Since I have a whopping 60 dedicated readers at this point, I thought I’d do the ‘popular blog’ thing and name a charity I’d like you to think of this holiday season.
Of course, being the trail-blazing rule breaker that I am, I’ll be avoiding all the regular Christmas charities like The Red Cross, The Salvation Army (fuck them, they’re homophobes anyway) or Hefer International (although Grandma and I do give each other chickens every year), and kindly suggesting your charity choice be my personal favorite non-profit of all time: Planned Parenthood.
When I was 17, suffering from endometriosis, and completely unable to survive month to month without the live-giving birth control that I rely on to regulate my cycle, I worried that I would never be able to leave my mother’s home, and more importantly, her health insurance. Thankfully Planned Parenthood saw me, treated me, and gave me the care I needed when my own mother would literally hold my pills hostage rather than see me try and leave her abusive household. When I was 18, a freshman in college, and unable to afford the $25 the university health center charged for a pelvic exam, Planned Parenthood once again provided for me, giving me literally handfuls of birth control pill packs with smiles on their faces. I used to have every Planned Parenthood in Orange County and Los Angeles in my cell phone in case a friend (or sometimes even a really loud stranger) had issues or questions about their reproductive health.
From 17 to 24, Planned Parenthood took care of me. They’re seriously underfunded, so it wasn’t always a cake-walk. One time at their (now defunct) Santa Ana location, I tried to tell the nurse practitioner that the speculum had some of my tissue caught in the mechanism, and in response to that, she shook the still open speculum around inside my vagina like the devil’s maraca, dislodging the article and causing me massive, life-threatening pain while saying ‘Nah, you’re ok.” Oh, thanks, because I’m pretty sure YOU JUST RIPPED OFF PART OF MY COOCH, YOU FUCKING EVIL SCRUB RUBBER!
Why am afraid of the dentist, but not the gynecologist will always allude me. Actually, I think I know, but that’s another story. (Short version: Mom’s old boyfriend once tried to choke me to death, so I’m terrified of having my head immobilized while someone leans over me and causes me pain. Other than that one evil NP, the vast majority of my vagina-related experiences have been positive.)
Anyway, Planned Parenthood provides vital services like annual pelvic exams, birth control, STI testing, counseling and education as well as abortions to under-served populations all over the world. A lot of people think of the end of the year holidays as family holidays, so they donate money to organizations that help feed starving children, or give gifts to children who’s parents can’t provide for them, which is awesome, and necessary work. But I think it’s also important to give struggling people all the rights to reproductive empowerment that they can get. I will always be grateful to Planned Parenthood for giving me the care I needed in order to go to the jobs I did that paid for college, and in order to attend and pass my classes. Because of their help, I can make my own life and not languish under the symptoms of a disease that’s easily managed through regular pelvic exams and birth control. Simple treatment that I could not afford at the time.
Also, check this out:
This totally works, I just tried it.
How cool is that?
So, in order to support my favorite charity, I’ll be putting this banner at the end of all my blog posts until the end of the year. If you can’t afford to donate, please consider using their services. Get tested, get your annual exam if you’re a sexually active vagina owner, and get their birth control if you’re a sexually active person. Planned Parenthood is here for you, to keep you healthy, regardless of gender, orientation, political views, or religious affiliation.