Saturday Morning Cartoons: Tongue Depressor

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


Feature image via Shutterstock

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Cameron is an illustrator hailing from Ohio. When she’s not drawing, she’s probably very, very quietly having loud thoughts about: queer things, her eventual shop, what to watch next on Netflix, food, names for her future pets, and tumblr.

Cameron has written 76 articles for us.


    • I feel the same way! I turned down going to two fun things because I am feeling low, then I get on AS and there is a link mentioning queerness and depression. Something is radiating through the world.

  1. daily reminder that sometimes sex between two women can result in pregnancy

    the combination/interaction of mental health issues and queerness is huge and important and, surprise, also hugely affects trans women & transfeminine people in our community

    idk I am passionate about this topic and excited about this comic, just not into the cissexist punchlines

    • Wouldn’t that conversation be a very different one, though? I mean, I’ve had and lost gyno’s over this conversation, but I feel like if I ever did end up in a relationship with a trans woman, one or both of us would be using some form of contraception.

    • I agree. Think the intersection of mental health problems and queer experience is a really important one to get behind as a community but in doing so we really all need to take into account trans voices. This hit me as cissexist from the outset.

  2. > Implicit presumption that she would naturally never be involved with that kind of person because they don’t count as lesbians.

    This kind of thing gets so exhausting when you run into it every day. :(

  3. This is hysterical, I always enjoy seeing how long it takes doctors to figure it out.

    And yeah, some lesbians won’t have sex with trans women. Get over it.

    • Your apathy towards this underclass is not impressive. If you dealt with what we deal with, you wouldn’t be so flippant.

      • Sorry, but lesbians struggle with quite a bit as well. Not everyone lives in some cool, progressive place. I’m not going to play the oppression olympics and argue that I have it worse or trans people have it worse, but it’s not “flippant” to say that all the gender theorizing in the world won’t make some women attracted to transgender women. Any article that even remotely recognizes that as a possibility gets trashed on this website, and it’s irritating.

        • Trans women and lesbians are not mutually exclusive categories. Where have you been?

    • The thing is though, that you just can’t know for sure whether or not somebody is trans unless they tell you, or unless you are physically intimate with them in a way that you find out they are trans. Saying that some women are not attracted to trans women -is- a problem, because personally, I know if I’m attracted to a woman before I know what her genitals do, or may have in the past, looked like. And I’m guessing that’s how it goes for most people. So to say you aren’t attracted to trans women (some of whom are lesbians) means that you either think you can know who is trans and who is cis by looking (you can’t) or that once you find out somebody is trans you stop being attracted to them. And if you stop being attracted at that point, you were attracted to them before, which means that you were in fact attracted to a trans woman to begin with.

      I’m sorry you’re from an area where it’s hard to be a lesbian. I don’t think it’s ok though, to say ‘I have it hard so everybody else needs to get over it and not say when they have it hard’.

      • I know trans people have it hard, there’s violence, discrimination in housing and employment, and very serious forms of oppression that the entire queer community must fight against. But people not wanting to sleep with you isn’t oppression. And that’s what I feel like so much of the discussion on this website leads to: you don’t want to have sex with me because I was coercively assigned male at birth, and that makes you bigoted. Everyone has the right to define their own parameters for whom they want to have sex with. It’s okay to be attracted to someone based on their genitalia; you can be attracted to them when you think they have a certain body part, and then not be attracted to them when they don’t.

      • I guess this touchs on the meaning of attraction. There is a difference between wanting to sleep with someone and absent-mindly finding someone cute. It’s true many lesbians would not find themselves wanting to sleep with a trans-women.

        That said Aly. “Get over it was uncalled for.”

  4. I appreciate the awareness of cissexism in some of the comments, but shouldn’t we distinguish between someone who is referring to their specific current partner as this comic is doing, vs someone making a generalization about all lesbians? The latter would be prejudiced, but not the former in my understanding.

    Also, I loved the comic. <3 (Cameron do you like Maria Bamford's comedy?)

    • Ah, she does say “generally, …” but I guess I read that as “usually” as in a summary of her specific relationship history; one can have mostly cisfemale partners and not be cissexist.

      • This is how I took it too. I don’t think the comment above yours to “get over it” is appropriate at all. But having said that, I don’t see this as a generalization about all lesbians – it is a depiction of a personal anecdote, and a scenario familiar to many queer women in relationships with partners who don’t have the equipment to get us pregnant (myself included). I have to tell my absentminded doctor literally every time that no, I really don’t need birth control. Really.

  5. This image reminded me of when my therapist asked me if I had ever dated or had sexual intercourse with a male.

    I laughed, then my expression changed to very stern and serious and I responded,
    “No, only women.”

    She called me the next day to
    recommend me to a new therapist.

