A transgender pregnancy

March 28, 2008 at 4:41 am 29 comments

I’m going to keep following this story: a Bend transgendered man is pregnant. He and his wife are happy to conceive and detail their experience in a story published recently by the venerable Advocate.

KATU news here in Portland questions the story, supposing that it may be a hoax.

What’s going on there? I suspect that KATU is just trying to play to more than one common public response to this new situation.

Let’s assume that this isn’t the first ‘male pregnancy‘ and move on to the issue at hand: should transmen who are biologically able to conceive be able to have children?

I really can’t help but think that yes, they should. I don’t have a problem with anyone having babies as long as there is no substantial health risk involved. In the situation of Thomas Beattie, our pregnant man, it seems as though his pregnancy is safe, since he has been off testosterone for a lengthy period of time.

The ability to conceive, under one’s own chosen circumstances, seems fundamental to human agency. Our biological bodies are the very basis of our belonging to ourselves; it’s what we own. Therefore, it would seem that as a human being, conceiving another human being would be a given. Naturally, we know this boundary to be within the female – men can’t give birth. But what happens when the boundary between men and women is so completely blurred that men can have children?

This also puts into question the location of woman: can you give birth yet not be a woman?

I really don’t know. I’m concerned first of all for the agency of the unborn, and second for the absolute agency of the individual to acertain the circumstances of conception and birth. If anything, I think that this just further indicates how gender identity is a performance and is completely malleable – we decide our degree of maleness or femaleness. But, with some rare exceptions, our physical bodies carry a strong mark of particular reproductive capacity, delineating two very specific functions (I refer here to the role of sperm and ovum).

I can’t help but think that people born women have it a little easier than people born men to do the switch and yet still conceive.

What do you think?

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Entry filed under: gender, reproduction, Transgender. Tags: , , , , .

Why a blog on transgender issues? Pregnant transman Thomas Beatie speaks on Oprah

29 Comments Add your own

  • 1. juanat  |  March 29, 2008 at 6:08 am

    I think that everything is OK with this situation. But people is getting scared of the new. But that is happening because of the fear to different situations. They are not used to it. Sorry for my English: I’m Spanish.
    If you want to sign our manifesto about sexual diversity, we are asking the respect for homosexuals and trasgender (the manifesto is written in spanish).
    http://www.petitiononline.com/juanat/petition.html

  • 2. rita  |  April 5, 2008 at 1:34 am

    My meaningless opinion is Of course its pg as in reality this is a female; still is female; and; and what. So what. This is wrong and we are crossing boundaries that should never be touched.

  • 3. carolyn  |  April 5, 2008 at 1:35 am

    I dont care what you call it, but if you were born with female organ, and still have them. You are still a woman.so it shouldnt be trasgender having a baby, if should be women have baby. no matter how she try to change herself, this person need help.

  • 4. Shiaboo14  |  April 5, 2008 at 1:44 am

    WOW!!! that is soo nasty in sooo many ways how is a man( well a women who claims its a man)going to get pregant I don’t understand does he have both parts or something and how did he get sperm I kno his wife don’t have no sperm because shes a woman did he get pergant by hiself that is soo disgusting I am shocked and apuled at the situation at hand. And if I was him I wouldn’t be soo public about because being a transgender is kind of nasty!!!

  • 5. Dreamwriter  |  April 5, 2008 at 1:47 am

    I respect those who are transgender. I truly believe that if you are suffering and you are not who you are suppose to be, then go for it. Change what you need.

    However, I don’t AGREE that a transgender who was a woman and now a man should be pregnant. If you want to be pregnant then stay a woman and do what you need after the baby is born.

    If you have female organs then you are a woman. If you have a femal and male organs then you are kinda both.

    I don’t think it is right – it sounds like he wants his cake and eat it, too.

