The Pregnant Man

I can't turn on the tv lately (and with the 24/7 nursing I'm doing, the tv and I are becoming intimately acquainted) without seeing Thomas Beatie, the so-called "pregnant man." A female-to-male transgender, Thomas gave birth earlier this year to a daughter. He recently announced that he's pregnant for the second time.

Initially, I thought the photos of this man with the gigantic pregnant belly bursting forth from a hairy chest were disconcerting and just plain weird. In a lot of ways, I still do. The image goes against everything our brains are wired to expect of what a pregnant individual looks like. I get the curiosity and the fascination many of us have with Thomas Beatie.

What I cannot understand is the vitriolic hate directed at this man and his wife from individuals hell-bent (ha) on casting judgment and condemnation at the couple's harmless pursuit of happiness. They have received death threats, terrifying middle-of-the-night phone calls, and they've been the target of on-air bigotry from Faux News.

Why does it matter so much to some people that Thomas Beatie's family looks differently than theirs?

Thomas Beatie's wife suffers from infertility. She couldn't bear the couple's children. I would guess that should it be physiologically possible, a great number of husbands would agree to carry their babies if their wives could not. The desire to have children is innate in many, although not all, of us. Speaking as someone who has experienced infertility and who has gone to great (and painful) lengths to have her children, I find it maddening that anyone would judge this couple's means of becoming parents, no matter how unorthodox the method.

The Beatie's daughter has two parents who love her. Their unborn child will no doubt experience the same kind of love. Does it really matter that it was the children's father who gave birth to them because their mother could not? Perhaps initially, as Thomas and his wife explain the circumstances of their births to their children. But after that initial conversation? I'm guessing no. Unconditional love is what matters to children, and from everything I've seen and heard from this couple, they seem like they are providing exactly that.

The treatment of the Beaties and the passage of Prop 8 in California demonstrate that despite the election of this country's first African-American president, we still have a long way to go in our tolerance and acceptance of people whose lives don't fit a preconceived notion of what "normal" looks like to some. California's gay couples and the Beaties are seeking two fundamental and ubiquitous pursuits: marriage and children, which in many ways are the cornerstones upon which this society is built. They want love and they want happiness. Nothing more and nothing less.

Who are we to deny another fellow human being either?

9 Responses to “The Pregnant Man”

  1. # Anonymous Kris

    Sad... just sad. I am thrilled for the Beaties though- I hope they have a lifetime of happiness with their children.

    I think gay marriage is my new cause now that the election is over and it seems pointless to talk about "evil republicans" for at least another year or so. =)  

  2. # Blogger kenju

    I agree with you, Kristi. Although I do wish people (and him) would quit calling him a man. Any being with ovaries and a uterus is not a male - no matter how many hormones the person has taken.  

  3. # Blogger Tracey

    I know.

    But I am with Kenju, in that we cannot call a person who was born with a uterus, still HAS the uterus, and is USING The uterus to carry children, a "man." A transgender man who hasn't completely crossed over, perhaps. But a man? Well, no.  

  4. # Blogger Sugar and Ice

    My only problem with this situation is that we actually know about it. Why is this news again? If my husband were to get pregnant and have our THAT would be newsworthy. Surely, this isn't the first time a person like Thomas has bared a child. I mean...he had the baby vaginally after 40 hours of labor...delivering a baby via a vagina...NOT NEWS.  

  5. # Blogger Maithri

    A thoughtful and compassionate post.

    It is crazy that in this 'day and age' we should still be so afraid of difference.

    Love is love, no matter how we package it or what lifestyle we clothe it in.

    Perhaps I'm an idealist, but I believe that one day it will prevail.

    Peace and Soft light, Maithri  

  6. # Blogger Simply-Mel

    Lets face it : its a pretty strange world we are living in. And everyone with a voice feels the need to say something.

    Whats unsettling is the hatred.

    Who the hell cares? Ultimately is it really affecting anyone elses life?

    I am sooooo over the judgemental attitudes of 99% of the world population. Over. It.  

  7. # Blogger My Wombinations

    I agree with everything that has been written here. Not a single person I know is against gay marriage (or shocked that a transgendered man is having a baby) so who are these people who feel differently? I wish they would come out of their closet so we could school them.  

  8. # Blogger Mom24

    This comment has been removed by the author.  

  9. # Blogger Mom24

    OK, tired, many essence I just wish they weren't seeking so much publicity. Sometimes it feels like it's more about the cause than the child. I totally agree that the hatred is disturbing and unwarranted though.  

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