These days it’s pretty common for women who have had breast cancer and have undergone mastectomies to post selfies of their chests on Facebook. It’s a way, some say, to raise awareness of the realities of cancer. But that wasn’t the only reason why breast cancer survivor and mom Christi Salcedo’s posted a selfie of her own mastectomy last weekend.
She had something else in mind, too: the transgender bathroom debate. In her now viral Facebook post, which as over 11,000 likes, she wrote about how hard it is for her to deal with the loss of her breasts both in her sexual life and as a mom:
“It’s time I said this. Take a good hard look at my chest. Don’t feel weird doing it. There is nothing sacred or sexual left to see.
While I can see that the pink ribbon brings comfort to some…I want you to know that breast cancer is ugly.
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.
When I chose to not have reconstruction it was for many reasons but most importantly it was because my children had seen me down enough. I wanted them to see me strong again. I wanted them to have their Mother they knew.”
But then she went on to describe how transphobia also affects breast cancer survivors, especially those that have had mastectomies and chose not to undergo reconstructive surgery, stating:
“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.
It has hurt us survivors. Recently I notice more eyes trying to figure me out. At the grocery store, restaurants…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.
I am personally of the belief that no transgender person wants to cause trouble in a bathroom. People just want to use the restroom. There have been terrible acts happening in public restrooms long before this.
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. Rant over.”
It’s valuable advice, to be sure: You never know what someone is going through.