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Unable, but allied

by Kevin

April 21, 2017

I am a man and was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at a young age, and overtime lost the ability to perform sexually in my late teens. I imagine the struggle women who have abortions or how they are denied basic reproducer health rights, and from my bizarre lived experience I empathize the struggle. Making a doctors appointment and fearing the perceived stigma of loved ones from opening about a deeply intimate, stressful, and personal experience. I always asked, “Who would understand what I’m going through?” None of the diabetics I know are male, so I thought I was alone in my struggle.

That was until the SYA movement. As contrary as the movement might seem to a male who hasn’t been sexually active in over a decade, I was inspired by the collective strength of each woman’s story. Suddenly, I realize that I didn’t have to suffer in silence nor relegate myself to be a silent curmudgeon. I cannot directly understand how difficult it must be, especially considering the unfounded backlash from the conservative community. If I explain my problem to those folks, I receive pity and well wishes. I can’t foresee the same reaction to a woman confessing about an abortion to the same folks.

Male reproductive rights are not a serious concern of mine. Even if I am denied medically necessary treatment to regain sexual ability, the overwhelming plight of women seeking to proliferate reproductive rights and acceptance trumps any cause I might myself be burdened with. Were I to choose to cure my diabetes and retain lost ability, I would rather elect for women to have equitable access to dignity, respect, and understanding in order to instill pragmatic, just, and compassionate treatment of women’s choice regardless of circumstance.

Remember that our stories are ours to tell. We’d love to hear your story too!