Friday, October 29, 2010

Living outside the norm

Earlier today, blogger Andrew Sullivan responded to a comment about his recent posts on gay issues with some reflections on what coming out has meant for him.

I read his words -- & while I don't want to distort his meaning, or start a new round of the Pain Olympics-- on a certain level, a lot of what he said could apply to those of us who are also living outside the norm, albeit in a different way -- struggling with loss, infertility & childlessness in a world where most people become parents, take it for granted that they will have the family they want when they want it, & and usually get what they want with little effort or angst (& certainly without having to shell out vast amounts of money just to have a shot at realizing their dreams).

Here's a few excerpts (comments in bold & brackets are mine). Does any of this strike a chord?:
Being in a massive heterosexual (read: parental) majority where you don't really have to think very hard or deeply about your sexual nature (read: your fertility/ getting pregnant/being a parent), and where it is easy to drift along without examining core premises of your emotional life, can deny people an opportunity to reflect more profoundly about society and social norms or know themselves more completely...

...for me, at least, coming out (read: confronting my infertility/losing my child/resolving to live childless/free) logically demanded a much greater honesty about things in general, a much deeper awareness that established norms may not always be correct, and may even hide great cruelty or ignorance.

Read the whole post here.


  1. Very interesting perspective...and so true. Yes, IF and pg loss has forced me to become more empathetic with everyone's struggles regardless of its nature. I view this as a gift.

  2. Dan Savage's book "The Kid" makes a good comparison between infertility and homosexuality, too.

    Happy blogoversary, Loribeth!

  3. Oh, this is so true. My infertility has absolutely forced me to evaluate my life and ask myself who I really am and what I really want. I feel very fortunate in many ways to have been given the chance to discover me.