In an adorable YouTube clip, Black lesbian author and activist Staceyann Chin and her toddler, Zuri, talk about autonomy and consent. It’s the pair’s third “Living Room Protest.” They lay on their stomachs and on what looks like a cozy couch or bed, a bookshelf in the background.
“You like when people pick you up or you don’t like it?” Chin asks her curled-haired child. “Ya,” Zuri responds. “Ya what? You don’t like it or you like when they pick you up?” Chin inquiries further. “You have to be clear about these things.”
Zuri then clarifies that she doesn’t like when people pick her up. She even models what asking for permission looks like by saying (completely unprompted), “Mommy, can I touch you?” When her mother says “yes,” Zuri then gently tickles her palm: “Tickle, tickle, tickle.”
So precious. And powerful.
In the inaugural issue of ELIXHER Magazine, we visited Chin’s Brooklyn home for an intimate photo shoot. On page 34, the author and new mom talked about her first year of motherhood, how her dating and sex life have changed with a kid, and more. Check it out here.
Here’s an excerpt of what she shared with ELIXHER Magazine back in 2013. So inspiring to see it in action:
I just want her to keep growing and keep up her spirit. I secretly want her to become a little feminist. I want her to say this is my body. I want her to follow her own heart. I don’t want her to love Barbie. I don’t want her to love having a little baby and I want her to explore a wider experience of womanhood. The time will come when those expectations will be put on her not by me but by other people. I want her to be able to say to other people, I like to build things and I don’t want to play the mommy. Later on if I become a mommy, I’ll choose to do that but right now, I want to play other things that I don’t necessarily like. I want her to see me doing things that are in resistance of heteronormativity. Like who am I? Who is this creature that is all radical and still progressive inside the cloak of motherhood? Oh, this is my mom.