Click here if you’re having trouble watching the video.
So I have recently finished a book that I am obsessed about, obsessed with, and super excited about. It has totally affirmed all of my queerness in general, but sometimes, I somehow still feel like I need to be affirmed in my queerness even though I’m super queer and like, that’s awesome but we all need some affirmation sometimes, right?
So I would love to share with you this book Evolution’s Rainbow from Joan Roughgarden who is a trans woman biologist. An amazing person who wrote this amazing book. So, it’s Evolution’s Rainbow: Diversity, Gender, and Sexuality in Nature and People.
I love everything that I read in this book, I do feel like there were some kind of outdated terms in this book which kind of makes sense because it’s from 10 years ago. It’s been out for over 10 years. So, whatever potentially incorrect language is used in the book, I highly doubt like there was any kind of malice in using those terms. I would like to give Joan and the amount of time it’s been since Joan wrote his book, the benefit of the doubt that some of the like outdated language that was used wasn’t really on purpose. Language from 10 years ago, even if it’s not totally the way things would go today, but it’s nothing like super… what’s the word I’m looking for? Negative, I guess?
Distracted me! Yay. But anyway, this book is amazing. I wanted to go over this little section called Gender Defined, because it’s real great and it’s probably one of my favorite parts of the book and it’s pretty close to the beginning.
If you’re curious about like gender or, not gender, about nature being super fucking queer this is your book. This is all the science behind how queer nature is, nature is super fucking queer. So queer! Like, of course, humans are queer, because queerness is all throughout the animal kingdom! I don’t even like that term, okay, let’s find another term… all throughout life on this planet!
So I’m gonna read a little bit from this and let’s affirm your queerness too.
All right, Gender Defined.
“Up to now, we’ve come up with two generalizations. One: most species reproduce sexually, and two: among the species that do reproduce sexually, gamete size obeys a near universal binary between very small: sperm, and large: egg. So that male and female can be defined biologically as the production of small and large gametes, respectively. Beyond these two generalizations, the generalizing stops and diversity begins!
The binary in gamete size doesn’t extend outward. The biggest error of biology today is uncritically assuming that gamete size binary implies a corresponding binary in body type, behavior, and life history.”
(I’m going to read that sentence again because I think it is so important to really get in our brain. Here we go, reading a second time.)
“The biggest error of biology today is uncritically assuming that gamete size binary implies a corresponding binary in body type, behavior, and life history.
No binary governs the whole individuals who make gametes, who bring them to one another for fertilization and who interact with one another to survive in a native social context. In fact, the very sexual process that maintains the rainbow of a species and facilitates long-term survival automatically brings a cornucopia of colorful, sexual behaviors.
Gender, unlike gamete size, is not limited to two. Gender usually refers to the way a person expresses sexual identity in a cultural context. Gender reflects both the individual reaching out to cultural norms and society imposing expectations on the individual. Gender is usually thought to be uniquely human. Any species has sexes, but only people have genders.
With your permission though, I’d like to widen the meaning of gender to refer to non-human species as well. As a definition, I suggest gender is the appearance, behavior, and life history of a sexed body. A body becomes sexed when classified with respect to the size of the gametes produced. Thus gender is appearance plus action, how an organism uses morphology, including color and shape, plus behavior to carry out a sexual role. Now we’re free to explore the zoological and botanical counterpart of human gender studies.
So, we may ask how much variety occurs in gender expression among other species? Let’s take some favorite stereotypes and see. We will look mostly at vertebrae, but even more variety occurs with invertebrates and plants.”
(All right, this is going to be a list and it’s really great. I want to make this into a like, infographic post because it’s so good.)
“An organism is solely male or female for life.
No. The most common body form among plants and in perhaps half of the animal kingdom is for an individual to be both and female at the same time or at different times during its life. These individuals make both small and large gametes during their lives.
Males are bigger than females, on the average.
No, in lots of species, especially fish, the female is bigger than the male.
