Many tattooed people that I know have told me horror stories about people grabbing them in the street, pulling at their clothing, touching them, all in the name of getting a better look at their tattooed skin. Until very recently I was lucky enough not to have experienced this. But then I did. And it was not ok.
I'm not a stranger to people asking me about my tattoos. When I'm wearing short sleeves you can see four of them quite easily. People are curious. I get that. I'm lucky that 99% of inquiring minds just ask me about them, or ask to take a closer look. This is totally fine. This is what I don't like:
A creepy douchecanoe sitting down next to me on the bus WAY to close for comfort. STARING at my arm. STARING at my wrist. We're talking for thirty seconds at a time, then looking away, then staring AGAIN. Disturbing as hell as it was, and then he GRABBED my arm and twisted it around so he could get a better look and had the gall to ask me who the portrait was of as he manhandled me.
I was really, really startled and upset. I pulled my arm away and stuttered, "Uh. Queen Elizabeth I." He actually seemed surprised at my freaked out reaction, which just made me even more angry. I sat and seethed for the remainder of the ride, angry at him and annoyed at myself for not saying something.
This brings me to the main point of this rant. DO NOT TOUCH TATTOOED PEOPLE WITHOUT ASKING. Just because we have art on our bodies does not make us a fucking petting zoo.
Since we're on the topic, I'm also going to list some other tattoo related grievances of mine.
1) I know other tattooed lovelies feel differently about this one, but I don't mind people asking what my tattoos mean. What I DO mind is people giving me a "look" or making an ignorant comment because they don't approve of the meaning of them. I have a wedge of cheese tattooed on the back of my left arm. Don't like it? Think it's silly? I don't give a shit. It's MY arm. Not all tattoos have to have meaning.
2) Don't ask me how much my tattoos cost. That's just plain rude.
3) Don't stare. So rude. And they're just tattoos.
4) Don't assume that because I have tattoos and you have tattoos we're bros. This happens a lot. Plus, guys will think they have an amazing and immediate connection with me because we have both had someone stab needles into our skin. So not the case, brah. Plus, your work looks like it was done in a back alley with a dull knife and some rotten ink.
5) DON'T CALL THEM "TATS" OR "TATZ." IT'S NOT A TATTOO "GUN." I will punch you. I am not afraid.
6) And most of all, don't touch me. Just don't. You wouldn't think twice about grabbing at an un-tattooed person (well, maybe you would, but then you're a super creep and there's no hope for you anyway), so don't grab me or anyone else with tattoos just because our skin is all colourful.
JUST DON'T DO IT.
See this arm? It ain't public property.
*This has been a public service announcement.*
*For further info, please see Nova's blog of awesome. She's got tons of great posts about not being an asshat to tattooed people and has great links, too!*