Please Try This at Home

This Biohacker Conference Sounds Absolutely Outrageous

"I took my surgically removed organs home in a snow globe and maybe you can too."

1. 22. 20 / Kristin Houser
Victor Tangermann
Image by Victor Tangermann

“Please Try This At Home” wasn’t your average biohacker conference.

“The event was a gathering of ‘Anarchotranshumanists, Xenofeminists, and Queer Cyborgs’ who spent a weekend trying to imagine and build something better than the medical system marginalized bodies are frequently harmed by,” journalist Os Keyes wrote in a fascinating Vice story about the second PTTAH conference, which took place in Pittsburgh in September.

While biohackers at other conferences might talk about their aesthetically pleasing LED implants, PTTAH group Power Makes Us Sick disseminated information designed to help trans people obtain estrogen “synthesized by trans people for trans people,” Keyes wrote.

Meanwhile, the speaker leading a PTTAH session titled “I took my surgically removed organs home in a snow globe and maybe you can too” provided advice to attendees interested in keeping their body parts after their surgical removal.

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Keyes didn’t just recap the unique biohacker conference for Vice, though. They also emphasized the need for the event — and others like it.

“All of this work highlights the importance of building spaces and sharing medical knowledge outside the normal, gate-kept institutions of healthcare,” Keyes wrote.

“When we’re unable to afford medicine, it matters that we can make our own insulin,” they continued. “When we’re used to being treated by doctors like a sack of disposable parts, it matters that we can literally seize our body back from them — in a jar or otherwise.”


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