There’s definitely something punny going on here
Trigger Warning: The following is an account of me interviewing myself. As such, there is an ever so small chance of some of the following content triggering an acute schizophrenic episode.
BBBC: “Thank you for agreeing to be interviewed by the BBBC.”
Lee: “I’m welcome.”
BBBC: “So, Lee, you’ve recently come out as punsexual. Congratulations.”
Lee: “Thank me so much.”
BBBC: “With respect, I don’t think any of us were surprised when you came out as punsexual. You’ve always been a bit light on your words.”
Lee: “I’m not surprised either, Lee. My upbringing was pretty open-minded and forward-thinking compared to the rigid social norms of the 70s and 80s. Although I didn’t know the terms back then, my mum and dad didn’t care if someone was punsexual, humorsexual, or even gay. They embraced the rich diversity of life with unconditional love and kindness.
BBBC: “So what was the response following your recent coming out?”
Lee: “Most people have been really supportive and congratulatory. But some people have been really negative about it.”
BBBC: “And it’s the discrimination, you’ve experienced since coming out, that we are here to talk about today, is that right Lee?”
Lee: “Yes it is.”
BBBC: “Are you okay to carry on?”
Lee: “Yeah, I’m fine. Thank you.”
BBBC: “So Lee, what kind of negative responses have you experienced?”
Lee: “Well, I’ve had a few passersby shout abuse at me in the street.”
BBBC: “Like what?”
Lee: “Only yesterday, someone called me a ‘punt’. The other day someone shouted “Oi! you fucking pun-pirate,” and actually, on the way here today, someone called me a ‘big punzy.’”
BBBC: “Can you tell us what happened next?
Lee: “Yeah, sure. So, on each of my social media platforms, I changed my bio to reflect my coming out and that I now identify as a giant punsexual. To minimise confusion, I also stated in each bio, that my preferred personal pronouns are now fe/fi/fo/fum. I even took the time to write a piece about the appropriate use of my pronouns in everyday situations.”
BBBC: “So, what happened next?”
Lee: “The very next day, Twitter suspended my account. I was rendered tweetless.”
BBBC: “Why do you think your Twitter account was suspended?”
Lee: “Well, I received this email from Twitter.”
Your account has been suspended for violating the Twitter Rules. Specifically for: Violating our rules against platform manipulation. You may not use Twitter’s services in a manner intended to artificially amplify or suppress information or engage in behaviours that manipulates or disrupts people’s experience on Twitter.
BBBC: “How did that make you feel?”
Lee: “I actually feel violated, for being accused of violating someone or something. In a different guise, I am an activist against false allegations. False allegations destroy lives.”
Lee [cont’d]: “Between 2017–18 I used the same Twitter account to engage in tweets about the contentious and divisive nature of false allegations. During these debates (I use that word loosely), I was often insulted and verbally abused. Ironic, when you think about the subject we were discussing. I never stooped down to the level of those that derided me. And I most certainly never resorted to derogatory comments of any kind. So how is it, that the day after I come out as punsexual on Twitter, my account is suspended?”
BBBC: “So, Lee, do you think this could be a politically motivated response from Twitter?”
“This Tweet is unavailable.”
Update: Since the writing of this story, the related Twitter account has been unsuspended.
This report was brought to you by the ‘British Bonkers Broadcasting Corporation’ (BBBC). An affiliate news network of the MuddyUm Associated Press (MAP).
Originally published in Medium publication MuddyUm, 8th December 2019.