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Storytelling Medicine Series

This is a visual project series using illustrative art to storytell various reproductive health narratives within the medical context. Through medical illustration and visual ethnography, the series develops stories about managing new diagnoses or medical decisions alongside the apprehension of experiencing anti-Blackness, anti-queerness, and gender dysphoria within the medical community. 

Confronting Chest Cancer

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Something Doesn't Feel Right!

A Black queer masculine presenting, female bodied person (late forties) is at home. Attempting to chest bind in front of the mirror their chest* and feels a large lump in the right side. Facial expression with concern. 


Show stages of chest lump discovery. Visualizing the chest lump naked in the mirror. Show how a self-chest exam is done. Show symptoms and types of chest/breast cancer. 

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Breaking Down a Hostile Environment 

The same patient is now sitting on a gynecology examination table. Two scenarios: nongender and gender affirming. Conflicting dialogue about what they are thinking and actually saying. 

White cisgender female gynecologist with a BIPOC nurse in the room depicts a safer scenario. 


Patient and physician educational columns. Patient language: Use of pronouns. Will there be a chest (and pelvic) examination? Message about gender affirming inclusive care. Doctor language: Discomfort with gender expression and presumptions that patient prefers chest removal. Establishing patient-affirming care by showing what is not affirming care. 


This medical illustration spotlights the necessary comfort of being Black queer nonbinary or LGBTQI+ in medical spaces and their needs about their body along with fear of possible cancer.  

Social preventative measures alongside are also healthcare. 

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Chest Cancer Diagnosis: What’s next? 

The same patient is in a radiology facility getting a mammogram and chest ultrasound. Partner or advocate with patient. Correct pronouns are used by the technician. 

This medical illustration raises awareness about chest cancer screening & evaluation procedures for diagnosis. Shows stages of chest cancer and disease progression with chest cross-sectionals. 

What is an MRI? Also ultrasound and other diagnostic technologies? Can testing be done in ways that do not feed back to gender dysphoria and anti-Blackness?

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