The Year of Moving Forward

The Year of Moving Forward
At our 4 person wedding reception in DC

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Thomas Beatie

I have considered writing about this subject for days, ever since I first read a story in The Advocate about Thomas Beatie, who is transgender. I have a not too distant relative who like Thomas is female to male trangender and I thought about him when I read the article.

Today the Birmingham News had an article about Thomas, but since they could not tell the whole story, here, in The Advocate is a link to it. By commenting on this, I don't feel I am exploiting his situation, since he writes about himself in the first person in the article.

Thomas is legally a male in Oregon and is married, with full rights and benefits to his wife, Nancy. Thomas is now carrying their child. You can see a picture of the pregnant man at the link above. Thomas was born with female reproductive organs, and at the time of sex reassignment did not have those parts removed, although he did have chest reconstruction.

He and Nancy wanted to have a child, but Nancy, due to a medical condition years ago, had a hysterectomy and could not bear children. Thomas stopped his hormone treatments and more than a year later he is pregnant with their daughter.

Thomas says they saw nine different doctors before finding one who would work with them. His own brother questioned "what kind of monster" he might produce.

They realize their situation "sparks legal, political and social unknowns." Still, they also know that their daughter will be born around July 3, 2008, and so far the pregnancy is free of complications.

Thomas and other transgendered individuals deserve the same respect and rights that the rest of us deserve. He has put himself out there for the world to see to make a point, and he does it well.

Only by sharing stories such as this will people begin to understand and accept people of sexual minorities. The most recent issue of Out magazine was devoted to Trans issues. I commend the media (at least this part of it) for presenting this information, even when the LGBT rights organizations are sometimes struggling with it. For Thomas, for my "cuz", for the rest of you, I am with you.

5 comments:

Chris said...

This is an amazing story. Thanks for sharing it.
Prayers for a happy outcome for the family - and a lovely baby!

Christine Burns said...

As a specialist commentator in this field for many years I hope that the following Podcast on the topic may be helpful to people

http://christineburns.podbean.com/2008/03/29/the-men-with-baby-bellies

Anonymous said...

I am a heterosexual woman with VERY liberal views on the LGBT community. But this situation is where I draw the line. There is no miracle about Thomas's ability to carry a child she's a woman - that's what we do! Thomas needs to see shrink, she wants to identify as a man but have the rights of a women! WTF?? Stop being greedy either you are or your not. Thomas is trying to play God - defy nature what he is doing is mocking the cycle of life. SHAME ON THEM!!

Joe Openshaw said...

I remember in 1978 when Louise Brown was an embryo in a test tube and the news of her successful implantation into the uterus of her natural mother took place. I remember the same types of comments, that Steptoe and the other doctors involved were playing God. Of couse, Lesley Brown was the natural parent, so there are differences. No wait, Thomas is the natural parent also. And his baby was not concieved in a test tube, outside of the body.

Now in vitro fertilization is commonplace, and no one, well almost no one, thinks anything of it, except maybe questioning the multiple births that usually take place with these techniques. But is it playing God when we use a woman as a breeding machine to produce a litter? Is that mocking the human cycle of life, and mocking God? After all, the human uterus is not designed to carry 4 or 5 fetuses, yet the fertility Gods..docs...deem it so.

Also common is surrogate pregnancies where a woman carries the fetus of another woman and has the baby and then just gives it up. Is that healthy for the woman (the surrogate)or the baby? Is that playing God?

When Sarah (Sarai) couldn't bear Abraham's (Abram's) child he tried that surragacy thing, sort of, with Hagar. Who was playing God there?

Of couse they had that whole incest, who's your daddy thing going on with Sarah and Abraham having the same father (oh, really?) and rumors about Abimelech being the daddy if Isaac.

So unusual pregnancies and relationships did not begin with Thomas Beatie, and they won't end there.

Anonymous said...

What about just being happy with who you are and how you were born? Except for those who are born with some kind of disease, disfiguration etc… theren is a reason to be operated. Sex change is mutilating the body and that’s what bothers me. Future Frankenstein’s because of the operations gone wild and wrong. There are sooo many unhappy people because of their images. Sometimes they make it worse. The doctors are the ones having the most fun with all of the cash coming through. The media love these stories. Even the people who do piercing and tattoos etc… hey, don’t get me wrong, I would like one or two tribal tattoos, I love art. Here’s the thing, how much is too much when you can’t even recognize the person, your son, your own daughter, parents etc… Do we love our selves less each day? I cannot applaud a parent who helps a young child change their sex with hormones and with what ever there is out there. We need to teach our children to love them selves more so, than just helping them change their image. A child can change his/her ideas in any time. At least wait until he/she is an adult.

It’s interesting to hear that Thomas Beatie did not feel that she was a boy trapped in a girl’s body. It’s interesting to know that she was first interested in the same sex in her early twenties. I get confused because some say she’s a lesbian and she calls herself a man, now a “legally” man. This is a crazy and confused world. Just because a person has dark skin and his skin has changed because of a disease like Vitiligo, it does not make them a Caucasian. A person should not forget where they came from. I can change a lot of my features but it will never change who I really am since birth. People tend to want to be something else or somebody else except for themselves. Take Jocelyn Wildenstein who has features of a cat. It does not make her cat although people call her cat woman. What made her so unhappy of herself and her looks? What triggered this change… genes? Everything is about genes these days.

People can go about their business, but why go through the media? They are making this issue everybody else’s business. It would have been better for them if they kept it private…. Why? Not for their sake, (although they need emotional and mental stability) but for the sake of their new baby girl. Although, one would like to educate the children about all of theses issues at the end they have to deal with other people in school, in the family etc… I think they are making there child’s life more difficult. No matter what and no matter where you hide the truth always comes out from people you least expect. We have to put ourselves in the child perspective.

What makes a boy a boy and a girl a girl? How do we explain to our children all of these cases? As for myself I try to include it in my multicultural lecture and at least try to teach children respect for others, their ways, their culture, religions, beliefs, etc… Trying to explain Thomas Beatie’s case to my own child, a nine year old boy, has been very difficult because he just can’t figure it out. It does not make him stupid or ignorant. He simply does not understand. He saw it on the news after watching a kids program. Thomas Beatie’s daughter will not be a different case. She will wonder and ask a lot of questions. No one can assure she will understand.

On the birth of Thomas Beatie little girl; would she prefer the doctors to say: “Congratulations on your child!” instead of “Congratulations on your little baby girl!” The first thing any parent, who’s had a child, always asks: what is it? Is it a boy or a girl? A baby cannot name him/her self. I cannot name my self; I am either a man or a woman. Gay, lesbian, bisexual, transsexual, transgender … My apologies in advance for what I’m about to say, but I’m afraid of what’s coming next. These are being “accepted” by society a bit. I’m happy in one hand because it will stop most of the abuse and discrimination against them. On the other hand we have zoosexuality or zoophiles, 'consensual' incest, ephebophilia, pansexual, polysexual, asexual, pederasty, necrophiliac, pedophilia, nymphomania, satyriasis and so forth. As unbelievable as it may sound, sooner or later some of these would love to fight for respect, acceptance and their human rights in society. These human behaviors have existed through all our history and in all culture. Is true identity being lost? I guess nobody will ever be “sexually”, “humanly”, “emotionally”, “mentally” and “spiritually” satisfied. Would we have to accept every change with in time? This makes me think… how far will human rights go? I’m afraid, because politicians would accept anything for a few votes even if it means to destroy a whole society, a country, or our world.