‘Consent is not a coin flip,’ warns viral Humans of New York post



Humans of New York is one of the most beloved accounts on Instagram. Photographer Brandon Stanton not only delves into the lives of those living in one of America’s most diverse and cosmopolitan cities, but he also often goes deeper into bigger issues like racism, drug addiction and, most recently, consent.

On July 24th, his post featured a photograph of a girl’s legs, her hands in her lap fiddling with some leaves.

“It was the summer between 8th and 9th grade. We were make-out buddies,” the caption begins.

She then goes on to talk about being in the boy’s basement late one night, drinking and discussing the option of having sex.

“My heart was racing and I was terrified. I kept saying: ‘maybe,’ ‘maybe,’ ‘maybe.’ Then he said: ‘No more maybes. Let’s flip a coin.’ My stomach sank.”

The two ended up having sex and shortly after he told her she had to leave because his dad was home.

“I went home and filled up a whole page in my journal. I wrote in purple sharpie, over and over: ‘It didn’t happen.’ For the longest time I felt like it was my fault for feeling hurt. Like I was being overly sensitive. It took five years for me to realize that consent is not a coin flip.”

Like most HONY posts, the story is short and to the point, but its innocence is something many can relate to.

Less than 24 hours after being posted, the photo has received more than 129,000 likes and has more than 3,000 comments, many sharing their own unfortunate incidents with consent. On Facebook, the photo has been shared more than 12,000 times.

“The worst part is it probably didn’t take a toll on him at all the way it did her. What a strong woman for sharing this openly,” one commenter remarked.

What do you think of the post? Let us know by tweeting to @YahooStyleCA.