Q Pets Issue celebrates Atlanta fur-baby families of choice

When I saw Gracie for the first time, Russ Youngblood’s new dog was just 8 weeks old. With that impeccable puppy face and perfect puppy breath, it was love at first sight as much as it was with my own two little creatures and just about every other canine I meet.

On the other hand, it’s been nearly 20 years since I first met Gracie’s human dad, and I don’t remember it specifically. I do recall moments both personal and professional, public and private, from two decades of working with Russ. I vividly recall ups, downs, asides, arguments, tears and laughs in the years we’ve both worked at most of the local LGBTQ media outlets or their predecessors.

This issue of Q marks a sad but hopeful change to our little family. Russ was our first fulltime employee, and he leaves the nest for his next career opportunity as of this week. You’ll notice his name moves from our staff box to our Contributors list, because the Q family of choice will always include the one and only Russ Youngblood.

Even after he leaves us fulltime, you can still smile for his camera and see the results on our pages. It’s appropriate that he also shoots our cover package of Pet Parents.

Speaking of hearts of gold and our cover, check out this week’s photo essay with local queer pet professionals and their personal pets. Get to know their own little families waiting at home for them after taking care of other people’s prides and joys.

To supplement our special issue, advertisers offer their services, and 10 Queer Things says out loud what you’ve been thinking: Why pets are better than people.

This edition also includes Bill Dickerson’s family with husband Cesar in a Dear Straight People letter, and we offer six pages of queer family Q Shots photos plus the Queer Agenda calendar of things to do. As always, we wrap with the Q advice column and invite you to click here for new content every day.  

Don't forget to take the Q Sex Survey and look for the results in our Aug. 8 Sex Issue, or to write [email protected] and let me know if you need me before the next family meeting next week.

Read the full issue online here:

Pick up a new edition of Q each week at queer and LGBTQ-friendly venues around Atlanta.