  • 6. Sean Vang  |  April 5, 2008 at 1:51 am

    I think what has to really determine a man or male. To truly be male you have to be in every aspect of the way not having just the outside parts but not having the female inside parts neither, to be a truly male one must not have anything that are relate to the opposite sex. That is why they said opposite is exactly that the opposite of male which is every thing that is not male. Male are stronger physically, they don’t get pregnant, no MS every month, no mama gram for breast feeding.

  • 7. Brittany  |  April 5, 2008 at 2:01 am

    I don’t disagree with it at all. If he wants to carry a child and he is physically capable of carrying a fetus to full term and delivering a healthy baby, then why shouldn’t he? I don’t really understand the process by which he became pregnant. Do they intend to have a c-section?

  • 8. Lisette  |  April 5, 2008 at 2:16 am

    Dreamwriter, seriously now. In this day and age, what makes you think you have any right to “judge” this trangendered man? I mean, he is a person and has the same rights we all do. Just because he is unique in keeping his original female parts – why is everyone so quick to judge or condemn “uniqueness”? I mean, we’re all different in our own ways. We’re all unique. Don’t Hate!!! Appreciate!!! Who says the “majority” in society is the “norm” anyway! I would rather be my own person than to go around like a clone like everyone else in this world. Wouldn’t you want to maintain your very own, special and unique identity? Think about it.

  • 9. Polina  |  April 5, 2008 at 2:24 am

    this is so weird.. i mean.. it totally shatters everything i’ve always known… but.. he has a uterus, the child will be physically healthy. (perhaps a little mentally altered when it discovers the origin of its birth..) but.. i’m confused… HOW did he get pregnant? did they emplant an embryo??? oh.. and about sean vang’s comment. That is why he is called a transgender who is legally male. because he is part female. it’s like a girl who was born with testicles.. it happens, but it doesn’t make them non-male or non-female. And sean… I’d like to see YOU go through pregnancy, and YOU go through menstruation every month. I’d like to see YOU get a mamagram and pap smeer. THEN tell me men are stronger. you whine about getting poked and prodded once every few years after you’re fifty. Once we turn 13 we have to start getting shots to prevent cervical cancer. Try child birth, sean. then tell me men are stronger… for once a man is going to do that. lol.. i’d like to see how he handles labor.

  • 10. Denise  |  April 5, 2008 at 2:29 am

    well think about it it’s appears to be a man but its a woman, i mean after all SHE does have the reproductive organs. It’s like painting a freaken orange red and saying its an apple!!! So its not “the pregnant man” its just a a pregnant male lo0king female…[she-male]!!! jajaja

  • 11. Polina  |  April 5, 2008 at 2:30 am

    I am PROUD of this man for standing up for his uniquness. it’s a little strange, i will admit.. lol. my parents would be shocked.. but i, for one, think it is cool. No one has a right to judge him. there is nothing wrong with being transgendered. that’s how they were born. why force them to change themselves because YOU are uncomfortable. Let people be people and stop trying to make everyone be you. STOP judging everyone. STOP trying to put one person, one gender, one sexual orientation above another. This is life. Life is about choices. Whether you agree with those choices or not is not up to you. Everyone has their agency, and there’s nothing we can do to change them.

  • 12. kathleen  |  April 5, 2008 at 2:35 am

    Dear Lisette
    Dreamwriter has an opinion, just as you do, why should anyone who doesn’t see eye to eye with this “mess” have it and uniqueness “shoved” down their throat?? It is “unnatural” which means “against nature” it is NOT unique. 🙂 It is “self” made not unique and it is sickening to me. you are born one way and change to be something you are not. I saw a documentary on this and it was really disgusting. People going around changing their sex organs. If you are a woman and want to be with a woman just “do it” don’t go to such extreme lengths. “HE is NOT pregnant, SHE is!!!!!

  • 13. Logic  |  April 5, 2008 at 2:35 am

    People can do what they want, or should be able to anyways.

    As long as it doesn’t affect anyone in an unwanted way. The child will be healthy, and it wouldn’t even cause a problem that his or her dad had him or her if everyone would just accept this and quit being close-minded.

