Yes, she's strange and different...but not THAT different.

25 March 2008

He's pregnant

There is a very interesting article in the online edition of The Advocate headlined Labor of Love. It's about a transgendered man in Oregon who is pregnant. Thomas Beatie is legally male and is legally married to a woman, but she is unable to get pregnant. Since Thomas didn't have a hysterectomy and still had both eggs and a uterus, he was the logical choice to have their child. Go read the story. And there's an ongoing discussion about the story over at BoingBoing that you might want to look at, too.

[UPDATE] There's also a bit of buzz about this over at Joe.My.God

  • On 3/25/2008 12:26 PM, Blogger cathouse teri said…

    Wow. That is amazing. I'll have to think about that.

  • On 3/25/2008 1:50 PM, Blogger Jen of A2eatwrite said…

    I'm so sick of discrimination. How lucky this child is to have two, loving, committed parents waiting to love her and raise her. Thousands of children would give their eyeteeth for even one loving parent.

  • On 3/25/2008 2:20 PM, Anonymous Cadence Saltwater Toff said…

    The Washington Post is reporting that it may be a hoax.

  • On 3/25/2008 2:41 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Awesome. I don't know, am I weird to think that this is NOT that weird? Some people in the comments section (on another site, not BoingBoing) were too hung up on, "Well, if he's a man now and pregnant, does that mean he's back to being a woman again and then he'll return to being a man after the baby's born?"

    *insert Lewis Black-style hand gestures and frustrated noises* DOES IT REALLY MATTER THAT MUCH if someone has a particular genitalia or not (whether born with it or via surgery)? In other words, I don't see why people get so hung up on matters of gender, but that's just me. If someone's personal expression of gender makes sense to THEM and they're happy, that's awesome and that's all that matters.

    I really liked this comment from Takuan (on BoingBoing): "We are ALL human. We all have the SAME rights. Matters of DNA and social roles are secondary to our intrinsic value."

    Truly, I think the problem lies in religion (I'm not shy about saying that most religions are the source of the problems with this planet. Not all but most). To the religious, one's gender is constant and gender roles matter too much. Their religious texts are filled with "man this, woman this, husbands do this to your wife, wife obey, men don't lay with other men, etc..." To the religious, gender is not something that is malleable or fluid. Because "God" didn't talk about variations in gender. Just that husbands can beat their wives and that's pleasing to God (but you're damned if you wear polyester and go to the oyster bar. Because, shellfish? Hello! It's the food of Satan.) LOL.

    Alright, done rambling :)

  • On 3/25/2008 3:30 PM, Blogger Jami said…

    From the Washington Post article (emphasis mine): "Assuming the Advocate piece is true, as Associate Editor Neal Broverman confirmed for me by e-mail ..."

    That doesn't sound like they're saying it might be a hoax; the opposite, in fact.

  • On 3/25/2008 4:10 PM, Blogger cathouse teri said…

    I've been thinking about this all day. I have had a lot of thoughts. First off, why is the article dated April 8, 2008?

    But the main thing running through my mind is, how is this a good thing? I mean if the world of trangenders wants the rest of the world (whoever the fuck that is) to take them seriously, what are we supposed to do with someone who is flip flopping between being a man and a woman, depending on their needs at the time?

    I had always felt that a person who struggled so fully with the idea that they had been born the wrong gender... faced the entire front of opposition... and chose to make the change to the sex they really felt they belonged to was an amazing and courageous person to behold. But if you are born a female, and feel you are to be a male, and then become male and then... lo and behold you want to become a female, just for a little while, to have a baby... what am I to think of that?

    Not to mention the fact that I already have a problem with people who can't have children going to great lengths to "have their own" when there are so so so so so many children who need a good home.

    This is totally distressing me. Input please!

    (I'm kind of hoping it is a hoax, at this point.)

  • On 3/25/2008 5:13 PM, Blogger VE said…

    Can I become a female to get into the nightclubs for free and then trangender back once I'm in? Oh, and why did it have to be in Oregon...I get enough abuse about my state as it is...

