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Photography project celebrating bond between LGBTQ+ people and their rescue dogs is visiting New West

Don’t You Want Me project founder visiting Bosley’s in New Westminster on Trans Day of Visibility
Don't You Want Me project
Lucas, a musician, artist, mental health advocate and dog dad, with Marcy – whom he credits for helping him survive the pandemic. Marcy falls asleep in Lucas’s arms when he sings to her.

A social impact photography project that’s travelling across Canada to showcase LGBTQ+ people and their rescue dogs is coming to New Westminster.

The Don’t You Want Me project will be on display at the Bosley’s by Pet Valu New Westminster store from March 28 to April 7. The social impact photography project showcases the beauty and resilience of LGBTQ+ people, and the transformative impact their rescue dogs have on their lives.

“We are very excited to bring the Don’t You Want Me project to New Westminster and thrilled that DYWM co-founder Jack Jackson will be on site at the store on March 31, Trans Day of Visibility,” said Karima Jivraj, owner Bosley’s by Pet Valu New Westminster. “The Don’t You Want Me project showcases the unconditional love, compassion and non-judgmental nature that is embodied in dogs, and how the strength and purpose they provide can help members of the LGBTQ+ community heal. We encourage everyone to come in and experience the exhibit.”

Jivraj is thrilled her store has been chosen as the B.C. store to host the exhibit, which includes six towers featuring images and personal narratives of LGBTQ+ people and the impact their rescue dogs have had on their lives. Admission is free, but people are invited to make a donation online to Don’t You Want Me.

Jackson will be visiting the New Westminster store on Thursday, March 31 from noon to 4 p.m. to meet the public and to talk about the project.

During each stop on the national tour Jackson is meeting with new participants and capturing their stories to share through the DYWM project. Anyone who identifies as being part of the LGBTQ+ community, has rescued a dog and has experienced firsthand how their dog changed their life is encouraged to apply to participate.

“Like rescue dogs, queer and trans people need love, purpose, family and to not live in fear,” Jackson said in a news release. “I am delighted to have the opportunity to travel across Canada with Don’t You Want Me; I look forward to chatting with visitors about the project and what happens when love is taken away, whether it’s by discrimination, isolation or ignorance and how people thrive when love is given back.”

The Don’t You Want Me project seeks to show the transformation that happens when marginalized and often misunderstood individuals receive unconditional love and support.

After visiting New West, the Don’t You Want Me photography project will travel to: Winnipeg; Spryfield, Nova Scotia; Calgary; and St. Catharines, Ontario. In each city, the project will be displayed in a Pet Valu store.

Bosley’s by Pet Valu New Westminster is located in Columbia Square shopping centre, 114-1015 Columbia St.