Lesbian Couples Forced to Pay More for Artificial Insemination

A recent article in our local Swedish feminist online paper, Feministiskt Perspektiv, discussed the fact that childless lesbian couples in some Swedish counties have to pay considerably more for artificial insemination than straight couples. While heterosexual couples usually turn to artificial insemination when they can’t conceive, lesbian couples are not seen as suffering from any diseases or disorders that would prevent them from conceiving, carrying, or giving birth to a child.

The reasoning behind such a decision displays a presumed heteronormativity where having children is inherently depicted as a privilege shared between a man and a woman only. Being a lesbian couple, and wanting a child, is consequently treated as a lifestyle choice: lesbian couples could find other ways to have a child, compared to heterosexual couples where artificial insemination is the last step before adoption or remaining childless. [Read more...]

Coming Out: Rupturing Heteronormativity & Opening Possibilities for Resistance

national coming out Serena’s story inspired me to share my own coming out experience in honor of coming out month and the march for equality in D.C. this weekend. Coming out, as well as sharing those experiences with others, can be a liberating and self-actualizing process. It’s important to note, though, that the coming out process is not universal, nor is it something that we can all understand in similar ways. Attaching to the notion that we are all categorized because of sexual orientation seeks to ignore the infinite ways in which our lived experiences shape our lives in significantly different ways. With that being said, my comments here are not intended to essentialize coming out; to assume that my experience is the same as every gay, lesbian, trans identified, bisexual, asexual, curious, or queer person is to make a whole host of assumptions that are not only incorrect, but problematic in terms of opening space of possibility for gender and sexuality.

With that being said, I do think there are a lot of positive qualities about the sharing of knowledge production and self-discovery. Separating ourselves based on our differences closes off the possibility of building ethical human relationships based in compassion for one another’s lives. Coming out narratives seek to build bridges of intimacy between the sharer of experience and the reader who internalizes their struggle. These stories denaturalize heteronormativity because grief, in terms of who visibly receives it, is concentrated to certain people and places on the globe. The story of Gwen Araujo, for instance, exemplifies the tragic reality that gender violence is treated as a lenient crime within our social and political institutions. The lives of those living outside of strict confinements regarding gender and sexuality are reduced to sub-human status making violence against them not only possible, but justifiable. [Read more...]