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.