  6. While I would never be brave enough to throw an L word reference into the process of coming out to my gyno, I do have to change gyno’s because of this conversation. I haven’t been back in three years.

    As for the cissexism vs. not: to me this story reads as a personal anecdote that a lot of cisfemale queer women share. It is not to say that only cisfemales have to come out to their gyno in some way or another, but I feel like the conversation between a transwomen and their doctor or someone in a relationship with someone who is trans goes somewhat differently. I wouldn’t know though. It hasn’t come up in my life.

    I also feel that the point of the comic was how accepting having depression was much harder to accept then it was to accept being gay. Personally, I thought Cameron was and is being very brave to be willing to talk about/comic about it on a public forum. I also thought the artwork itself was beautiful, but what do I know.

    • Well put. Couldn’t agree more on all counts. It seems to me that no disrespect was either intended or offerred. Although, as I don’t have the experience of being or loving a Trans person, I may not be as aware of implied disrespect as those who are/have.

    • i’m not sure you understand? I think y’all are well intentioned but missing the point- it’s true that no, not every cis queer woman is having sex that could result in pregnancy, but that fact should elicit a reply of “no, because i’m not having the type of sex that could result in pregnancy, but I use other forms of STI protection such as dental dams! bla bla etc”, not “no, cause I only have sex with women”.

      the former is fine, the latter is some casual cissexism and is probably an anecdote that “many cis queer women share” because of the widespread cissexism and transmisogyny in the queer community.

      I agree that this is a brave topic to talk about and share, and my intention isn’t to totally trash the comic in any way, just to highlight the marginalization that we cis people often perpetuate on this website and in our lives by not thinking about about our language and it’s impact

      • If you tell a doctor something as vague as ‘I don’t need birth control because I’m not having the type of sex that could result in pregnancy’, they will not believe you, probably ask you to describe exactly what you do when you have sex and order a pregnancy test anyway…

      • @Kayla – I do get your point, but the comic doesn’t say “because I only have sex with women”, it says “the women I sleep with” – again, a personal reference to this specific individual’s specific partners. And yes, there is an unstated implication that these must be cis women, but that is because, in her case, they have been.

        @Andreea – I see your point too, but I think it’s still possible to get around the issue without reinforcing misconceptions. I usually go with “my partner isn’t capable of getting me pregnant”.

        • @ Kayla my doctor wouldn’t have accepted anything that vague.

          @ Chandra I still think the doctor would respond with how do you know and still order the pregnant test.

          I don’t think it marginalizing to accurately state you only have sex with women. If the doctor wants to follow up and ask and which particular kind of women.

  7. Talking about depression can be so hard, it always makes me feel super vulnerable. It’s really cool to see someone tackling it and the way it intersects with sexuality and identity, especially in such a clever, tongue in cheek way.

  8. This made me laugh since I’ve had the same conversation, as I’m sure many of us have. I was in a hospital gown being admitted to the hospital for depression, and the nurse just didn’t get it.

    “Are you sexually active?”
    “Could you be pregnant?”
    “What form of birth control do you use?”
    “So you are not sexually active?”
    “Well I am, but not with men…”
    “Okay, so you are not sexually active.”
    “I am, but with women.”

    That conversation took longer than that, and her face was hilarious when she finally understood. She just rushed through the rest of the intake paperwork. I really hate answering personal questions like that, which I was being more vague than I needed to be, so drawing it out that long was like torture to me at the time, but in retrospect I can laugh about it.

    I have lots of experiences with queerness and mental health treatment, both good and bad, and I think this is a really important conversation. I know I always felt really guilty being both gay and depressed because people would assume that I was depressed because I was gay, or, less common in the Bible belt, that I was depressed because I was just repressing my sexuality, but I think I just happen to be both gay and depressed.

  9. How fucking hard is it to add a ONE-SYLLABLE WORD when you mean cis people, cis women, cis men, cis lesbians? That’s a SIMPLE FUCKING THING we can all do so as not to be denying the womanhood of trans women, and the womanhood AND lesbianism of lesbian trans women. Get over it, indeed.

  10. Thanks for being so vulnerable with us, Cameron. Sometimes, queerness is easier for me to navigate than depression is too.

  11. I’ve been thinking a lot about the critiques I’ve received on this comic.

    Despite my efforts to keep my language both inclusive and true to my own experiences, I see now how it can be read as cissexist. It was not my intention (I know. The road to hell…). I never meant to make anyone feel invisible or less than. I will work harder to make sure that my future contributions are more language-conscious. I want everyone to feel loved and appreciated and I messed up.

    Thank you all for keeping me in check.


    • thanks you for taking the time to reflect and comment! it is always really heartening to see Autostraddle writers/artists listen to criticism given in the comments, however hard I imagine it is to hear. looking forward to seeing your work in the future.

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