Go, go, Thomas Beatie
Thomas Beatie is pregnant again, and we can hear renewed criticism from the media and from within the trans community itself: some accuse him of mishandling the situation with journalists.
But I want to thank Thomas for the courage implied in commiting himself, in visibilizing the transmasculine community, in spite of the predictable misunderstanding by the general population. All transmen who decide to give birth –Thomas certainly wasn’t the first– risk the very male identity they’ve worked so hard to build by taking up such a traditionally female task.
They don’t only risk that: they might be fired from work or denied paternity leave; their medical insurance may not cover costs; they’re easy targets for transphobic violence. Plus, by abstaining from testosterone therapy until birth, they accept a temporary return to a feminine body accentuated by the pregnancy (an almost unimaginable sacrifice for someone counting the days until therapy, like me).
I want to thank Thomas: as the first transman I could see, I could hear, who made transmasculinity real for me, he catalyzed my acceptance of my own gender identity. And his fatherhood –labor of love, as he calls it– restored my hopes of having my own children someday.
Even if, for now, I don’t want to be the pregnant one.