness in their day-to-day work with women.
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Several studies have reported a connection between animal abuse and interpersonal violence. The importance of veterinarians in recognizing and intervening in the cycle of violence has been debated in different articles. This review outlines the findings about this connection around the world and describes the role veterinarians play in this field. We looked up electronic databases and analyzed articles published between 1960 and 2016. Publications were classified into three categories: area of publication, topic of the study and continent where the study had been conducted. Out of the 96 articles included, 76 (79.2%) were from North America. None were from South America or Africa. Ninety-four articles (97.9%) found some association between animal abuse and violence against people. The rates of co-occurrence between domestic violence and animal abuse reported varied between 25% and 86%. Furthermore, children who were abused, exposed to domestic violence, or animal abuse were at risk of developing criminal behavior. Veterinarians play an important role in public health and animal welfare. Yet, only seven articles (7.3%) were published in the field of veterinary medicine. Studies report that between 42.8% and 86% of veterinarians know about the “Link”. However, most veterinarians not being trained to intervene in cases of animal abuse and human violence. This emphasizes the importance of educating veterinarians about this topic and their participation in this area.
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This article extends Morrison, Johnston, and Longhurst’s argument that love is spatial, relational, and political by tracing the ways that home situates both intra- and interspecies intimacy. It examines the ‘crazy cat lady’ as a discourse that entangles heteronormative and speciesist rules for loving, living, and making ‘a home.’ In a post-industrial moment when pet love has become a centerpiece of ‘normal’ life, the crazy cat lady occupies a queer periphery. She not only loves cats too much, she loves them more than humans, instead of a husband, and literally in place of heteronormative domesticity. To understand these complicit logics, this article reconceptualizes home as a queer ecology in which the sociospatial politics of nature, gender, humanity, sexuality, animality, domesticity, and intimacy collide. Using this framework, this article examines how women-with-cats–the ‘real’ crazy cat ladies–(re)inhabit normative ideals in their everyday practices and how this multispecies homemaking unfolds through more-than-human agencies. In queering ecologies of home, this article offers animal, posthumanist, feminist and queer geographers of home, as well as everyday homemakers, a wi(l)der bestiary of conceptual tools to understand intimacies that entangle across the boundaries of home/nature, wild/domestic, queer/straight and human/animal.
Article
Purpose The purpose of this paper is to consider the use of beauty blogging selfies in conveying consumer authenticity. The authors used an under-researched consumer-based authenticity approach. Design/methodology/approach The authors adopt a practice theory approach to selfies as both objects and practices. The study combines depth-interviews with a review of the participants’ blogs and selfies. Findings This research shows that bloggers use selfies as records of product trial, success and failure via specific sub-types. These selfies function as authenticating consumer acts, intertwined with key life narratives and as records of communal events, where bloggers identify as a community. Research limitations/implications This research is limited to beauty bloggers. Further research on consumer authenticity could be extended to other product categories and other media channels. The widened definition of selfies proposed enables further research on self-representational practices in consumption contexts. Likewise, the practice theory approach could be extended to other online contexts. Practical implications As social media and peer endorsement become ever more important to marketers, brands are seeking to leverage bloggers as brand ambassadors as well as the authenticity they convey. Maintaining this authenticity and credibility among peer networks and audiences is crucial for influencers and for marketers. Originality/value This study contributes to the understanding of consumer-based authenticity, self-representational practices using selfies and beauty blogging communities. Practice theories are applied in an online context, suggesting an opening for further research into mediated practices.
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In this article I explore the ways in which dogs and other companion species become family members and engage with the argument that this indicates the emergence of post-human families. Using empirical data from responses to a Mass Observation directive on Animals and Humans and in-depth interviews with people who share their homes with companion animals, I explore the ways in which humans and dogs live with each other and the ?daily practices of kinship? which constitute them as kin. I argue that practices of kinship blur the species barrier but that human-dog relations take place in the context of unequal power relations which are an inevitable consequence of dogs? incorporation into families as dependents. I conclude that while it may be possible to identify post-human practices in multi-species households, they exist alongside practices which reinforce the human-animal boundary and that, given the unequal relations of entanglement within which humans and animals interact, attempts to identify empirically a post-human family seem problematic. What can be said, however, is that a post-human approach to kinship practices highlights the porousness of the category human and alerts us both to the deep connections between humans and other animals and to the profoundly unequal ways in which animals are incorporated into social relations with humans.