Thursday, March 27, 2008

Transgender man pregnant?

Some people think this is a hoax, other people think it is just appalling. A transgender man in Oregon claims to be five months pregnant. The "man" has a uterus so I don't know why people are saying it is impossible. The questions are , is this ethical and is society ready for men to become pregnant? Another question I am trying to sort out is, can this "man" really be considered a man if he has a uterus?

LINK TO FULL STORY: 'Pregnant' man stuns medical profession
The case of Thomas Beatie, who was born a woman and describes himself as a "transgender male", has triggered discussion among ethicists and family groups with one expert describing the development as "playing with fire".

*snip*

In a first person piece entitled Labour of Love and published in the most recent issue of The Advocate, a magazine with a lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender readership, Mr Beatie says his decision to have a child "has been met with discrimination and outright derision by health care professionals".

Even his own family members questioned him.

According to his article, Mr Beatie went through a sex change but decided to have only chest reconstruction and testosterone therapy, stopping short of making any changes to the reproductive organs he was born with.

Mr Beatie is legally male and lives with his wife, Nancy, in Bend, Oregon.

The couple, who have been together 10 years, wanted to have children.
What is your opinion about this?

33 comments:

Spirula said...

Oh nooooos! The family has been destroyed! The end-times are here!Our children will now go around sticking their naught bits in the wrong holes, or holing the wrong naughty bits. Or something.

Me, I don't give a shit. Plastic surgery and hormone therapy don't make you a man in the biological sense, so this is just a media side show about nothing.

Something to take away attention from civilian people getting blown up because of our illegal war. You know, shit that matters.

Spirula said...

*ahem*

"doesn't" That's what I get for not previewing.

Stardust said...

I have read on a couple of sites where Xians say that this is "against God"...but don't they believe that their god creates all life? So, how can this be against their god?

Stardust said...

Something to take away attention from civilian people getting blown up because of our illegal war.

It seems that way. We hear very little about the war lately. People are very nonchalant about it now.

CyberKitten said...

I don't believe it [checks calendar to see if its April 1st yet].

Stellewriter said...

Let us not confuse by unfair association those who have medical issues…
Every ten minutes a child is born, 1/2500, in which the doctor cannot determine the sex, or gender. This is not talking about homosexuality, but tragically a congenital condition of birth which can be caused by endocrine agents and chemicals. These children are Intersex; they are born into a life of not male or female. Likewise in similar fashion the Transsexual is identified with a Bioneurological congenital condition, and they too are locked into something not quite so clearly defined as male, or female. The best we can do is live as close to what we seem to believe we are. That may preclude the wants, and often ignorant and bigoted beliefs of others. In what case do we ignore this issue and abandon the children who now cannot hide? How can anyone continue in hate and prejudice so as to deny simple equality and justice? It is either time for change and understanding, or simply wheedle out the transgender element as inhuman and adopt the final solution as Hitler visualized? Not an easy thing to resolve, but one that is present and will not go away.
I can appreciate another’s opinion, and the freedom to express same, but I would hope they would be with regard to the children, teens, and emerging adults, and all who are not so fortunate to have been born by someone’s idea of “normal.” Yet as a Conservative, Christian, Parent, and “Transsexual”, law should be equal for everyone, or it is not fit for anyone.

Spirula said...

stellewriter,

Not sure if it was directed at me but I hope you didn't take my post as as being dismissive of transgendered or intersexed, because that wasn't my point. In fact it was the opposite.

I really meant it about not giving a shit, because I don't think this is important to anyone but those two people. The media is exploiting the "pregnant man" thing and "transgendered" thing as a push-button for their ratings. It isn't an ethical issue. It isn't a moral issue. It's not even a scientific one (he was born with female reproductive organs which explains how "he" got pregnant...that's what I meant about "man in the biological sense").

I firmly believe that gender is state of mind, and as a biologist, know there are not just two sexes. Some people may not believe that, but I can back that up with basic genetics.

Stardust said...

I really meant it about not giving a shit, because I don't think this is important to anyone but those two people. The media is exploiting the "pregnant man" thing and "transgendered" thing as a push-button for their ratings.

Actually, Thomas Beatie, the pregnant man brought this to the media attention himself, as the article states, "in a first person piece entitled Labour of Love and published in the most recent issue of The Advocate, a magazine with a lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender readership."

So, most likely the media would have known nothing about it if he hadn't brought attention to it and exploited himself and his situation.

The thing that gets me is that he purposely kept his/her uterus, thus keeping himself still a woman in certain biological aspects. I am wondering why he didn't get rid of the uterus if he wanted to be a man.

Stellewriter said...

Spirula,

I was only interested in sharing that not all of us are happy being included in the GLBt and Transgender envelope. There are physical anomaly which interrupt and prevent many of us to live in the binary of male and female. It was a matter of education to your readers who may make some conclusions which may lead to a lack of compassion.

I would mention that how a "State of mind" is determined needs some research as well. A lot of confusion out there, and my state of gender mind has been with me from my earliest days. In the physical realm there are many variances and degree of AIS, GID, and interaction of Karotype and spectral gene physics.

I do agree with you that what I am should really not be a social issue at all. I am a human and have human needs, it should be that simple.

Jason H. Bowden said...

"So, how can this be against their god?"

The same way the Chinese will say it is against the Tao, and the Indians will say it is against Dharma. There are ways of living that are harmonious with nature, and other ways that go against the grain. Feminist Europe, for instance, is aborting itself out of existence.