  • 14. Lulu  |  April 5, 2008 at 2:54 am

    I agree with a few others. This is a woman by natural conception who is pregnant, but have to side with the person who said he wants his cake and eat it to… It’s a bit flaky I feel and wonder why his wife isn’t the one to become pregnant instead of him ?
    Anyways no pun directed to the transgender society, it is not my problem they are confused about their identity as to who or what they want to be when they grow up ! Sometimes you just simply have to accept who you are just like the rest of us !

  • 15. Tina  |  April 5, 2008 at 3:10 am

    His wife is infertile, or so it says on wikipedia. They wanted a child and she couldn’t conceive. I think it was incredible of him to step out of his chosen role to do this. I bet it took a lot of courage.

  • 16. tameka  |  April 5, 2008 at 3:15 am

    I really believe this was planned . So Beatie could be the 1st Man to get pregnant and make history and the attention. And he is getting everything he wanted .

  • 17. susan  |  April 5, 2008 at 3:20 am

    People I ask you this, if one is a pedophile or has an attraction for animals( or carry animal babies !!) DO YOU STILL THINK THAT IS UNIQUE ?? and let such people around you and your family?
    lets not go against the NATURE.

  • 18. ME  |  April 5, 2008 at 4:02 am

    ITS 2 SODOMITES HAVEING A BABY THEY ARE BOTH GAY AND ITS WRONG

  • 19. ME  |  April 5, 2008 at 4:22 am

    MAN AND MAN OR WOMAN AND WOMAN
    OR HALF MAN HALF WOMAN WITH A WHOLE WOMAN
    DUDE NONE OF THIS IS RITE ITS ALL THE SAME THEY ARE GAY/HOMOSEXUAL/SODOMITES.
    IF NATURE INTENDED IT TO BE THAT WAY IT WOULD NOT HAVE HAD TO HAVE SUGERY TO REMOVE THINGS TO LOOK LIKE WHAT EVER YOU CALL THAT PERSON ( MAN ? WOMAN ? THING)

  • 20. bob  |  April 5, 2008 at 4:55 am

    sick-sick-sick-sick-sick-sick-sick-sick-sick-sick-sick-sick-sick-sick
    sick-sick-sick-sick-sick-sick-sick-sick-sick-sick-sick-sick-sick-sick
    sick-sick-sick-sick-sick-sick-sick-sick-sick-sick-sick-sick-sick-sick
    sick-sick-sick-sick-sick-sick-sick-sick-sick-sick-sick-sick-sick-sick
    sick-sick-sick-sick-sick-sick-sick-sick-sick-sick-sick-sick-sick-sick
    sick-sick-sick-sick-sick-sick-sick-sick-sick-sick-sick-sick-sick-sick
    sick-sick-sick-sick-sick-sick-sick-sick-sick-sick-sick-sick-sick-sick
    sick-sick-sick-sick-sick-sick-sick-sick-sick-sick-sick-sick-sick-sick

  • 21. ME  |  April 5, 2008 at 6:15 am

    I AGREE
    sick-sick-sick-sick-sick-sick-sick-sick-sick-sick-sick-sick-sick-sick
    sick-sick-sick-sick-sick-sick-sick-sick-sick-sick-sick-sick-sick-sick
    sick-sick-sick-sick-sick-sick-sick-sick-sick-sick-sick-sick-sick-sick
    sick-sick-sick-sick-sick-sick-sick-sick-sick-sick-sick-sick-sick-sick
    sick-sick-sick-sick-sick-sick-sick-sick-sick-sick-sick-sick-sick-sick
    sick-sick-sick-sick-sick-sick-sick-sick-sick-sick-sick-sick-sick-sick
    sick-sick-sick-sick-sick-sick-sick-sick-sick-sick-sick-sick-sick-sick
    sick-sick-sick-sick-sick-sick-sick-sick-sick-sick-sick-sick-sick-sick

