LGBTQ Advocates Celebrate Birth Control Day
November 10 is #ThxBirthControl Day, a social media campaign supported by the National LGBTQ Task Force to promote sex positivity by publicly supporting birth control and all that it makes possible for individuals and society. And I want to take this moment to thank birth control for its important role in my life.
Thanks birth control for providing me with the opportunity to achieve my academic goals and have healthy consensual sex throughout my academic journey.
I have been taking some form of birth control since I was seventeen years old. I did not begin taking birth control because I was considering having sex. An important fact about me is that I have always been scholastically minded. I decided that I wanted to go to the College of William and Mary when I was in seventh grade. Thus, in middle school I decided that I was not going to have sex until I was in college because nothing was going to get in the way of me going to my equivalent of academic utopia. I was not even considering taking birth control at age seventeen. But, thankfully, another person in my life was thinking about the benefits of birth control.
My mother approached me about taking birth control, because she wanted me to be safe, if, and when I began having sex. I told her that I did not need it because I did not plan to have sex any time soon. She smiled and said something along the lines of, “I’m proud of your plan, but you can never be too safe.” I agreed. She set up a doctor’s appointment and together we went to talk with a doctor about all of the birth control options that were available at the time. My mom let me decide which method would be the best for me, and later that day I filled my first prescription and that was it. I began taking it daily for the next ten years and counting. I actually stuck to my plan and did not have sex until I went to college (at the College of William and Mary!) but it was empowering to know that I had the ability to have safe, healthy consensual sex when I was ready. Thanks, Mom!
I would be remiss to not thank my mother’s employer for their health insurance policy that included coverage for reproductive health care back in 2005. I recognize now that I was only able to access birth control because my mother’s insurance policy included that specific coverage. Luckily, the Affordable Care Act includes a birth control benefit that requires most insurance providers to cover all FDA approved forms of contraception. We have to fight to ensure that this benefit is protected and accessible for all individuals.
All in all, thanks, birth control for allowing me to: go to college, law school, a post-doctoral law program, pass the Bar Exam, study abroad at the University of Cambridge in England, meet awesome friends, travel around Africa and Europe, raise a puppy, move around the country, land a job as Policy Counsel for Reproductive Rights, Health and Justice at the National LGBTQ Task Force and most importantly marry my wonderful husband—all without having children before I was ready. Thanks, birth control, you really make dreams come true.
by Candace Bond-Theriault, National LGBTQ Task Force Policy Counsel, Reproductive Rights