Also.Also.Also: Where Gender Presentation and Breast Cancer Intersect, and Other Stories for Your Brain

Once again I’d like to welcome you to your Friday, where the world outside is full of oxygen and tomorrow isn’t Monday! I think this is the year I’m going to try a pumpkin spice latte, by the way. I think my time has come. Last night I had a pumpkin ale and didn’t hate it, so really anything could happen. I could finally send out my thank-you cards! I could win a prize for Person Who Did The Best Job Dusting Her Walls, because I did do a phenomenal job of that yesterday. I’ll keep you posted on any developments.

You Should Go or Do or Give

+ Support Sheila Robinson‘s film, Not My Flag!

Queer as in F*ck You

+ If I know you, and I think I do, I bet you’d like to read this profile of Ellen Page in the NY Times. Don’t worry about the paragraph-long description of her forehead, ok? Just let that go. Ellen Page Goes Off Script

+ South African Feminism, Lady Gaga, and the Flight Toward “Queer Utopia”by Desiree Lewis.

+ Oh oh you are going to FLIP OUT. The latest episode of First Person has Kristin Russo and Claudia Astorino playing Scrabble together and talking about intersex issues! So brilliant. This entire series is just so important.

+ Look it’s another video! Have you been keeping up with Dannielle Owens-Reid‘s new videos about getting a wardrobe you love? It just keeps being amazing and vital. WATCH IT.

+ I mean, not to be hyperbolic to the point of oblivion but, this is everything to me right now? For Queer Cancer Survivors, It’s Not All About Pink Ribbons by Winnie McCroy.

Jodi Jaecks and Emily Jensen, in the Play Out wired briefs campaign. Photo by Candace Doyal via Chelsea Now.

Jodi Jaecks and Emily Jensen, in the Play Out wired briefs campaign. Photo by Candace Doyal via Chelsea Now.

“When I was diagnosed with cancer, I had DD-sized breasts, and I definitely needed a single breast removed,” she told Chelsea Now. “I could not imagine life with a single breast. I would have felt like I needed to wear a prosthesis to even myself out. So I chose flat reconstruction. I wanted to present myself in a way that would make me comfortable.”

What she got instead was a litany of second guesses: from the insurance company, the doctors, and the psychiatrists she was forced to see before she could make her decision. She was especially angered by nurses who said that she would become “gender confused” without breasts.

“I feel as if breast cancer patients are being body policed,” said Testa. “Not all women relate to their breasts in the same way their doctors do. We’re not a one-size-fits-all community; we all have different needs.”

Doll Parts

+ The Rise of Buffy Studies by Katharine Schwab. “Scholarly interest in Joss Whedon’s cult classic points to the growing belief that TV shows deserve to be studied as literature.” Ugghhh I loved this.

+ Yes, ‘Big Girls’ Do Yoga, Too and Clutch has four diverse, bendy Instas you can follow right this very minute!

+ Why Women Are Turning to Newsletters by Lyz Lenz.

+ Kristen Gwynn brings you Girls in US Juvenile Detention are Often the Victims of Family Violence, Report Finds.

+ Melissa McEwan has eviscerated the bullshit hellhole that is the Peeple app.

+ Zackary Drucker and Hari Nef on Getting Beyond the Gender Binary by Caroline Pham.

+ A History of Violence (By Women In Music Videos). Ah, um. Hm.

Saw This, Thought of You

+ Taco Bell really wants to be friends, Launches Certified Vegetarian Menu.

+ Digital Romance: The Teens Get It, unpacked for you and spread across the buffet table by Julie Beck.

+ Shopping in the Men’s Section When Your Gender is Nonbinary by Lindsey Leonard.

+ Not sure how it’s possible that you arrived here today and haven’t already read this profile on Ina Garten, but I’m sure you have a good excuse. Ina Garten Does It Herself.

+ Watch this Italian horror cult classic, why don’t you.

And Finally

No, you’re crying, you big baby!

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Laneia is the Director of Operations and founding member of Autostraddle, and you're the reason she's here.

Laneia has written 922 articles for us.


  1. Wow, thank you so much for the breast cancer article. I wish I had read this a few years ago. I have a genetic mutation and family history that strongly predisposes me to breast cancer, so I had a prophylactic double mastectomy and reconstruction when I was 19. For me, losing my breasts was really no big deal, but most people couldn’t understand that. Everyone (doctors, nurses, friends, family) encouraged me not only to reconstruct, but to go bigger because it was a “free boob job.” I was young, and that was a very confusing time in my life, so I just went along with it because I thought that was what I was supposed to do. Now, three years later, I am left with huge silicone implants that I absolutely hate. I don’t regret the mastectomy for a second; I regret buying into this notion that I had to reconstruct to make other people feel more comfortable. I’m thinking of going in for another surgery to remove the implants, or at least significantly downsize.

    • This comment is an opinion that some surgeons don’t seem to hear or understand. I work in an operating room, and a couple of our surgeons can’t seem to understand that women don’t all want to increase size when they have reconstructive surgery. Thankfully, I have another surgeon that does use software so that patients can design an image of how they want to look post-operatively, and it gives them much more direct input. What you went through with the healthcare team sounds horrible.

  2. Laneia, I just wanted to say thank you so much for mentioning my work with Flattopper Pride! I was overjoyed to read this when it came out, but am just now reaching out with gratitude. Keep up the awesome writing! Flattopper Pride loves Autostraddle!

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