Women are too often discouraged from discussing the taboos surrounding their bodies; the parts of us that are messy, leaky, and in pain. These topics are thought to be reserved for closeted discussions between patients and doctors. Medical Herstory seeks to make such conversations public in order to offer a glimpse into female-presenting people’s experiences of health and wellness.
Feminine presenting people are at a higher risk of being dismissed as overly emotional or dramatic within medical settings. These presumptions have dangerous consequences, from lost hope and lost access to lost lives.
Medical Herstorytm began in 2018, when I took the risk of bearing the messy, leaky, and painful parts of myself publicly as a call to action for more compassionate and comprehensive medical care. In speaking out, I was afraid that I would be judged for failing to embody a neat and tidy persona. I was terrified I would be called gross. I am indebted to the many kind women I met while pursuing women’s health advocacy at McGill University who heard sections of my story, and encouraged me to write an article.
My body had become uncomfortable to inhabit. It was difficult to function when my physical discomfort consumed my thoughts. Writing publicly about my experience helped remove the burden of shame I had been carrying and work towards healing.
After sharing my own story, I quickly found out I was not alone. Hearing other women and femmes’ stories inspired me to launch this platform.
This website offers insight into the daily lives of female presenting people and highlights the process by which we make sense of what happens to us. These stories are not always easily composed with a beginning, middle, and end, but continue to be lived long after writing the final sentence.
I am grateful for all those who have shared their stories with me in private, and for those who here share them publicly. My hope is that you read these stories, and they impact you as they have me.