Infertility has changed me in ways I could have never imagined. It’s taught me many things. (I am not the silver-lining type, but I can’t ignore this one…) I started this journey feeling the depth of my pain, it was intensely personal. In ways I’d never really experienced before. (Hence, @thisispersonal.) My personal experiences led me to reach out to other women who were experiencing their own journeys with infertility, through blogging and Twitter. Then I got involved with organizations who support these women, namely Resolve.org. My personal journey also coincided with the political shit-storm of attempts to repress women’s rights and take away essential health care services like birth control and pregnancy termination. Eventually, I realized that I couldn’t not get involved. Over the past year, I’ve been educating myself and volunteering when I can. I still have a lot of work to do, a lot of learning, and I’m so excited to be on this new journey! I wanted to share one inspiring experience with all of you. This was truly an awakening for me, and helped shape my development as an activist.
Nearly a year ago, I signed up for the NYC Planned Parenthood Activist Council Training. This is an amazing program run by my local Planned Parenthood - you attend four weekly trainings on various topics about reproductive rights advocacy. After completing the trainings you can join the Activist Council, and one of the many committees that work to support Planned Parenthood NYC.
The third workshop of the series was about political activism, focusing on the slew of state legislation that’s come out over the past year attempting to limit and deny women’s access to legal, safe abortion services. This is exactly why I was there. Not only I am dedicatedly pro-choice, but I have become passionate about how the issues that surround abortion rights intersect with the infertility world. (More on that in another post!) In the past three years, I have become deeply involved with a community that is faced with these serious, devastating medical issues, while watching the politics surrounding women’s bodies spin seemingly out of control. This workshop spoke directly to me, to my experience, to my motivation.
At the end of the session, I waited to introduce myself to the speaker, and share my perspective and desire to get involved.
As I started telling her my story, the tears came. I couldn’t stop them. I was talking about how much I want to help, and how important it is for the infertility community to support these issues and fight for reproductive rights. And then, I started apologizing for my tears. I was humiliated. Here I am trying on a new professional identity, and I was crying like a girl. Damn it.
And this wonderful activist looked at me and said “No need to apologize. The personal is political, right? That’s why we’re all here.”