Interview of Sossity Chiricuzio
Interviewed for the UCLA Center for the Study of Women’s Chemical Entanglements: Oral Histories of Environmental Illness series. Experiences Multiple Chemical Sensitivity (MCS). Queer and disabled writer. Works for Oregon Community Health Association. Lambda Fellow and the Creative Non-Fiction Editor for Gertrude Press.
- 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). Queer and disabled writer. Works for Oregon Community Health Association. Lambda Fellow and the Creative Non-Fiction Editor for Gertrude Press.
- Chiricuzio, Sossity
- Persons Present:
- Chiricuzio and Bloom
- Place Conducted:
- The interview was conducted by telephone.
- 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 Molly Bloom, Graduate Student Researcher, UCLA Center for the Study of Women. Bloom’s dissertation focuses on community among people with disabilities.
- Processing of Interview:
- The interviewer prepared for the interview by reading as 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.
Introduction to family, upbringing, and to chemical exposure--Upbringing and housing arrangements--Perception of chemicals in the family--Discussion of chemical awareness in household products--Recollection of onset of multiple chemical sensitivity (MCS)--Description of figuring out issues with scents--Navigating public space and social situations with MCS--Dealing with MCS and daily life--Experiences of self-advocacy--Chemical sensitivity and intimate relationships--Moving to Portland and experience of negotiating for a fragrance-free office space--MCS and queer community--Discussion of career path and working with Oregon Community Health Worker Association (ORCHWA)-- An account of bringing up the topic of illness at the workplace--Description of open mic night for MCS and self-advocacy in medical access--Growing interest in writing poetry--Seeing MCS as a disability--Lack of healthcare options for folks with MCS and the difficulty of finding fragrance-free spaces--The future of MCS