As I write this, I am sitting on a plane, flying from DFW to New York on my way to host The American Fertility Association’s Illuminations Event at the Yale Club.
For those of you new to our Strong Yoga4Women blog, The AFA (www.theafa.org) is an organization that I am the National Spokesperson of, the “voice” if you will, for millions of couples having difficulty conceiving. The AFA is an organization dedicated to providing anyone wanting to become parents, pathways to parenthood through outreach and education.
Yes, I am flying. (That in and of itself is a miracle when you think about it), but the truth is, I am flying because I am still feeling deeply inspired following a Black Tie Event in Dallas last night called “One Voice” which honored the outstanding contributions of individuals who have raised their voices to support equality and the Human Rights Campaign this year.
I sat next to Chad Griffin, the President of HRC who cut his eye teeth in the political scene during the Clinton Administration. I was impressed with his personal commitment and courage, as he continues to raise his voice in leading this nation toward equal rights for all it’s citizens. Great strides have been made this year with the Supreme Court striking down DOMA and the repeal of California’s Prop 8. But not all states have the same freedom of equality to marry whom you choose to love and there is row to hoe for other states to be united in this vision.
I also shared the table with a dear friend whose life has been irrevocably changed for the better because he and his husband are now the proud parents of twins. I have never seen either one happier. I am flying remembering the blush of my own new parent years and the miracles that occurred daily as I watched my son grow.
I listened to honoree Zach Wahls, who is (the straight) son and author of the best seller My Two Moms recount how in his 19 years of life, “not once have I ever been confronted by an individual who realized independently that I was raised by a gay couple. And you know why? Because the sexual orientation of my parents has had zero effect on the content of my character.”
He is one of the most grounded, authentic, intelligent and kind individuals I have ever met. His voice made a difference when he testified eloquently before the Iowa State House Judiciary Committee on behalf of marriage equality for his parents and at the 2012 Democratic National Convention. He is speaking out as a living example of the results of an unorthodox family, one based on love. He is a unique voice that dispels the fear that surrounds gay marriage and parenting.
An added bonus was the honor and privilege of meeting my new State Senator, Wendy Davis, who famously filibustered for over 12 hours as a stand for the rights of women to have a say in what happens to their own bodies here in Texas. She is an inspiration nationwide to women that one voice can make a difference, because she stood for hours reading the letters from the individual voices of her constituents to the floor of legislators until she was victorious. I am in great support of her and offer my service on behalf of women everywhere.
I listened to how the Academy Award winning Texas native, Dustin Lance Black, was inspired to be who he was because of the singular voice of San Francisco politician Harvey Milk. He in turn used his narrative skill to share the story about the events of the pioneer politicians life, which inspired a whole new generation to be their authentic selves regardless of sexual orientation.
Finding your voice isn’t easy. It takes courage and candor, authenticity and audacity, but no one has your voice, because your voice is a direct extension of your heart, so finding it, and speaking it is imperative to the health of your soul.
I spent 8 years as “the voice” of Desperate Housewives but I am not sure I have ever had the courage to fully express my own voice. That’s why I created Strong Yoga4Women, so that we all had a forum to inspire one another; to help those who couldn’t speak about their fertility journeys have a forum, a community that they knew they could speak their pain, longing and hope to- place to inspire, and be inspired; a place to fly.
So here is my voice on the matter:
It’s hard for millions suffering with infertility to become parents. Whether through ART or natural methodologies like acupuncture and yoga, adoption or surrogacy; loving couples should have the right to use whatever means they choose to help them become parents. Some have more difficulty than others, but the “right” for those suffering with infertility to become parents is undeniable.
I believe that LOVE is the greatest governing principle of Parenthood.
Regardless of sexual orientation or biological connection; the right to love a child, raise them with compassion, awareness, acceptance and concern for what is best for the child, will only provide us with more understanding, accepting and compassionate citizens. Anyone who would deny the right of a committed couple to expand into a loving family is missing the basic tenement of what family is.
What would the world look like if we realized that ALL parents, regardless of language, religion, race, sexual orientation, political affiliation or nationality, wanted the same things for their children; a warm, stable home, education, food, shelter and freedom to choose how to live with the possibility to improve on the next generation.
We are the HUMAN FAMILY, and when we forget that we are all inextricably connected, we forget that another’s suffering is our own, and another’s victories are ours as well, and the more we acknowledge that this is one planet and we are in this together, the less hate and fear there will be.
Let’s treat each other with the grace and patience I hope we allow for our own offspring. Lets raise our voices for awareness, fairness, and love above all.