This pic is for real peeps! Disturbing, I know….The first time I saw this photo I thought, how could this be? It’s not physically possible for a man to carry a baby. And then I read that the 22 week pregnant man, Thomas Beatie, is a transgendered male. Now it all makes since. Although the image is still a little startling, I’ve got to say, good for him.
Thomas Beatie recently gave an interview to the Advocate explaining who he is, his situation, and why he wanted to carry his own baby.
“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.
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.”
Why he decided to carry his child:
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.”
When Thomas got pregnant for the first time he said:
“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.’”
Now he’s five months pregnant and said:
“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.”
A lot of sites are reporting that this is the world’s first pregnant male–in some ways this is true and in other ways not–it gets kinda complicated. As a transgender, Beatie is genetically and physiologically female (& male)…but his self-identity is male. The world has actually seen transgender pregnancy before. In California, Matt Rice, bore a child by artificial insemination; however, California refused to recognize Rice as a man. In Beatie’s case, his state of Oregon, is recognizing him as a male–thus, in the technicality of it all, it’s the first recognized male pregnancy, but not necessarily the first pregnant man in the world.