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3 comments | Thursday, April 03, 2008

This is an extremely sensitive and controversial subject and one thing I wish that everyone would do that's writing about this story or discussing it over dinner is to do so with compassion.

Thomas Beatie is a transgender Female to Male who kept his reproductive organs with hopes of one day having a child. He is now 5 months pregnant and is expecting a healthy baby girl in July. Thomas is legally married to his wife Nancy of 10 years who is unable to carry their child because of a surgical procedure that left her without a womb. So together they decided that Thomas would stop taking testosterone injections in order for his body to regulate itself for the pregnancy, which was achieved through artificial insemination.

Thomas wrote an article in The Advocate detailing his experience as a pregnant man and the discrimination he's faced from medical professionals, family, as well as members of the LGBT community. The story spread like wildfire landing him inside People Magazine and on The Oprah Winfrey Show.

I have to be honest and say I had my reservations about this story and I feared a major backlash on the gay community from people who would view this as a circus or as David Letterman put it an "Androgynous Freak Show".

But what this story is doing is forcing us to re-think what we consider to be "normal". And this makes a lot of people uncomfortable, including myself, and I believe I'm pretty open-minded.

Message boards all across the net, including Oprah's are buzzing with fire and brimstone condemnation, but that's to be expected. But what I didn't expect was to walk away from this show feeling comfortable about the Beatie's decision to bring a child into the world this way. They proved they not only wanted this child but they were willing to love and nurture their daughter, which is a step in the right direction when it seems not a week goes by that their isn't news of a parent murdering or neglecting their child.

Initially I was planning on writing a detailed piece about this unique story but I decided not to. Mainly because I'm not a transgendered person and I couldn't even begin to identify with their gender identity experience.

So I called up my friend Tracee McDaniel who is transgender and directs the Juxtaposed Center for Transformation in Atlanta to provide more insight on this story and to educate me. Tracee recently spent 4 days in Washington D.C. lobbying our legislators for gender indentity and expression inclusive language in ENDA(Employment Non Discrimination Act).

I urge you to listen to the podcast of our conversation and to join in on the discussion in the comment section.

Click here to listen.

And if you missed Oprah yesterday then click here.


<$BlogCommentAuthor$> said...

i dvr-ed the show, but am trying to figure out if it is worth watching. i heard about this story weeks ago and today i read many of the comments on oprah's message board (i suggest you check it out; some interesting comments). my initial thoughts are that i think oprah did a diservice to the transgender community. i think she did this show simply for the ratings and sensationalism surrounding the story. i am also not all that convinced of the reason behind why the couple went on the oprah show, but that's neither here nor there at this point -- the show has already been taped.

i'm not quite sure why this is newsworthy. "thomas" is having a baby...if "he" was a biological man all the way down to the DNA, this would be an amazing story. but thomas has contained within his body the organs to actually carry a baby, so this isn't some phenomenon.

not knowing all the complexities of what it means to be transgender, this particular story perplexes me. i could go on and on about what i think on different aspects of this, but i doubt i will find any conclusive answers. all in all, i think the "story" is getting more exposure than its worth...i think the much better story, if you will, is the thought process, feelings, etc. as to why the transition needed to take place.

April 04, 2008 8:55 PM

<$BlogCommentAuthor$> said...

I feel like Serene does, Thomas is biologically female so its not that newsworthy that he's pregnant to me. I am more curious about the partners of those who have swapped genders. They always seems so supportive and overly committed to that other person through out it all but then once its over, they are then lgbt's in hetero relationships and str8s in gay relationships. I wonder what role financial security and emotional issues like codependency plays in their choosing to stay. It would be interesting to know how well these relationships last in the long run.

April 06, 2008 4:38 PM

<$BlogCommentAuthor$> said...

I totally agree with Selene. This is soooo not interetesteing in the LEAST. Sensationalism at it's best.

She does not want to be a woman
yet she is benefiting from the organs.
Make up your damn mind already.

I watched all of two minutes of OPRAH and how she was caressing the belly. SHE IS NOT a man inmy eyes.

April 07, 2008 10:57 PM


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