  • On 3/25/2008 7:23 PM, Blogger Jami said…

    @Teri, my love - I think this is less about flip-flopping gender for the sake of convenience and more about the overarching desire to have children. Believe me, stopping hormone therapy is not something that any transgendered person does lightly. Of course, most FtMs also opt for a hysterectomy, but it's expensive and it isn't something that shows. I don't know what the motivation of Thomas Beatie is, but I feel it's not something that was done on a whim - not even remotely. I also don't think it would have even been a consideration had his wife been able to bear children. As a parent who could not have children of my own, I also know how steep a hill it is to climb to get to the point that you accept the fact that adoption is the only alternative that will allow you to have a child. It took a lot for us to get past the desire to have children "of our own". In hindsight now, that was an ignorant and essentially immature desire but at the time it was so very, very real that I can understand it being strongly present in someone. And I can understand how that drive would overcome even the desire to be perceived as a man.

    My belief - not having access to their thoughts and emotions - is that this couple wants children and only has one functional set of female reproductive organs between them, so that's the set they used. Again, sex is about biology; gender is about state of mind. Just because he is going to have a baby does NOT mean he sees himself as anything other than a parent. Being transgendered, I see their decision to do this as a brave thing. Yes, they could adopt and maybe they will in the future. But this time around, they chose to out themselves and change their whole presentation to the outside world in order to have their daughter.

    (and the article is dated April 8 because that's the Advocate issue date. Look at current magazines - they usually have future dates, too.)

  • On 3/25/2008 8:23 PM, Blogger cathouse teri said…

    Oh I didn't think that this was done on a whim at all. It was very clear in the article that this was an excruciating decision that was obviously was going to make some huge waves. I understand the idea (although I can't relate to it) that people want to bear their own offspring. I understand the logic behind saying, "oh yeah, we do have a set of reproductive organs just lying around.. why not use those?"

    This all being true, though, the trouble I'm having is how very negatively this reflects on the transgender world. You know me to be very open minded, but I just feel like if you have made the transition to being a man, based on the concept that you always were a man, then you should just be a man. And mans don't have babies!

    I believe their passion is misplaced. Sure, they are free to do this. I am very supportive of that. If I knew these people, I would never counsel them to do anything but what they please. I'm just thinking of the ramifications. And I know very well that just stopping hormone therapy is not the end of what will happen to that man's body. Nothing that he can't recover from, though. And no doubt it will all be worth it. I am curious, though, as to the casual reference to, "Nancy and I eventually resorted to home insemination." Such an ambiguous reference to the act of conception bothers me.

    As open minded as I am, I always go back to Harry Anderson's admonition to have an open mind, but not so open that your brains spill out onto the sidewalk.

    These are just the thoughts rattling around in my head (having so much room in there with my brains all over the sidewalk). I don't want to sound like I've come to any conclusions except that I do hope for the best for this couple and their child.

  • On 3/26/2008 10:23 AM, Blogger Weekends Off said…

    Honestly when I read it the only thing I thought was "huh"

    For some reason it just didn't seem odd to me. I mean, he had the parts, they worked, she has the parts, they don't work. Seems like they found the only solution to their problem of not being able to conceive their natural child.

    I don't have a problem with it. I hope they have a healthy baby and that he has an easy time of things health wise.

  • On 3/26/2008 4:05 PM, Blogger cathouse teri said…

    I don't really have a problem with it. I'm just trying to work through the thoughts rattling around in the old head. Figure out where to store the info.

    I think people should do just as they please with their own bodies. As long as they don't do it in the street and scare the horses.

  • On 3/30/2008 2:39 PM, Anonymous Jerseygirl89 said…

    I think I must be out of touch, because when I heard about this I just thought, "Oh, how great for them."

    I should have known that the media would jump on it, seeing as there are no new politicians with affairs to talk about.

  • On 4/01/2008 8:54 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Thomas Beatie will be on Oprah this Thursday, I've already set my DVR to record it. I think it's wonderful that Oprah will be discussing this!


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