Pregnant Transgender Man

Introduction

A transgender FTM (female to male), Thomas Beatie, from Bend, Oregon, has recently claimed that he is pregnant and the baby was due on July 3. His claim lead to reporters requesting interviews and talk shows wanting to see his bursting belly. Some of the articles on it can be viewed below.

Below is an excerpt about Thomas from the original article written about him in Advocate that he narrates:

From The Advocate March 26, 2008

Labor of Love

“To our neighbors, my wife, Nancy, and I don’t appear in the least unusual. To those in the quiet Oregon community where we live, we are viewed just as we are — a happy couple deeply in love. Our desire to work hard, buy our first home, and start a family was nothing out of the ordinary. That is, until we decided that I would carry our child.” (http://www.advocate.com/exclusive_detail_ektid52947.asp)

History and Controversy

“However, a “man” becoming pregnant is not new. Trans man Matt Rice gave birth to a baby boy in 1999, and his trans man partner, Patrick Califia, later told Village Voice magazine about his toddler son who “shrieks with delight at the sight of the tortoiseshell cat”. Straight neighbours were “pretty sweet” about it, he wrote. “The only people who have gotten upset are a handful of straight-identified homophobic FTMs [female-to-male transgender people] online who started calling Matt by his girl name, because real men don’t get pregnant.”

The fact that even other transsexuals react with hostility reveals the levels of unease and prejudice a pregnant man can face. A common reaction is to wonder how someone can identify themselves as male and yet embrace pregnancy. “That’s like saying you can’t be a woman and have a career,” says Christine Burns, a trans woman and equality and diversity specialist. “The irony is we’ve had a debate in feminism about the idea that if men were able to have children we would be in a very different position and yet when it happens there is enormous fear.”

Lewis Turner, vice president of trans campaigning group Press for Change, says that having a male gender identity does not prevent you wanting to bear children. “As a trans man myself I wouldn’t ever dream of getting pregnant. But I think Thomas Beatie identifies himself as male as much as I do and he just wants to reproduce.” (http://www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyle/2008/mar/28/familyandrelationships.healthandwellbeing)

“” When I finally got pregnant for the first time, I ended up having an ectopic pregnancy with triplets. It was a life-threatening event that required surgical intervention, resulting in the loss of all embryos and my right fallopian tube.

It was a life-threatening event that required surgical intervention, resulting in the loss of all embryos and my right fallopian tube,” Beatie said. “When my brother found out about my loss, he said, ‘It’s a good thing that happened. Who knows what kind of monster it would have been.’”Beatie told the magazine the couple had begun experiencing anger from people offended by their decision.

“Doctors have discriminated against us, turning us away due to their religious beliefs. Health care professionals have refused to call me by a male pronoun or recognize Nancy as my wife,” Beatie said. “Receptionists have laughed at us. Friends and family have been unsupportive; most of Nancy’s family doesn’t even know I’m transgender.” (http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,341595,00.html)

See the Baby

If you want to see the baby follow this link: http://exploringintimacy.wordpress.com/2008/07/24/pictures-of-the-pregnant-mans-baby-girl/

Articles

http://abcnews.go.com/GMA/story?id=4526582 (video is included and some of the doubts of Bend, controvery, etc)

http://www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyle/2008/mar/28/familyandrelationships.healthandwellbeing (addresses gender ambiguity and the trouble a child may face in society with transgendered parents)

http://www.advocate.com/exclusive_detail_ektid52947.asp (original story in the Advocate about Thomas)

http://mediamatters.org/items/200804040008 (Bill O’Reilly talking about Thomas and Bill saying “You imagine a poor kid getting born into that family going, ‘Hey… whoa. Who are you today?’ “…read on…says Oprah will definitely deal with it)

http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,341595,00.html

Conclusion

Thomas was not the first to do this, but he got a lot of media attention. This may be a step forward in society for every sexuality. Gender does not play a part in having a child, but anatomy apparently does. As a blogger pointed out, it is yet to be published in the media that someone with “male” anatomy has given birth, though the movie Junior with Arnold Schwarzenegger bridges the subject. Who knows…maybe one day men will develop the anatomy to give birth and give women a rest.

Thomas is my hero for the day. He is strong and incredibly brave to be different and one of the few who showed his belly. Go you Thomas and may you pave the way for others in light of your courage. Thank you for all that you do. This is for you.

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Filed under Education, glbtq, Health, News, Queer, Sexuality

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