  • 22. ME  |  April 5, 2008 at 6:22 am

    HEY WHAT IN THE WORLD ARE YOU SAYING LISSETTE!!!!!!!!!!
    .
    .
    .
    Lisette | April 5, 2008 at 2:16 am
    Dreamwriter, seriously now. In this day and age, what makes you think you have any right to “judge” this trangendered man? I mean, he is a person and has the same rights we all do. Just because he is unique in keeping his original female parts – why is everyone so quick to judge or condemn “uniqueness”? I mean, we’re all different in our own ways. We’re all unique. Don’t Hate!!! Appreciate!!! Who says the “majority” in society is the “norm” anyway! I would rather be my own person than to go around like a clone like everyone else in this world. Wouldn’t you want to maintain your very own, special and unique identity
    …..

    .
    .
    . UR ARE AS BLIND AS THE THING THAT IS PREGNANT

  • 23. CRAZY THOUGHTS  |  April 5, 2008 at 6:38 am

    Just because a female takes hormones, grows facial hair and dresses like a man doesn’t constitute a man having a baby. Just a hairy woman pregnant

  • 24. liyana  |  April 5, 2008 at 9:58 am

    ok.I accept that he is transgender and he feels that he is a man,and biologicly he is a woman.1:Than why he left his reproductive organs inside?Men doesnt have uterus.2:Who gave him psyhiatric evaluation about the surgery?3:What about the experiances of those children who has transgender parent?4:If transgender people are mistake of nature,genetic failure,why these people dont try to fix this with psyhiatric help, or hormonal help in order to help them be what they biologicly are,instead of mutilating their body,take testosteron,to be a man and than kill triplets embrios because of that change.I think he is confused person.I think there should be a law.If transgender people are evaluated transgender,they should choose:either no treatment at all or complete surgery and no babies.period.Who is responsible for the first lost triplets?Are they victimes of some confused person who likes to play carying loving mom-dad?

  • 25. marylyn  |  April 5, 2008 at 11:33 am

    i think it’s very strang but if u want 2 prove that u r a hellava woman go 4 it u go baby

  • 26. marylyn  |  April 5, 2008 at 11:42 am

    i don’t juge anyone if they can live with themselve with the way things r going these days anythings possable

  • 27. bob  |  April 7, 2008 at 9:33 am

    Hey Lisette if you what to be different then put on some
    different cloths ,or change your hair,or what ever, but you dont change your sex just to make a statement.pretty soon I guess
    some ASS will marry a dog or a cat, when will some humans face up to what is wrong,You are NOT born to be GAY ,its a choice you make ,And to me and a lot of people its the wrong choice.

  • 28. Klaas Jacob de Weert  |  August 16, 2009 at 3:57 pm

    Yes realy allsoi this not normaln it is cvompleet dicusting
    Let we pray that they will repented to Yeshua . This not
    good. We Messianic and jews and Christians must be
    onest with God and evangilist this sick people. Shalo Klaas Jacob de Wert the Netherlands

  • 29. George  |  September 29, 2010 at 12:20 am

    @bob
    It’s not like I wanna be gay for the rest of my life. there are way too many compromises. I have to constantly remind myself that “Im a guy, Im a guy,’ etc. there are things I can’t do. I can’t just be myself for so long, then I have to remember, well, I’m still a guy, there is so much that I wanna do, but that is in the way.
    After a while, I begin to feel that it’s possible I am truly a female. Not because I am crazy, but because it seems all the good things, or the good And bad things that I am OK with, are ON THE OTHER SIDE. The bad things about being male for me are like torture every day. I have no sense of objective or goal in life, and no desire to socialize anymore, because even that makes no sense.
    So what am I to do. Just SIT around like this and then what? Of course I have to take measures in hand, and yes it may seem like we are confused now, because science and technology isn’t fully catching up with our ‘goals’, but maybe you will come around and see that we are not so crazy one day.

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