I've been lurking in the online IF community for years. After NIAW last year and Keiko's stunning What IF video, I created my IF Twitter identity and opened up a line of communication (albeit anonymous). Shortly thereafter, I started this blog. And over this last year I've "met" hundreds of you who are riding the same roller coaster I am. Hoping, trying, losing, hurting and surviving to hope again.
In the last week, so many in this community have lifted their voices in outraged response to the ignorant and disrespectful publicity stunt by PETA, and our combined voices turned out to be loud enough to bring about change. There is something inspiring about watching scores of my online friends "coming out" about their infertility in response to their outrage against this ubiquitous ignorance. And something so satisfying in seeing A Result.
When we think about the amount of effort it will require to make an impact in our governments or to change the way society as a whole views infertility, it can seem daunting and overwhelming. It can seem like too much of a fight for one person to sustain. And that's partly because we are all so accustomed to feeling alone and isolated, that it FEELS like we are fighting this alone.
I'm grateful to PETA for providing such a catalyst to our community. NIAW is important to us as a community, but it is OF our community. Having a common target, and one we perceived to be within our sphere of influence, was motivating in a completely different way. PETA has proven to us that we can act together and as such we can make a difference.
I am only one voice, but I know that many of you out there are also making yourselves heard. I want to say an extra Thank You to Keiko and Katie who have both been so persistent and so eloquent on our behalf for more than just the last week. This community needs people like them. Please let them know how much their advocacy means to you.
Can we be loud enough to make ourselves heard by our "elected leaders"? Can we be loud enough to make ourselves heard by our individual employers? Can we be loud enough to make ourselves heard by our friends and family?