MU senior Jessica Duncan puts on makeup before getting dressed for class on November 30, 2016.
Jessica, bottom right, lays with their partner, Celty Shea, center and Shea’s partner, Angel Beck, bottom left, during a game of Jenga on November 23, 2016. The trio forms a “polycule,” a type of polyamorous relationship where a person can have multiple partners but the partners do not have to be in a romantic relationship.
Jessica cleans their hands after baking on November 22, 2016. The easiest way Jessica finds to describe polyamory is through a puzzle piece. “Every piece can connect to other pieces that can connect to other pieces,” Duncan says.
Jessica plays with their dogs as their mother, Jennifer Rogers, tries to speak with them on December 3, 2016. Duncan describes their mother’s reaction to them coming out as non-binary and polyamorous in 2015 as “stronger than disbelief.” The two often communicate but Rogers “refuses to acknowledge my pronouns or identity,” Jessica explains.
Jessica, right, watches as floats go by with their roommate Kristin Vela, center right, and friend Oliver Gram, center, during the Jaycees Christmas Parade in Jefferson City, Missouri on December 3, 2016. Many of Duncan’s closest friends are poly, which they (Jessica) consider another family when they don’t feel accepted by their actual family.
Jessica and Celty hold hands as Celty goes home after a night out on December 12, 2016. The two started dating in July 2016 after Celty, a transgender woman, introduced themselves to Duncan at a gender identity discussion group social. “Celty can be really cocky, especially about cooking,” Duncan says. “But she’s also just as caring.”
Jessica heads out to start their day on November 30, 2016. Jessica graduated from the University of Missouri with a degree in psychology on Dec. 17, 2016 and aims to work with child counselling.