Baopu #32: Going to Therapy

Welcome to Saturday Morning Cartoons, a segment where four artists take turns delighting you with their whimsy, facts and punchlines on Saturday mornings! Our esteemed cartoon critters are Cameron GlavinAnna BongiovanniMegan Praz and Yao Xiao. Today’s cartoon is by Yao!

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Yao Xiao

Yao Xiao is a China-born illustrator based in New York City. Yao Xiao creates artwork depicting a poetic visual world where complex concepts and human emotions are examined, amplified, and given physical form. Her work has helped people all over the globe connect at unique moments, from the celebration of the 20 Year Anniversary of the SXSW Interactive Festival, to the grand release of pop singer Katy Perry's single 'Dark Horse.' She has created deeply emotional and beautiful graphics for editorial print publications, pop music record covers, concert posters and book covers. Yao Xiao's serialized comic Baopu currently runs monthly on Autostraddle. It is an original comic exploring the nuances in searching for identities, connections and friendships through the fictional life of a young, queer emigrant. Baopu stands for 'holding simplicity,' a Taoist ideal of wishing to return to a simpler state. Find her on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Etsy or her website.

Yao has written 132 articles for us.


  1. As someone who has been in assorted therapy and counseling for the last 15 years, I wish I’d had this to show people when I was 10 and embarrassed and scared, by I’m so glad to see it now.

  2. Good therapy is so important. When I was in junior high school, I saw a therapist and was ready to open up about my transgender feelings. Instead, she betrayed my trust and destroyed any desire I had to try counseling for the next 15 years. Looking back on life, I often wonder if I had the quality help I needed when I was young, maybe my transition would have happened differently…

  3. I don’t believe there’s really any such thing as a perfectly mentally healthy person. How could there be, after spending any length of time on this Earth? It would be great if therapy were seen in the same light as regular check-ups at the dentist*.

    (*I’m a total hypocrite though, ’cause I haven’t been to the dentist in like 12 years)

  4. I love this so much, especially pointing out that seeking therapy / help when you need it is a sign of strength and not of weakness.

  5. This is lovely! I was paying out of pocket for a therapist until last year. Even at $50 a session I couldn’t afford it. I’m scared to try to find a new therapist through my insurance because that whole process is just exhausting, and what if I end up having to pay something out of pocket anyway? Ugh.

    • I totally understand! I prefer to freelance but I just don’t want to get into a situation where I can’t afford regular therapy sessions. It’s one of the reasons I keep a full time job.

  6. This makes me feel so much better about starting therapy (finally) this year. Love this <3

  7. Kudos to anyone that seeks help.
    That takes something.
    To a) admit you need help b) actually go get, really get it

  8. What great timing for this comic! I spent this morning having a conversation with my friends about how to convince (I don’t know if this is the right word) another friend that she needs to start seeing a therapist. She doesn’t want to because she’s afraid of the stigma and believes that she can just rely on peer relationships to help her through her tough times, which she can, but we are not equipped to help her process her emotions in a way that will be lasting and beneficial! Am sending this comic her way :)

  9. This is great. I’ve been meaning to get into therapy for quite awhile now, but got a “not accepting new patients” from one and tabled the whole idea. But I know it will be eventually worth the hassle.

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