Justine Ang Fonte is “The Friendly Ghostwriter” behind the new Instagram account @_good.byes_ . She describes herself as “a sex educator with 8 years of heterosexual dating in New York City as a cis-Asian woman with boundaries, compassion, and a thesaurus.” She received her Master’s in Education in Teaching from the University of Hawai’i and her Master’s in Public Health with a specialization in Sexuality & Health from Columbia University. Justine serves full-time as the Founder and Director of Health & Wellness in a New York City school. Additionally, she is a consultant on intersectional health education and speaks across the country on sexuality topics like pornography literacy, consent, gender, and beauty standards. Justine is also the co-creator of an all-Filipina decolonization movement called Raised Pinay whose theater productions raise money for the reproductive health non-profit Roots of Health, of which she sits as the Vice President of the Board.
Inspired by lessons she has learned from her own personal and robust dating experiences, @_good.byes_ started as a means for followers to outsource breakup texts. Breakup categories are labeled and color-coded for each post containing a rejection script to support and inspire followers inclined to ghost a date they no longer want to pursue. Additionally, followers can request a custom script from Justine by direct messaging her. She asks for details about the dating experience that the person is comfortable sharing in order to compose an assertive yet compassionate goodbye addressed to a fake name. With the follower’s consent, she shares some of these custom scripts to the grid. In the “About” section of the account, she writes, “A relationship of any type literally means being in relation to one another. Dating is hard because it’s a vulnerable act but ghosting or canceling people does nothing to uplift humanity. Imagine what would happen if we humanize the experience with a generosity of spirit, honest feedback, or assert our boundaries even while ending it with someone you’ve swiped right on or taken an interest in. We might be less discouraged to participate and we may even grow from each experience. So if you feel safe to do so and want to, level up: instead of a bye, send a good bye.” Since launching the Instagram account for dating support in January, there has been an encouraging response which she believes is a testament to the common human tension to cater to the other person’s right to comfort at the cost of our own. Because boundary-setting is a struggle that extends beyond dating, Justine has received requests from followers for non-dating scripts to break up with their therapist, ask for a raise, and draw boundaries when communicating with a body-shaming or bigoted relative. Starting in her late 20s, knowing and asserting boundaries has been Justine’s primary form of self-care and she is happy that she can share how that skill can be exercised in a public forum like Instagram. You can learn more about her career on her website (justinefonte.com).