WHAT IS DYWM: Don't You Want Me is a global social impactphotography project showcasing the beauty and resilience of LGBTQ+ people with their rescue dogs. See our Go Fund Me fundraiser HERE.
MISSION: 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, Don’t You Want Me shows that individuals of all stripes have the ability to transform their lives when they are given love. The question of ‘who rescued who’ becomes universal, no matter how you identify.
**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. WHO WE ARE (see our bios below): 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 queer and trans individuals experience is what drove Jack and Deb to create the Don’t You Want Me project. The project shows the powerful bond between subjects who’ve endured considerable hardships and are now not only surviving but flourishing.
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.
WE ARE CURRENTLY SEEKING SUBJECTS IN BRIGHTON AND TORONTO, AND GLOBALLY VIA FACETIME PHOTO SESSIONS. Please contact us to start a conversation! 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 they should be willing to share their stories.
BIOS: Jack Jackson (they/them or he/him) Originally from a very small conservative island, Jack escaped their old life of finance and heteronormativity in 2012 with an unplanned move to Toronto having met a Canadian whilst travelling. During a forced period of being unable to work whilst awaiting documentation, Jack found photography and began studying what surrounded them - dogs, fashion and the queer and trans community. Jack founded alljackedup and the Ties to Love™ Campaign in 2014 and received support from the wider trans community, Canadian band Walk Off the Earth, and the Mayor of Toronto, John Tory. Just as their work was gaining traction, Jack’s wife’s family found out about their transition and the rejection and divorce was immediate. Jack found themselves with no secure income, little in the way of a support network and fearing homelessness.
Life became a living hell for over a year. One of Jack’s closest friends gave them the number of a boxer puppy advertisement and told them to call it like their life depended on it. It did, and they did. Jet Jackson bounced into Jack’s life in February 2017 and slowly life got back on track. Jack founded Doggy Dates - a dog walking and photography company in the fall of 2017.
Deb Klein (she/her) A native New Yorker, Deb has spent her adult life with a camera on her face and a dog by her side. Her moves have spanned from Ohio to Boston to Brooklyn, where she did everything from location scouting for Scout Productions (‘Queer Eye for the Straight Guy’), waiting tables, running craft market events as Brooklyn Craft Central, doing PR as Girl on the Phone, being a star barista, running a record shop (Hi-Fi Rex), playing bass in pop bands, traveling the world, and fostering dogs in rescue (they totalled about 25). The latter sent her photography on a path she hasn’t strayed from.
Shooting dogs in foster turned into street portraits which turned into a small business involving capturing pets and their beloved families, something she loves and connects with. Her senior pup by her side, she continues to seek out amazing subjects and find out their stories. She is now connecting with her new Brighton, UK community.