Kyle, Amie, Nassau, Diana (l-r), Toronto
Amie Speaks: 'Diana had always wanted a dog but her parents were against it. In Sri Lanka, pets live outside. My moderately strict Asian parents would only let me have a cat.
I knew Nassau and I would be soul mates based on her Save Our Scruff adoption profile, which, if you swapped out Nassau for Amie, it would apply, "Nassau is shy, and slow to open up...like any smart girl in the city."
Before Nassau came into my life I was single and dating all over Toronto. A new grad, working a great job and living with lovely roommates. I kept meeting men that were right on paper, but the relationships never lasted. The plan was to adopt Nassau, delete Tinder, and give up on dating, possibly forever. But I decided to go one one last date with a woman. Myself and Diana have been together for 6 years now. We live with Kyle and Nacho the cat too, they are our family here.
There were the obvious immediate impacts of adopting Nassau like healthier sleep and exercise routines and you can't binge drink your problems away when the world's sweetest creature is counting on you. But it wasn't until we became serious about coming out to our respective families where the emotional impact of Nassau really became crucial. Diana is Tamil and I am Chinese and when we started dating in 2015, we were "out" in almost every aspect of life except for our parents. In 2018, we began the parent coming out process - a three-year journey involving intensive therapy, tears, and a lot of time with Nassau.
As two queer women of colour, we experience so much invalidation from society - whether it’s for our gender, sexual orientation, race... or some combination of the three. We work hard to ignore messages from society, but sometimes the messaging comes from our parents too. And that’s tough. Coming from cultural backgrounds that are "Eastern" in philosophy, we both grew up valuing the collective over the individual, and it’s really hard to adapt to the idea that it’s ok to live the life we want. Of course, we have lots of supportive friends and coworkers - but Nassau is the only thing in our life that carries absolutely zero judgement.'