Interview of Lisa Anon
Interviewed for the UCLA Center for the Study of Women’s Chemical Entanglements: Oral Histories of Environmental Illness series. Experiences Multiple Chemical Sensitivity (MCS). Writer and musician. Outspoken about the challenge of navigating fragrance-free hygiene as a woman.
- Chemical Entanglements: Oral Histories of Environmental Illness
- Social MovementsEnvironmental Illness
- Biographical Note:
- Interviewed for the UCLA Center for the Study of Women’s Chemical Entanglements: Oral Histories of Environmental Illness series. Experiences Multiple Chemical Sensitivity (MCS). Writer and musician. Outspoken about the challenge of navigating fragrance-free hygiene as a woman.
- Anon, Lisa
- Persons Present:
- Anon and Yiu.
- Place Conducted:
- The interview was conducted using the Zoom video conferencing platform.
- Supporting Documents:
- Records relating to the interview are located in the office of the UCLA Library’s Center for Oral History Research.
- Interviewer Background and Preparation:
- This interview was conducted by Wei Si Nic Yiu, a graduate student researcher, for the Center for the Study of Women; PhD student in Gender Studies, UCLA. Yiu’s dissertation focuses on queerness and archives of Asia.
- Processing of Interview:
- The interviewer prepared for the interview by reading a pre-interview questionnaire completed by the narrator.
- 1 hr
- Regents of the University of California, UCLA Library.
- Series Statement:
- Chemical Entanglements: Oral Histories of Environmental Illness is a collection of interviews with over seventy individuals living in the U.S. and Canada whose family history, occupation, art practice, or activism have brought them into direct contact with illness experience and disability related to chronic, low-dose exposure to toxicant chemicals. The procurement of this collection (from March 2019 through September 2020) was sponsored by the UCLA Center for the Study of Women under the directorship of Rachel C. Lee, with interviews conducted by six undergraduates, five graduate students, two career staff, and two faculty members at CSW.
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Family background--Associates smells of dairy farm and perfumes with growing up--Progressively more sensitive including to laundry products--Studies music in college and experiences recurring sinus infections--Replaces beauty and hygiene products based on research into chemical contents--Food elimination and trials--Familial support system and emotional connections via MCS Facebook group--Goes to urgent care after passing out for weeks straight--Feels abandoned by doctors who want to attribute symptoms to nonexistent diabetes--Acknowledges challenges of living with a partner--Blog by individual with parallel symptoms encourages her to use dietary changes to manage condition--Visits parents after they change products and eliminate candles--Social circle shrinks due to staying home more and no longer working--Believed needed to hide how she was feeling to remain “professional” and avoid appearing “incompetent” at last job--Works on novel, takes voice lessons, and writes comedy while at home and/or in bed--Difficulties accessing public spaces including transportation and entertainment--Wishes companies would cease selling toxic products--Inquires about goals of Chemical Entanglements Project--Mutual appreciation for the interview