Friday, April 04, 2008


I'll probably get a lot of flack for this one, but it's been kind of bothering me.

The pregnant man story.

In case you haven't heard this one it goes like this:

Thomas Beatie was born a female and via the wonders of modern day medicine - had gender reassignment surgery and now is surgically a male.

With me so far?

OK so when she has her gender reassignment surgery she/he had the option of also removing his female reproductive organs. He decided to keep them.

This part confuses me.

Why would you keep them? Aren't they part of the sex that they do not want to identify as?

There are a lot of psychological issues dealing with Transgendered people - the inner conflict of being born one sex and then feeling/knowing that deep down inside you are the other sex.

I know someone who went through male to female surgery and he/she didn't want to have anything male associated in her after her surgery. All her life she felt like an alien inside her male body and the surgery was the metamorphosis into the person she has always felt that she is. There are a large number of post-op transgendered people who after surgery do not want to identify with the GLBT community because then it's an acknowledgement of what they were...not who they are now.

On the flip side of that...there are more and more post-op trans genders who are speaking out for Transgendered rights.

It's an odd grey area in the GLBT community.

Back to the story though - so...Thomas gets married and unfortunately his wife had to have a hysterectomy many years ago - even before they met but they want to have children. So...he decides that since he still has the female "parts" he'll get pregnant.

This is the simplified version obviously - there had to have been a LOT of discussion about this between he and his wife.

Now we have...a pregnant man.

When I first heard this story - my first reaction was: What the? Then my next thought is why would you go public with this?

Oy - what kind of hornets nest is this going to stir up?

He's told his story in The Advocate: Labor of Love. It's been quietly circulating it's way around the news, but the they went on Oprah. To see some of the interview with Oprah, you can go to YouTube:

At one point during the interview, Thomas tells Oprah that they contacted many different organizations to get some advice, they had questions obviously because they didn't know how to proceed with this and they wanted to see if anyone in the community has gone through this before. He states that half of the people they called never called them back and the other half were pretty hostile and even advised them not to go on Oprah.

Whew- I am extremely conflicted by this story. I am not saying they don't have to right to do this, but I am concerned about going public because of the possible backlash that it will create. Thomas and Nancy (his wife) are adults and can and will have to deal with friends, neighbors, family member, doctors and the religious right who are soooooo quick to judge.

And what about this child?

She will be born with this and will have to carry this around with her as well.

This isn't like the first test tube baby or the first test tube twins or surrogate parents - this opens a whole other can of worms.

Maybe I'm just over reacting to the situation, but as a parent, I have tried to shield my children from harm as much as's hard enough being a gay parent, but this is a new category.

I guess there always has to be someone brave enough to "go first".

Still - I can't help but worry about Thomas, his wife Nancy and this tiny baby they are bringing into the world.

I wish them all well, I really do.

Anyone else have any thoughts on this?


LG said...

I'd only heard bits and pieces of that story until I just read it. I don't know how I feel about it.

I'm really committed to being open-minded and respecting the rights of others when it comes to their decisions. But this is something I don't get.

I have a friend right now who is in the beginning stages of a FtM transition, and I have to admit - I don't get it. I think it's more because in her case, I think she's doing it to escape from a few things in her past that need facing.

I feel bad because I wonder if I'm being hypocritical by not accepting that, since I am lesbian after all. But some things I just don't get, I think.

The Village Carpenter said...

I'm concerned about the child, too. I don't care what adults do their bodies, but when someone's decisions affect another person, then I have a problem with it. I wonder what the hormones that he took in his transition are going to do to the baby.

Scout said...

On the shallow side, I'm trying to picture a man having to deal with a period once a month just in case he might want to have a baby. A very odd image indeed.

On a more meaningful note, this child might be fine if the parents don't continue to be a spectacle, but now they have come forward with their story, I can't imagine the media letting go of it. I wonder why they did come out with their story, and I hope it isn't just for the attention.

Shazza said...

LG - I'm not sure I get it either...not entirely.

VC - apparently he stopped taking the hormones for 2 years prior to getting pregnant, so I don't think it will have any effect.

Scout - that was one of my main concerns too...I hope it wasn't for the publicity.

Most men would not be able to handle a period I don't think! Hell - I have a hard time with it myself sometimes.

dive said...

I'm with you, Shazza; it confuses me that he would want to hang on to his "old female parts". I have two friends who are post op TS and both of them wanted nothing whatsoever to do with their previous, mistaken gender.
I wonder if some people aren't allowed to go through with the procedure for the wrong reasons.
However, in the case of my friends, they have become happy, fulfilled people and are both successful professionals in solid relationships and are totally accepted in their corrected gender.

Wyldth1ng said...

I think the kid is going to have the most problems and will definately need some type of therapy.

I must have missed this, but where did the sperm come from?

Shazza said...

Dive - I don't know, I just don't know.

Wyld - I think it was a sperm bank, but I am not 100% certain.

Lulubelle B said...

This situation is very confusing to me. I kind of hope they all can go live anonymously somewhere and raise the child quietly.

I read somewhere that they used a sperm bank and that the wife impregnated the husband with a turkey baster...yep, a turkey baster.