Females, not males, give birth.
No, in many species the female deposits the eggs in the pouch of the male, who incubates them until birth. In many species males, not females, tend the nest.
Males have XY chromosomes and females, XX chromosomes.
No, in birds including domesticated poultry like chickens the reverse is true. In many other species, males and females showed no difference in chromosomes. In all alligators and crocodiles, some turtles and lizards, and the occasional fish, sex is determined by the temperature at which the eggs are raised. A female can control the sex ratio among her offspring by laying eggs in a shady or sunny spot.
Only two genders occur, corresponding to the two sexes.
No, many species have three or more genders with individuals of each sex occurring in two or more forms.
Males and females look different from one another.
No, in some species males and females are almost indistinguishable. In other species males occur in two or more forms, one of which resembles a female while the others are different from the female.
The male has a penis and the female lactates. (This is probably my favorite one!)
No, in the spotted hyena, females have a penis-like structure externally identical to that of males, and in the fruit bat of Malaysia and Borneo, the males have milk producing mammary glands.
Males control females.
(Obviously hell no.) In some species, females control males, and in many, mating is a dynamic interaction between female and male choice. Females may or may not prefer a dominant male. Period. (I added the period.)
Females prefer monogamy and males want to play around.
No, depending on the species, either or both sexes may play around. Lifelong monogamy is rare, and even within monogamous species, females may initiate divorce to acquire a higher ranking male.”
And this is in the animal kingdom, or in the life that is non-human on the world… okay!? Yeah so nature is queer as fuck. There’s like transgender hummingbirds. There are plants that are male in the morning and female in the evening, and others of those plants are the opposite, female in the morning and male in the afternoon. Even different genders throughout like one day.
There’s like fish that like are very, like queer, gender weird. At all the things I’m just… *makes excited face*
Spotted hyena, all of them have penises. Also, it doesn’t say it in that section that I read to you, but in another section about those spotted hyenas, it’s probably, it’s one of my favorite things! Now I’m just like “haaa” …build expectation.
Female hyenas have penises too, they all have penises. The spotted hyena all have penises, and an erection is a sign of submission!!!!!!! In spotted hyena world!!!!
Okay, I’m done. So nature’s queer, end of story. I love you. Let’s go. Let’s check out more queer nature things.
Do you like this video? If you like this video, comment and let me know and I’ll make more queer nature videos. I love you!
If you’d like to read this book yourself, the Bookshop link is below!
(OR CLICK HERE)
Bookshop allows us to support independent bookstores instead of putting more money into billionaire’s pockets. As an affiliate with Bookshop, I receive 10% as a commission (at no cost to you!), which I redistribute to the local Black Indigenous, + People of Color creative community here in Charlotte NC.
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
You are valid. You are worthy of love and acceptance. You are important. You are special. I love you.
Schedule a one on one video chat with me at bunnyluna.com/peer-support
The first of my 9 part ecosexual exploration series that I will be doing via youtube livestream every Monday throughout June and July! I describe why the ecosexual label fits me better than any other label, and how nature shows us that gender is a social construct created by humxns.
Schedule for livestreams: bunnyluna.com/schedule
Book a one on one video chat with me: bunnyluna.com/offerings
Become a member to receive instant access to my massive photo & video archives: bunnyluna.com/memberships
I discuss 5+ reasons why I love menstruating as an agender person. Periods don’t have to center womanhood! I’m here to make room for conversations about menstruation across the gender spectrum.
Video thumbnail image of me during my period with my actual menstrual blood taken by Portraitmami.
If you’ve been wondering what the heck all of this gender and sexuality stuff is all about, watch this 1hr 25min recording from the live video chat I hosted on Friday! We discussed a lot: cis, straight, transgender, non binary, intersex, gay, lesbian, bisexual, pansexual, queer, asexual, aromantic, demisexual, ecosexual, genderfluid, masturbation, nudity…
If you want to be emailed with the info for future live video chats, CLICK HERE to sign up!