A 32-year-old breast cancer survivor bravely shared a photo of her chest on Facebook after having a double mastectomy and getting her lymph nodes removed. She posted her photo to show that "the great bathroom debate of 2016 has hurt more than just the transgender community."
Christi Salcedo is a Texas mom who was diagnosed with Stage 3 invasive ductal carcinoma. After she chose to forgo reconstruction surgery, she says she began noticing people staring at her in ways that made her feel uncomfortable while in shops and other public places. She speculated that they were wondering if her flat chest indicated that she was transgender, and if, by extension, she might possibly be legally obligated to use a different public restroom.
"I notice more eyes trying to figure me out," she wrote. "At the grocery store, restaurants... Walmart was the worst. I want to scream, 'YES! You are seeing it right! This is breast cancer... Please check yourself!' But instead I let my eyes meet theirs in an almost plea for a change in what has become our society."
North Carolina's House Bill 2, which limits people to using only the public bathrooms associated with the gender they are assigned at birth, has propelled a national debate about the rights of transgender people. While proponents of North Carolina's controversial bill say that they are trying to protect children from sexual harassment, LGBT advocates note that the law's negative impact on transgender people is significant.
Salcedo suggests that cancer survivors have been among the law's victims as well, and says she would like to close the book once and for all on the discussion.
"I am personally of the belief that no transgender person wants to cause trouble in a bathroom," she wrote. "People just want to use the restroom."
A Plus reached out to Salcedo for a comment.