MEMES! Gender, labels, + consent, oh my!
I was sharing memes on instagram that included nude images but deleted them all when ig did their most recent update to the terms of service because I was scared of getting my account deleted AGAIN. My original account with 22.6k followers got deleted in October 2018 and I never got it back, so I really would like that to NOT happen again.
I still love the memes that I made and want to share them, so here are some of the ones that I used to have on my ig before I deleted them!
Photo: Chip Willis
Model + meme: me, Bunny Luna
I am angry today so I am channeling that anger into making my first ever meme. Hah, it’s funny that I’m choosing this as my first post since my hibernation. (TW: breach of consent) This meme is dedicated to the TWO middle aged white men who assumed it was okay to touch me without consent yesterday.
They obviously felt entitled to my body because I have a vulva and am younger than them? One rubbed my freshly cut hair on the top of my head, without asking or commenting or anything, just touched me out of nowhere. The other literally pulled me by the arm so I could pose for him in front of some photos of mine, and then proceeded to move my arm to get me to pose in a certain way. He didn’t even ASK if I wanted to take a photo. I told him my rates, and he laughed.
Labels are complicated, and have the potential to be both positive AND negative. As someone who has learned a lot about themself over the last year, and changed quite a bit, labels have been something I’ve honestly struggled with. It’s easy to say that labels are not important, and they don’t have to be if you don’t want them to, but for some people they’re incredibly important, especially when you’re trying to figure out who you are.
Labels are positive in that they help us figure out what space we occupy in the world, they help us describe ourselves to others, and they help us find community and people who are similar to us. Labels can be negative when people assume incorrect things about us, put is in boxes that don’t fit us, or when they refuse to see us for who we really are.
It feels awful to be labeled as something you’re not, and it feels amazing and is so affirming when someone uses the correct label(s) to describe you. No matter what, only YOU can choose what labels are right for you. There is nobody who knows you better than yourself.
Some labels that I personally use because they feel right and true for me: non binary, queer, ecosexual, non monogamous, artist, witch, demisexual, creative, sproutling (my mom came up with this to describe me to others instead of saying that I’m her adult child and I love it!)
What labels do you use that feel authentic to you?
Self portrait taken in Utah during my 69 day cross country road trip in 2019 (before I cut my hair obviously).
Never touch anyone without their explicit consent. Yes, this includes hugs with friends and family, asking or talking about someone’s tattoos/clothes/hair, directing a model for a photoshoot, posing with another model, kissing your crush…
The ONLY exception to this that I can think of is if that person is in immediate danger and there is literally no time to ask for consent.
Keep in mind, consent is not only for physical touch. You should also get consent when flirting with someone, commenting on someone’s body, sharing difficult or potentially triggering information, sharing a story someone told you with someone else, posting photos of people… basically if it involves someone else, you probably need their consent.
Have something to share about consent? I’d love to read your thoughts/stories in the comments!
Words: Douglas Pierce
Photo + meme: me, Bunny Luna (self portrait in Utah)
I didn’t save the caption for this one, but it’s pretty self explanatory. =]
I am not the person I was a year ago, or last week, or yesterday. You probably aren’t either. We are all on perpetual journeys of growth and expansion. Every day we learn something about ourselves, every day we become a newer version of who we know ourselves to be.
Without change there is no innovation, no deeper understanding, no growth. You are a bottomless ocean filled with gifts unknown, until you dive in and explore your depths.
Photo + meme: me, Bunny Luna (self portrait in Colorado)
I recently had a really difficult conversation about my gender with a family member who is unwilling to do the work to understand and accept me for who I am. Their response to my being non binary was that I’ going through an “identity crisis” and it’s something that I’ll “grow out of” once I figure myself out.
It’s especially frustrating to me that they feel that way, because I know myself better now that I ever have. I know that I can’t make them see me for who I truly am, and that’s their work to do, not mine. It still hurts that someone I love doesn’t actually know me and instead chooses to only see me as the person they thought I was when I was younger and didn’t know myself.
I will continue to correct them when they misgender me (which is something I am constantly struggling with and tend to just stay quiet about it), because I want them to know that this is ME, not an “identity crisis” that I’ll “grow out of”
Sending lots of love to all of my trans siblings who have to deal with this every day. It’s really hard, and you deserve to be honored and acknowledged in your gender. I see you. I honor you. You are valid and important and I love you for WHO YOU ARE.
Photo/meme: me, Bunny Luna (self portrait in Colorado)
I moved through the first 28ish years of my life carrying the layers of expectations and assumptions of society that were thrown on top of me as a child before I knew I had any other option. Now that I know more about how the world works, I realize that I’ve been holding on to many things that are not truly mine. Parts of me buckled under that oppressive weight of binary gender, compulsory cis hetero monogamy, religion, racism, and capitalism (among others).
I am choosing to let go of the layers of anything that is not for the benefit of myself and the earth. It is a constant shedding, and it is not easy, but it is worth it. I wake every day with less of what isn’t mine so that I can understand what truly IS for me. I learn who I am by questioning.
Self portrait in Colorado