NAME: Julian Gavino
PLATFORM & USERNAME: Instagram & TikTok @thedisabledhippie
CENSORSHIP: Shadow & content ban
What reason was given for your ban?
Violent or sexual content/nudity.
Why do you think your post(s) was censored?
Whenever I post pictures of my feeding tube I get warnings or censors saying I’m posting gore or violence. It’s just my feeding tube— it’s a medical device. It’s how I eat and survive.
There are other people who have tubes who want to feel seen and need advice. It’s not gross or gory.
Another reason I’ve been censored is for nudity. They try to say it’s because of my nipples. But I’ve had top surgery and I’m male— I don’t have boobs. It’s usually a modelling photo of some work I’ve done. That’s how I make a living.
Another thing I’ve done is work with sex toy brands, Instagram really doesn’t like that. I work with a brand that helps educate people on disabilities and sex, so, it’s literally just education, but it gets banned. This was all on Instagram.
On TikTok, I get banned even easier, I’ve given up on TikTok for the most part. I wanted to move my content there but it’s worse than Instagram with banning. I tried to post a video of me educating people on how I prepare my formula for my feeding tube and it took me 10 tries to post it, and it still was censored for violence.
Every time I try to post a challenge video— like the red light or bussit challenge, challenges that show a little “body” TikTok deletes my video. I can only post clothes videos or my face close-up, they’ll delete anything else I post.
Were you able to appeal and what was the response?
Yes, I’ve never gotten a response.
What effect has your experience of censorship had on you?
It’s affected my income, this is how I make money, if I can’t post or can’t reach people then I can’t work. I’m disabled and this is the only way I can work. It’s affected me emotionally too, I want to advocate and be there for my communities but I’m being blocked from my creative outlet.
What’s one thing you want people to know about this topic?
I want people to know disabled and transgender bodies aren’t violent/gory or sexually graphic just because we’re different. My body looks different and that’s ok, It doesn’t need to be censored, It’s normal.
Other people out there who look like me need to see that representation, as a model that’s my entire purpose. When you take that away you’re taking away my purpose to heal myself and help others do the same.