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Cancer Queers: The Zine

When I started my cancer treatment, one of the first things I did was Google “queer cancer.” I was looking for resources. And I also was just looking for people's stories - people like me – who are queer and who are trans – who have gone through similar experiences. And I was left with very little. And it made me really, really sad. And it also made me really, really angry.


So I decided that I was going to create a zine.


Being able to connect with other queer people who have experienced cancer, it makes it feel like the experience is less isolating. I’m hoping to provide some sort of solace to other people like me going through what I went through.


- KB, Cancer Queers Founder & CEO

 

Black and white drawing of KB with bangs wearing a hat and face mask in front of a Planned Parenthood sign

 

Black and white drawing of long-haired KB shirtless posing standing in front of flames, text reading "surrender" below

Text: SURRENDER

 

Black and white drawing of KB crying as their hair falls out from chemo

 

Black and white drawing of KB crying as their hair falls out from chemo

Text: Cancer has taken all of my old wounds & made them new. Awakened fears I never knew. I spent so much of my life wanting to die & now

I am fighting like hell to LIVE.


 

Black and white drawing of KB's face with their body under water, text in the corner

Text: I worry people avoid me because my illness reminds them of their own mortality


 

Black and white drawing of KB bald and screaming with an open mouth, text surrounding

Text: If I could make a deal with God, I'd get him to FUCKING FIGHT ME. Come down from that cloud, come catch these hands. I'm gonna kick God's ass.


 

Black and white drawing of KB bald with text covering their chest

Text: When I drew this it was the most I ever hated my body. I spent so much time before my diagnosis learning to love & care for myself & afterwards it felt like I had to start from scratch. Sometimes I would just look in the mirror & cry WHY WHY WHY WHY ME? My skin peeling off and sore fingernails peeling back longing for my rock n' roll haircut. My bones ACHED down to the marrow. I think why looking like this was so painful for me because I couldn't HIDE. My body had no secrets the world could see how sick I was how much pain I was REALLY in. When I initially drew this I intended to draw scales all over my body. There is something so alien about being so seen. Why do we hid who we are? Whis is there so much SHAME around not being OKAY? For me, I worry if I ask for HELP I won't git it. HAVE TO RELY ON MYSELF LIKE ALL THE TIMES BEFORE. THANK GOD This time was different. I was never alone.


 

Simple line drawing of KB bald, chest covered with bandages from surgery and drainage tubes

 

Black and white drawing of KB with short hair laying, shirtless and post-surgery with text surrounding

Text: Everyday I fall more and more in love with my body


 

KB is a non-binary queer activist, artist, musician, and writer. They were diagnosed with Stage 2 estrogen positive breast cancer in April 2022. KB is starting to facilitate art workshops and is sharing their story to help advocate for trans and non-binary cancer survivors. KB lives in Portland, Oregon with their cat, Wentworth.


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