Thomas Beatie, a pregnant trasgender

28 03 2008

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transexual-thomas_beatie.jpg 

Labor of Love Thomas Beatie gives The Advocate a first-person account of how it feels to be pregnant and carrying a child for his wife and himself.

Thomas BeatieFrom The Advocate March 26, 2008

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.

I am transgender, legally male, and legally married to Nancy. Unlike those in same-sex marriages, domestic partnerships, or civil unions, Nancy and I are afforded the more than 1,100 federal rights of marriage. Sterilization is not a requirement for sex reassignment, so I decided to have chest reconstruction and testosterone therapy but kept my reproductive rights. Wanting to have a biological child is neither a male nor female desire, but a human desire.

Ten years ago, when Nancy and I became a couple, the idea of us having a child was more dream than plan. I always wanted to have children. However, due to severe endometriosis 20 years ago, Nancy had to undergo a hysterectomy and is unable to carry a child. But after the success of our custom screen-printing business and a move from Hawaii to the Pacific Northwest two years ago, the timing finally seemed right. I stopped taking my bimonthly testosterone injections. It had been roughly eight years since I had my last menstrual cycle, so this wasn’t a decision that I took lightly. My body regulated itself after about four months, and I didn’t have to take any exogenous estrogen, progesterone, or fertility drugs to aid my pregnancy.

 Our situation sparks legal, political, and social unknowns. We have only begun experiencing opposition from people who are upset by our situation. 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. Receptionists have laughed at us. Friends and family have been unsupportive; most of Nancy’s family doesn’t even know I’m transgender.

This whole process, from trying to get pregnant to being pregnant, has been a challenge for us. The first doctor we approached was a reproductive endocrinologist. He was shocked by our situation and told me to shave my facial hair. After a $300 consultation, he reluctantly performed my initial checkups. He then required us to see the clinic’s psychologist to see if we were fit to bring a child into this world and consulted with the ethics board of his hospital. A few months and a couple thousand dollars later, he told us that he would no longer treat us, saying he and his staff felt uncomfortable working with “someone like me.”

In total, nine different doctors have been involved. This is why it took over one year to get access to a cryogenic sperm bank to purchase anonymous donor vials, and why Nancy and I eventually resorted to home insemination.  

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. 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.”

On successfully getting pregnant a second time, we are proud to announce that this pregnancy is free of complications and our baby girl has a clean bill of health. We are happily awaiting her birth, with an estimated due date of July 3, 2008.

How does it feel to be a pregnant man? Incredible. Despite the fact that my belly is growing with a new life inside me, I am stable and confident being the man that I am. In a technical sense I see myself as my own surrogate, though my gender identity as male is constant. To Nancy, I am her husband carrying our child — I am so lucky to have such a loving, supportive wife. I will be my daughter’s father, and Nancy will be her mother. We will be a family.

Outside the local medical community, people don’t know I’m five months’ pregnant. But our situation ultimately will ask everyone to embrace the gamut of human possibility and to define for themselves what is normal.  

So far, the new from The Advocate. If you want to sign our manifesto about sexual diversity, we are asking for the respect for homosexuals and trasgender (the manifesto is written in spanish).

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8 responses

5 04 2008
chuk1

i love you thomas beatie i think you are the man i wish i could do what you did.

hopefully a lot of men will start having babies it is not fair why should this pleasure of having a baby should only be experienced by a woman. You are the man thomas.

http://pregnant-man.wedding-review.info/pregnant%20man.html

31 07 2008
Kim

I am going to be brutally honest about this issue. It might come across as harsh and unsympathetic to Mr.Beatie. However, I feel it’s something that needs to be said. The truth about Thomas Beatie in my opinion is he passionately hates women. I realize that he in fact is married to a woman but there is no other explination for what he did. There is a subconcious issue ere that has not been explored. Mr. Beatie as a transexual feels that the superior sex is male. Whether he reveals this or not, its the obvious observation. Why else would you change sexes if not you were unsatisified with your own? I understand that it is a basic biological wish to have a child. However, it seems as though Mr.Beatie is just trying to prove a point that men are superior to women in everyway by taking away the one thing that we contribute to society that men don’t. Throughout history women have struggled with equality. Time after time we were forced into compliance with a male dominated society. But there was one thing that rendered us useful. Our ability to create life. Before modern society, and still today it is one the thing we have that makes us superior to men. I feel as though Mr.Beatie has made a mockery of women everywhere. His out right need for publicizing his condition establishes to society that “even men can reproduce.” From my personal feminist perspective it feels like Mr.Beatie has taken away something from our society. He has taken away a woman’s gift to the world. I know that Mr. Beatie is infact reproductively speaking a woman, but I think there are more metaphorical connotations that haven’t been discussed. Furthermore, why would any transgender want to put themselves in middle ground. Now more than ever must be a confusing stage because as much as Mr.Beatie is man, he is fully woman and can never go back. As much as he would like to switch his sex the fact remains, he gave birth therefore….He is a woman. I am not saying this is grounds for possible bad parenting due to an identity crisis because I am sure that Mr.Beatie will be a loving parent. I would also like to take note of the health condition of the child. I was very realized to find out that Mr.Beatie gave birth to a healthy baby girl. What I am curious about are the long lasting hormones that have been present in his body. During pregnancy a womans body changes hormonally quite a bit, but in Mr.Beatie’s his hormone replacement certainly might have had an affect on the fetus, is 2 years really long enough? Why then does his facial hair still exist, would it not have thinned out slightly? I wish the best of luck to both Mr.Beatie and his wife and in the future I hope that he doesn’t publicize this event or others to come in the media. I think it’s cruel to the child and from your interview with Oprah has obviously put him in great danger. I think it was extremely selfish to try and get 5 minutes of fame. Family and health should be the first priority

31 07 2008
juanat

Hi, KIM:
You said: “Mr. Beatie as a transexual feels that the superior sex is male. Whether he reveals this or not, its the obvious observation. Why else would you change sexes if not you were unsatisified with your own?”.
Unless you know this person, I don’t think you or anybody can say that a transexual person hates the other sex -or gender-. It’s only a question of feeling well “into” your body…It’s my opinion.
Anyway, thank you very much for your opinion. Bye.

31 07 2008
Kim

Yes but juanat your missing the key point. Why does Mr. Beatie not feel well “into” his body, hopefully retrospectively speaking of course. He feels this way because being a woman was for him not the superior choice. Being a man was his ultimate goal because for a transgender it is a basic feeling of inadequancy.

1 08 2008
juanat

He chose “his” sex but not because he hated the other one: he felt well being a man. When his wife couldn’t be pregnant, then he “used” his internal sex for being pregnant. That’s it.

25 01 2009
ueno

its weird that she or he chose to do this after he had taken the hormones and removed his breasts. how is the baby supossed to breast feed? a good parent would want there child to be healthy. its a selfish move. and dont you think that when the little girl grows shes going to think its weird that her dad gave birth its unnatural and wrong. god put her on earth as a women for a reason you shouldnt mess with that. he was also a pretty women. its all too crazy and too messed up. i dont think it should b allowed.

25 01 2009
juanat

The baby hasn’t to be fed this way. And the argument about God…I don’t think it’s a good one. If God would have put her on earth as a woman…why he would have chosen her to be lesbian if the Church think that gay people is not the right option to be a human being?

6 11 2012
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