Thursday, March 27, 2008

Pregnant man used to be a woman

Thomas Beatie, born Tracy Lagondino, is a happily pregnant man, who did not have his female reproductive system removed during his reassignment surgery.

"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," he writes. "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."

Believe it or not, but people have a hard time being supportive of the idea of a pregnant man, even other female-to-male transsexuals.

"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.'"

"Elsewhere, there is professional concern about the confusion the child may later experience. 'There is going to be an extra degree of complication or confusion about 'where am I from?'' says Robert Withers, a psychoanalyst who has treated transgender patients.

Kerrick Lucker, a gay activist at the University of California, Berkeley, has met two children with trans man birth mothers. 'In my experience, they were extremely well-parented and well-adjusted. The only unusual challenges these kids face come from members of the public who see gender ambiguity as a great wrong,' he says."

What do you guys see in store for Thomas Beatie's child? I find it wonderful that people who identify in so many ways can have such options for having their own children.

23 comments:

Matt said...

I though only Arnold Schwarzenegger was the only man allowed to have babies. I agree that the child will probably be raised well, and will probably be more successful in life because of that. On the other hand, the child may face extreme ridicule from his peers in school, primarily during Jr. High and High School. This could have adverse effects of his or her well being, making their childhood a living hell. This in turn could either make them stronger or break them down into a hermit like state. It is because of aforementioned reasons that I believe that gay/transgender couples conceiving/adopting children is selfish on their part. I compare it to naming your son sue, or Mike Rotch. Anyway, that's all the swill I can spew for this one.

Kate said...

This story made me so happy.

And I truly believe that if a child is raised by a loving parent or parents in a supportive enviroment and taught confidence, kindness, and forgivness, he or she can weather even the most adverse school enviroment.

And maybe by the time the child enters middle school, the stigma will be less great. Maybe.

Call me an idealist, but that's what I believe.

Colt said...

I can't wrap my mind around the idea.

Josh said...

Title should be "Pregnant man IS a woman"

Sorry, but i'm with Colt on this one. Im usually pretty open minded about this stuff, but this one is just too messed up for me. Before you know it, people will be giving birth to lions and tigers and bears and the world will start spinning in the other direction...

deb said...

Does the name Louise Brown ring a bell with anyone ??? Ethical debates surrounded her birth as the first "test-tube" baby in July of 1978, now the practice is common. With transgender couples on the rise this is the first but not the last time we will see a pregnant man.

Tyler said...

He/She/It is not a man. It is an extremely messed up individual. The best description I can come up with is surgical hermaphrodite. This kid is going to be so messed up from the unnatural birth, at least with the test-tube babies they are born of their mothers.

Kate said...

Tyler, do not call any human being "it." He is a person, no matter how you feel about his personal choices. Do NOT rob him of his humanity.

Geoff said...

Men don't have babies. Therefore, she is still, and most likely will always be, a woman inside. I feel bad for the kid though.

Colt said...

She is a she not a he. Just because you have a testosterone shots and your boobs cut off does not make you a man. But it's there life and there not hurting me so, go on be trans gender.

Tyler said...

Kate, I was not using the term "it" in an attempt to take away humanity, but merely to express the lack of true gender this person seems to have.

Amelia said...

Tyler, there's the problem. I know you've taken sociology, so you should know that gender is a social construction. Gender is not defined in any concrete terms. This person absolutely DOES have a gender, but their gender is fluid. It's not the simple black and white definition of gender of yesteryear.

Tyler said...

Aimee, Gender is either male or female. This individual is not fully either, so calling this individual either is an insult to both this individual, and to those who are identified as that gender.

Amelia said...

Tyler, your thinking is narrow on this subject. I do know not what it is like to be transgendered, but having female sex characteristics and feeling like a man blurs your lines of simply man or woman.

I think that calling people like Thomas Beatie, who want to be called men, men, does not insult anyone. I think it's far more insulting to tell the transgendered people in the world that they do not fit in and alienate them in that way.

Tyler said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Amelia said...

Tyler, all capitals is a form of shouting, and unduly rowdy commenting will not be further commented. I do not mind hearing your opinions, but please express them in a calmer manner. Thanks.

Tyler said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Kate said...

There is no one traditional feminist manifesto. There are many theories of feminism, many of which deal with the acceptance and rights of transgendered people.

Shulamith Firestones' theory, "The Dialetic of Sex" encourages the use of techonology to further feminism. She envisioned a future where both men and women could become pregnant and share equally in the physical burden as well as the connection of love.

Please do your research before trying to turn feminism around. Also, how is shouting "mocking traditional feminists"?

Amelia said...

Tyler asked me to delete some of his comments, and I did so. Just so every one knows my reasoning; I will never delete a comment merely because I disagree with it.

judgesnineteen said...

To those who say he's a she: way to deny someone else's identity. Who made you the judge of what makes a man or a woman? If you're not trans, you don't know what it's like. Just because this is new to you or challenges the concepts you used to have doesn't mean it's wrong. "gender is male or female"? No, that's sex. Gender is different, and many people believe that it's a spectrum, not a binary.
I encourage all of you to find a blog by a trans person and read what their life is like.

This story makes me so happy and so sad. I think it's AWESOME that even the most fundamental of our beliefs about gender is being challenged. I think it's absolutely despicable that people would treat him this way just because the idea freaks them out. It's a shame that it freaks people out, but ok, that's people. But for them to say it freaks them out and therefore they'll deny him care? If it's religious, do they really think God's preferred way of handling sinners is to deny them medical care? As if that's going to change anything? Are these the same people that care so much about fetuses? People are putting their discomfort above his and his child's health and safety, and I think it's inexcusable. Normally I don't play the oppression olympics, but I really think it would be harder to be trans than any other type of person in this country.

FeministGal said...

I agree with judgesnineteen on this one - who are we (any of us) to referee someone's identity? Before he became pregnant, most people likely accepted him as male because he "passed" and maintained mostly traditional gender norms. Now however, he has to constantly defend his right to identify as a male? That's crap. What makes us male and female? Is is how we act (gender)? What's in between our legs (sex)? or a combination of that + how we identify? I think it's the latter, which is why we should never be able to tell someone he isn't male enough to be a male or she isn't female enough to be a woman.

On the other hand, looking at sex/gender as such a binary limits our ability to accept people just the way they are. Many people in the Trans* movement stear away from forcing the male/female identity but rather including a third, or "other" identity that doesn't make one choose. I don't know if he (Thomas Beatie) identifies as Trans* but regardless, he shouldn't have to justify his maleness to anyone.

Anonymous said...

This guy is like a seahorse! this is so awesome i love it.

jswizzle said...

Wow, that is unbelievable. It is a scary thought to me. Not because of the gender social perspective, but because of the physiological differences. Women have different hormones than men to give birth and feel attached to their children. And if science can't make the situation actually equal it could be bad for the children. From a social perspective I think it is all about what makes the people involved happy. If they can deal with other people harassing them, the child facing a unique upbringing and provide the child a healthy lifestyle, I'm allright with it. There are too many bad parents in this world to be upset about a father who wants to be responsible for his child...

jswizzle said...

not to mention there was a proffessor at Colorado University who advocated male pregnancy and caused quite a ruckus if you can find that...