Endometriosis and Gender Nonconformity by Ashley R.T. Yergens
When I started This EndoLife, I faced a dilemma. Due to my background in working with women with endometriosis and working with marginalised communities, I felt that there was a group of people - specifically trans and non-binary people, who were being excluded due to our language. However, I didn't know how to address it - I'm not knowledgeable enough on the subject to make a call myself and decide what wording would be the correct wording to include everyone and I didn't have any contacts I could ask. If I had been in the right head space (I started This EndoLife when I was severely depressed, anxious and ill with endo) I would have reached out to a stranger or an organisation for advice, but I didn't, I just started writing. It's not an excuse, but it's what happened.
Fifteen months on, and it's still on my mind - increasingly so. I talk about vaginas and wombs, but I also talk about femininity. I'm not saying that's wrong, but it does mean that I'm excluding groups of people who don't conform to societies traditional gender constructs and I want to change that.
So I was so excited when Instagram account @paininthep_ussy and the EndoTwins brought to my attention a Huffington Post article written by Ashley R.T. Yergens, all about living with endometriosis as a non-binary person and the challenges and exclusions that this community are facing around the disease.
You can read Ashley's article here. It's such an important topic and I think it's essential that we spread awareness and education so we can all begin supporting everybody with endometriosis. I understand that it's a complicated subject, we don't want to say the wrong thing and we don't want to offend anyone, so I think the best thing we can do is ask, listen and learn. And that's exactly what I'm going to do. I'm going to reach out, and find out how I can make This EndoLife a safe and inclusive space for everyone.