Share your stories and find your people with Alt-If: an online community for nontraditional infertility

Updated Oct 12 2015
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Infertility can be a deeply isolating experience, and if you're outside the cultural norm, it can be even worse. Are your more holistic friends giving you the side-eye when you mention being on fertility meds? Are you the only lesbian sitting in the waiting office at the fertility clinic? Our new sponsor, Alt-If: Alternative Infertility Voices, is a website dedicated to essays for and by nontraditional types who are working through their own unique experiences of infertility.

Alt-If's founder, Hayley (who you might remember from this Offbeat Bride post) is now actively seeking YOUR stories about infertility. Here's how you can get involved…

First we want to be clear: of course we here at Offbeat Mama hope we've cultivated a community around your infertility stories (and we want to continue sharing those stories!) but we also think Alt-If fills an important niche — the web needs an online community dedicated to the unique challenges of the nontraditional and subfertile.

Haley is eager to hear stories from all kinds of nontraditional types struggling with infertility. What kinds of nontraditional types? We'll let Hayley clarify:

I want to hear from those who don't have a home to take a second mortgage out on for IVF; graduate students; people who haven't established careers yet; people who are young; and people who aren't, but who feel like outsiders — anybody who feels like an outsider; people who have nose rings; people who don't believe there's a god or a reason for any of this; people who are self-employed; agnostics; Buddhists; people who know Sindarin; LGBTQ peeps; ravers; DUDES; techies; gamers whose RPG friends don't get it; people with pink hair; and the person at goth picnics who you'd never look at and think they're jealous of that lady with a baby in a sling on the other side of the yard.

Basically: she's looking for stories from you.

The goal of Alt-If is not to deviate entirely from the more mainstream websites about infertility, but to serve as a place for less normative voices in the infertility community. Alt-If is a place where you can read stories about people who are like you facing the same struggles you are, like Patrick's story about dealing with male infertility:

To know that you may not be able to do the one thing all species on the planet do (reproduce) is bad enough, but when it is coupled with society's pressure to practically exude power through your penis in the form of supercharged sperm lest you be labelled a fairy is just frustrating as fuck-all. — Patrick

It's free to get involved with Alt-If, and Hayley is super excited to hear from the Empire's "wonderful offbeat-y alternative folks who want to become, well, folks in the parental sense of the word." So head on over to Alt-If, and then consider sharing your story. Stop feeling like an outsider.

  1. I met Hayley in the comments on a post about miscarriage, and she has been my internet buddy for about year now. Her blogs, stories, and support have been invaluable to me over the last year, and I'm so excited that she's founding this community because something like it is so so needed.

  2. Thank you. This is extremely dumb and far out of my character but just the existence of this site is currently making me cry. I'm twenty five. Infertile. Fertility treatments aren't an option as I don't have the parts required. I want to adopt in the next couple of years… but I spend a few moments every day plagued by the thought that I wont be able to adopt because I am so heavily tattooed. Because I'm an artist. Because I am not Christian. Because I am single.

  3. So happy to hear about this. My soon to be husband is a trans-man and I have PCOS. We like to say we have a low sperm count problem 😛

    I spoke to the OB/GYN who diagnosed me but she is refusing to treat/help and refused to give me a referral as well. We recently moved back to my hometown in central Illinois (we used to live in Chicago) and I am feeling the culture shock of living in this area as we negotiate these new waters.

    • My partner is a trans man also… We chose not to tell the fertility clinic that he"s trans-we simply said we want a donor "because it's the best decision for our family". We did our first insemination on Thursday. Please wish me luck!

      I should also say that I felt like I had to "dress the part" and present as their idea of what a responsible parent would look like- but I did the same thing hen trying to secure a mortgage. They may be totally open, but I'm not taking chances.

      If you want to follow my journey- I'm documenting it at http://ourwayofdoingit.wordpress.com. Let me know if you decide to follow it- right now I'm ratty much just writing it for myself.

      Ps- sorry about the typos. iPad acting funny

  4. My partner is a trans man also… We chose not to tell the fertility clinic that he"s trans-we simply said we want a donor "because it's the best decision for our family". We did our first insemination on Thursday. Please wish me luck!

    I should also say that I felt like I had to "dress the part" and present as their idea of what a responsible parent would look like- but I did the same thing when trying to secure a mortgage. They may be totally open, but I'm not taking chances.

  5. I'm 25 and soo sick of having to justify why I don't want children to someone I have only just. It's a personal choice and I am unable to have kids. Telling them the medical reason only starts the "have you been to a specialist" route in the conversation and I'd prefer to just say I like my life (and house) the way they are.

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