Vessel uses self portraiture to explore a profound change in my relationship with myself and gender after a medically necessary hysterectomy at the age of 23. The project discusses gender expectations in medical systems, and how reframing past negative healthcare experiences through a newly accepted queer lens helped me fully realize my identity outside of the context of diseases often gendered as female.

The revelations which occurred during the production of these images and the surgical healing process allowed me to explore untangling selfhood from the expectations of others and hold space for identity through self portraiture. This book is motivated by a desire to share my own experiences of feeling unseen as a whole person in the eyes of the medical system.