Stop non-binary censorship of photos on Instagram.

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I'm Adrian Dalton, a non-binary model living and working in London, UK. I joined Instagram earlier this year. I was initially reluctant, but heard increasingly good things about it. I loved that it seemed to be a platform for body positivity, diversity and inclusivity. My heroes are those who break all the rules and in doing so, change and expand peoples perception. In the modelling industry those who refuse to conform in terms of size, height, age, gender stereotypes (and any conceivable way), but are still doing their thing, inspire me.

My gender story is complicated, but as things are now, my body is male. That is the way I like it. Facially, I look female. I am very out about my non-binaryness and enjoy challenging people's ideas of gender through work that I do. 

I created several Instagram accounts, one modelling account. On this I up-loaded many images. A photo showing my naked (male) chest got deleted and I received a message saying it violated community guidelines. I checked the guidelines and it was very clear that male nipples were fine, as were female in some cases where the person had had a mastectomy, but otherwise not. I was confused. It seemed my photo showing a flat, male chest, had not violated Instagram's own idea of their guidelines (which I actually think are sexist anyway). I could only presume the issue is that facially I looked female. Which seems ridiculously transphobic. Especially considering their whole ethos of loving the body you are in etcetera. 

It was ridiculously hard to contact Instagram about this. Eventually, the only way I could find was a feedback form. So I complained via this and thought no more of it. Some time later I posted another picture (where my male chest was visible) and my entire profile was deactivated. I got a message saying I'd violated community guidelines again.

Since then I've tried everything in my power to get Instagram to listen, only to receive bounce-back emails or no response. I've contacted several organisations who have wanted to help, but ultimately said Instagram's parent company is Facebook, who's HQ is in the States and so the discrimination laws we have in the UK wouldn't necessarily apply.

Reluctantly I've given up. I'm not anti Instagram. I believe it does a lot of good and can be a wonderful thing. I believe though there is a flaw in their system of assessing what violates community guidelines, lack of understanding in terms of non-binary bodies and a huge problem with how inaccessible they are if you run into problems. So, I've created another modelling account. Not wanting to waste my time only to be removed again I've edited pictures showing my chest, covering them with a censored sign. However, I find it so sad and discouraging we're in 2018 and I'm having to do this, on Instagram of all places.

If this is happening to me, it will doubtless be happening to many more people who don't fall within the gender binary.

Please sign this petition so together we can take a stand against censorship and discrimination. Let's help Instagram be it's best version of itself. 



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