A breast cancer survivor reminds us we shouldn’t judge anyone based on how they look
In the wake of the Target transgender bathroom controversy, we’ve heard accounts of “bathroom police” deciding who belongs in what restroom based entirely on a snap judgment of their appearance. A mom who battled breast cancer took to Facebook recently to prove why it’s never a good idea to assume anything about a person because of how they look.
Christi Salcedo wrote a very candid post about her struggle with breast cancer and the resulting scars. She included a photo of what the disease did to her body and wrote about why no one should try to determine someone’s gender identity based on how they look.
She writes, “Take a good hard look at my chest. Don’t feel weird doing it. There is nothing sacred or sexual left to see.”
As evidenced by the photo, breast cancer treatments and surgeries robbed her of more than her breasts and nipples. “What is there for you to see is a hollowed arm pit. Breast cancer spreads first to your underarm lymph nodes. Seeing as mine was under my left arm, they removed all of my lymph nodes & a lot of tissue. You may also note an incision that is disfigured as this kept opening up post surgery.”
Salcedo is extremely honest about the emotional and mental toll taken by the removal of her breasts. “It robbed me of a precious part of myself that I once nourished my children with. It took away part of my sexual identity. Now that’s if we’re just talking about my breasts or my former breasts I’ll say.”
That said, the mom opted not to reconstruct her breasts explaining that her illness had already taken away enough from herself and her kids. “I wanted them to see me strong again. I wanted them to have their Mother they knew.” Although it was likely a very difficult decision, Salcedo says she was happy with it until this year.
“Until recently I have been very comfortable with my decision. However… The great bathroom debate of 2016 has hurt more than just the transgender community.”
Because this “great bathroom debate” she speaks of has empowered totally insensitive, uninformed morons and made them think it’s their place to determine who should pee where based on how they look. She says the transgender bathroom issue has also hurt cancer survivors, such as herself. “Recently I notice more eyes trying to figure me out. At the grocery store, restaurants …Walmart was the worst. I want to scream, YES! You are seeing it right! This is Breast Cancer… Please check yourself!’ But instead I let my eyes meet theirs in an almost plea for a change in what has become our society.”
That’s right. People see her without her breasts and figure she must be….a man? It’s ridiculous to the point of being hard to believe that anyone would look at a person and start trying to figure that out, but sadly, we’ve seen in recent weeks that it’s absolutely happening. And it’s abhorrent.
As Salcedo writes, “Persons undergoing cancer treatment or post cancer treatment may lack hair & wear a baseball hat. They may have undergone a mastectomy like myself. Please consider these things.”
It’s hard to imagine enduring the indignities of cancer treatment and its lasting effects on both body and mind, but to then have to deal with idiots who make assumptions because of their appearance is beyond gross. It is positively no one’s business in the first place, but is especially offensive to women like Salcedo who are grappling with their appearance and identity in the aftermath of their disease. The last thing they need is some asshole questioning their femininity and trying to suss out whether they have the right to pee in the women’s room.
The “bathroom police” need to calm the hell down and leave everyone alone. You never know what someone else has been through and it’s not a stranger’s place to try to pass judgment. Let’s practice a little compassion and understanding instead.
And a little “minding your own business” won’t hurt anyone either.
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