March 27, 2008

Pregnant husband

Watching the news last night, I was horribly depressed to find out that Iraq is, once again, on the verge of a civil war, and a large chunk of antarctic ice is about to break off.

This story, about a transman carrying his child, cheered me right up:

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.

Knowing there are people in the world this courageous really restores my optimism. Yes, the next few decades are going to suck. But we might just be able to pull through.


Jason said...

I am having a hard time deciding why this is news/important. This is nothing more than a woman who got pregnant through artificial insemination. Big deal. She is not a man. She has two X xhromosomes and more importantly she has a vagina. She may have gotten her breast reduced. She may have slightly more facial hair than some girls (but less than others). She may have an enlarged clit (so do other females). She is a lesbian who got pregnant. Congrats but not news.

Noumena said...

He is not a lesbian. Lesbians can't get married in Oregon. Beatie is legally married.

Really, your comment is exactly why this is important: a lot of cissexual people falsely believe transsexual people are just gay people, and understanding Beatie's situation will help combat that false belief.

Jenna said...

But if this person was REALLY a man, then pregnancy would not be a possibility. This person is not physically a man. Why is that concept so hard for people to understand? The male species has different organs than the female a science lesson necessary.

Noumena said...

He has two X chromosomes, a vagina, a womb, and is evidently entirely capable of carrying a pregnancy to term. He is also, legally, a heterosexual man.

Which is the whole point to being transgender: he doesn't occupy the normal categories. He crosses over them. He is literally transgender.

Also, for a quick biology lesson: male and female are sexes, not species. And there are at least two definitions of male and female (for species that reproduce sexually), in terms of genetics and in terms of functional organs, neither of which is standard or seen as more `basic' by biologists. Also, they are not, in fact, coextensive.

Jason said...

They are gay. They met, started dating and fell in love when both were still considered females. When they have sex, it is vaginal, clitoral, etc. contact. No penis involved.

If Oregon is using this definition as a way to "sneak" gay marriage onto the books then fine, but otherwise they have VERY loose definitions. I think I might move there a tell them that I consider myself to be governor, and demand to be treated as such.