National Abortion Coming Out Day

I finally figured out what lipstick is for. Photo by Karin Webb

One of the things that contributes to healthy BDSM and Kink is the clear understanding that we own ourselves regardless of what is going on. This primary acknowledgement is what allows us to give control over to others and to take responsibility for our actions. We can consent to being used and to use, to find limits, experiment, and celebrate our flesh and our fantasies together. Without first owning ourselves, we can not give or take back freely and safely; we end up looking to another for permission or to know what is right. It is important and radical to know yourself, to own yourself, to fight for that one thing you were born with: your body. Today I write about a topic I feel deeply about:

HAPPY 44th ANNIVERSARY OF ROE V WADE!!!!! It has been 44 years since the half of the population who can get pregnant has had protected legal access to abortion and to the choice of how to govern their own bodies in the United States of America. Safe and accessible abortion is not, though, easy for much of our population to get to, afford, or feel safe accessing, and every day groups work to take this medical privilege away. In honor of choice and bodily autonomy being preserved, respected, and improved, I move to name today January 22: “National Abortion Coming Out Day”. The idea has been on my mind for a very long time, and I think this is the year that I can no longer put my thoughts off until tomorrow. Today is the day.

National Abortion Coming Out Day is about creating space for people who have had abortions, who have had partners who have had abortions, people who’ve supported someone getting an abortion, or who love and care for people who have had abortions to openly speak their truths. Open discourse about this topic has been suppressed and controlled through fear, violence, abuse, and an ensuing silent void. Take a moment and think about your history with abortion. How has it impacted your life? How has it impacted the lives of people you care for? How does the issue of abortion impact the lives of people less privileged than yourself? What questions do you have about abortion?

Share something about what you find with your community. Be willing and open to have conversations about what it means to own your body and your life. If you want to connect to a community with resources and support, check out the 3 in 1 Campaign, they’re great!

People have been having abortions, inducing miscarriages, and controlling their fertility since the beginning of knowing how to do it. You are not alone or unloved for choosing what to do with your body or your life. If you choose to carry a pregnancy to term, good for you! If you choose to terminate your pregnancy for any reason, congratulations on taking care of yourself, and good for you too! Our options stand on the shoulders of the fertile people and those helping them who have come before us, for thousands of years in study, wisdom, and developing practice. Medical people, Midwives, Doulas, Shamans, Witches, Doctors, Nurses, Veterinarians, Herbalists, Massage Therapists, Acupuncturists, even neighbors, lay people, and activists have had a hand in making abortion accessible and safe.

I had an abortion when I was 17, and I’m really glad I had access to it. I was supported emotionally, materially, familially; and I had the help of a partner with a car, and time to schedule it and heal before getting back to my high school classes. My life would be very different if I had a 21 year old right now, and that’s not the life I chose for myself. I don’t regret having that abortion one tiny little bit, I am grateful for it. It was safely performed in a hospital in Bangor, ME, and I was lucky that there were no complications. Since that time I’ve taken Plan B a couple times when condoms broke and the timing was bad, and I educate myself about aborcienifant herbs, tinctures, my fertility cycle, and natural methods of inducing miscarriage or starting a sluggish menstrual flow. There have been times I’ve taken herbs to jumpstart a late period when I was worried pregnancy was a possibility. I don’t have sex with people who are anti-abortion and anti-bodily-sovereignty. I have a right to my body and my bodily functions. So do we all.

Handsome devil with a uterus at your service… Photo by Karin Webb

So why are you sporting a mustache and binding in the photographs?

  • Shapeshifting to understand myself more deeply is a part of who I am as an individual and as an artist. I perform drag (across many gender constructs); I have since I wrote my first monologue at age 11. I enjoy binding in my daily life and wearing facial hair sometimes. Those are two ways I express myself.
  • I am gender fluid identified and use a few gender labels to explain my identity.
  • I think assumptions about gender in conversations about healthcare further alienate and put in danger people who aren’t men or women. Transmen, Intersex individuals, and people who don’t identify as women get to make choices about their fertility too.
  • I can’t post a photo of my breasts on most social media sites, so binding fits — there are only so many times you can grab yourself on camera to avoid areola exposure and not get bored with the results. It’s also an opportune moment to point out sex-based discrimination.
  • Culturally when we think of “ownership”, we most often associate the concept with masculinity. How has that affected the historical and present conversations about bodily autonomy when we consider fertility and offspring?
  • I think this photo says something about the entire concept of owning one’s body in our society. I had to break a lot of rules to even conceive of it.

Who gets to own bodies? Historically? Religiously? In relationships? In families? In hospitals? In bed? Over time? In prison? In poverty? Out dancing? In different cultures? In resistance? In public? In art? At school? In dangerous situations? At any moment someone else feels uncomfortable? Under the influence of various substances? At work? Within the constructs of privilege? …

Play On My Friends,
~ Karin

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~Thank you.

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