BODY & MIND

Survival of the butchest: A gay man's Alaskan migration

Photo Credit: Clark Harding
"Couldn't we have stayed in headquarters and tended to the sled-dog puppies?" I whined as the truck poked along the rickety dirt road. A car passed ahead of us. I managed to catch a glimpse of its bumper sticker, which read, "In Alaska the men are men and so are the women."

"Ugh," I thought. "Do people still follow that 'no sissies allowed' policy here?" Suddenly our truck came to a screeching halt.

"Get my camera!" my mom yelled. I snapped out my thoughts and looked ahead. Crossing the gravel was a young, female wolf. The athletic alpha moseyed down the hill beside us, where she was greeted by others. I looked through my binoculars "one, two, five, Jesus!" Not something you see everyday, even for Alaskans. A good reminder of how different wolves are from Hollywood's portrayal: the vicious White Fang.

"They look like scrawny dogs."

"Hey, remember my friend who had a half breed?" Mom asked. The memory was all too familiar. The weird, dog-wolf used to sit with it's head cocked to the side, staring longingly off into the forest day after day. "She died," Mom said curtly. Not concerned with the dead woman, I looked back out at the wolf pack and wondered if her dog got to finally live it's other half.