I wasn’t in front of the TV when news broke about the first male to become pregnant, but I heard about it within minutes of the story airing.
I had a quick scan of the net and only found one link but the next day in the daily paper was a half page story.
At first I assumed it was some sort of new scientific development a la Junior, the hideous film starring Danny DeVito and Arnold Schwarzenegger, or even a practical joke.
But more than anything I was intrigued so I investigated further and found the original article from the US gay magazine The Advocate.
FTM Thomas Beatie is pregnant with the aid of a sperm donor. Previously Beatie had a life-threatening eptopic pregnancy which rendered a fallopian tube redundant.
When going through the life-changing process of becoming a FTM he had a mastectomy and intense hormone therapy but, unusually, chose to keep the female reproductive organs.
Fate would have it that his legal wife cannot have children so he is now with child.
I think it is fantastic for them and I think his sentiment of -˜pregnancy is not a female desire, it’s a human one’ is commendable.
For some of us it is near impossible to have a child -“ be it for financial, logistical, medical or financial reasons, but against all odds here is a couple that have pushed through numerous boundaries to finally be expecting a child.
It has also opened up the issue to the greater community and ignited a gender debate in our own community.
The one point a lot of people have had trouble with is the fact that Thomas Beatie is -˜legally’ male.
I could sit here writing about the various views surrounding transgender issues for ages -“ there’s plenty of opinion out there -“ but I won’t.
But some of the questions now being asked include, Is Thomas a woman because he can conceive? and Is Thomas a man because he obviously identifies as one and is legally recognised as one?
You would also have to keep in mind that this must have been a hell of a decision for Thomas. Imagine finally being able to come to terms with your gender differences to the point where you go through the arduous process of becoming the opposite sex, then realising your partner is unable to carry a child so you have to, one would assume revert to at least a bit closer to a feminine mindset.
The fact that this extraordinary human being still identifies as male and his identity is as a male is amazing. I only wish everyone had such conviction.
Numerous web-based forums have disagreed with this plain fact, arguing that he is a she.
Whatever your opinion, at the end of the day it took enormous strength to become pregnant and even more determination to tell their story to the press.