Vicious societies do not have the manly spiritual qualities (called thymos by the Greeks) to survive in the long run. Think about the way most homosexuals strangely take the side of Islamic supremacists -- people who would hang them in a minute -- over someone like Cheney, who protects their freedom. (Cheney has a lesbian daughter, btw.)

Such rottenness is not surprising upon reflection-- deliberate self-abasement, the nihilistic will toward nothingness, would be called wickedness in an earlier age. And the catastrophes such decadence invites, such as Alaric and his band of Visigoths sacking Rome in 410, are called Judgments of God by the theologians. I worry the theologians are right.

Like spirula, the Romans in their decadent period ultimately just didn't give a shit.

Jason H. Bowden said...

"I firmly believe that gender is state of mind"

In an earlier age, whether a person was male or female was taken as natural, and what you did with your body was considered a choice.

In our bizarre liberal world, whatever people do with their body is considered natural, and the body they are born with is considered a choice.

Deep down, we all know the liberal view is false. Consider Abu Ghraib. While done in private, and not causing any lasting physical damage, liberals tell us that behavior was intrinsically wrong. The reason why is obvious-- sexual humiliation, administered by women to men who are stripped and bound, is a form of perversion, a violation and desecration of the bodies of human beings.

Again, if sexual repression was the only true sexual sin as liberals believe, then the perps at Abu Ghraib should be commended for having a good time.

Tommy said...

Think about the way most homosexuals strangely take the side of Islamic supremacists -- people who would hang them in a minute -- over someone like Cheney, who protects their freedom.

Jason, how deeply in the bowels of your ass did you have to dig to pull out shit like that?

Stardust said...

I think Jason can take any topic and relate it in some way to Islamic supremacists and liberals...sort of like the Kevin Bacon game. ;)

tina FCD said...

My comment on this: Who cares if SHE'S pregnant, I was too. :) I did like the story though. :)

Krystalline Apostate said...

Jason:
The same way the Chinese will say it is against the Tao, and the Indians will say it is against Dharma.
That's a load of crap. Ancient Taoist writings view the the intersexual as a divine manifestation of Yin & Yang, & there's a very large population of transgenders named the Hijra.
I have written on this topic before.
Gender isn't locked into stasis - like life, it's elastic.

Greg said...

About the transgender man becoming pregnant .... good for him (or is it her?)!!! What the hell does it matter to the rest of us? Why should anybody or any group demand conformity to their views?? Butt the hell out of what people want to do with their bodies for cripes sake!

And right-wing repugs like to claim that they want less government? Who the hell are they kidding?

As for Jason - I think he's Karl Rove. Or maybe Dick "Fuck You" Cheney himself!

Tommy said...

About the transgender man becoming pregnant .... good for him (or is it her?)!!! What the hell does it matter to the rest of us?

But Greg, don't you understand that it is a threat to the American way of life!

As for Jason, he's not Karl Rove or Dick Cheney, but I can't reveal who he really is! ;-)

Greg said...

OMG is he - gasp! - the antichrist himself?
George Dubya Bush?

Stardust said...

greg, he's just your friendly neighborhood Neocon, ;)

Stellewriter said...

A final comment on my part... what would be the response if one's own child were born Intersex, or Transsexual? And what would that say about oneself and their fidelity to faith and country?

Stardust said...

Stellewriter,

In answer to your question, what would I do if my own child was intersex or transgender? It's an easy answer. I would love and support that child no matter what. I am an open-minded person and would still love and be proud of them. It's their life and they need to do what they need to do.

if this And what would that say about oneself and their fidelity to faith and country?

I don't quite understand this question. If you mean we live in a free country where people can do whatever they choose within the legal limits, and as long as they don't harm anyone else, then yes, I am for freedom.

I want to make it clear my own personal stance that I am not against transgenders. I understand that some children are born intersex, or Transsexual. My puzzlement comes from Mr Beatie not going all the way through when deciding to become a man. He left in his/her uterus. Why not just have that removed and just be a total man then? Why leave woman parts inside if being a woman was not what you were supposed to be?

Stardust said...

And I also want to add that I didn't seek this story out and wasn't even thinking about the subject till I saw the article in the news that Mr Beatie wrote himself. He drew attention to himself. If he hadn't probably no one would even care about it one way or another. Just have his/her baby, and go on with life. That is their own personal family issue.

Stellewriter said...

Questions were for readers and to bring thought, nothing more. Yet, you answer is recognized and appreciated.

Stardust said...

Stellwriter, you are very welcome and thanks for your input. Thanks for the time to come by and read and join in the discussion.

phoenix said...

Stardust,

I know this is a late comment so it might not even be read. I leave comments every now and then on GIFS as P.C. I am a FTM or female to male transsexual and as one I would like to address some of your questions and some of the comments.

Mr. Beatie chose to put out a public essay in response to articles that were already on public display. Those articles did not have Mr. or Mrs. Beatie's viewpoint or a rebuttal.

As for why he did not have the female genitalia (inside and/outside the body) there could be many different reasons. One is that we as transsexuals usually end up paying for everything from hormones to surgeries out of our own pockets. I will include below some prices for ftms.

1.) Therapy is required to legally begin transition and the price ranges depending on the therapist. My therapist had worked with transsexuals before so he gave me a discount but that was still about $100 per visit.

2.) Hormones ( testosterone cypionate for me) runs over $100 for one bottle that I can get six or seven shots out of. I take two shots per month.

3.) Doctors to prescribe the hormones and monitor hormone levels. I see a doctor in New Orleans at LSU Medical Center for 40 bucks once a year so that is cheap.

4.) After I had enough money for top surgery (mastectomy) I had to search for a doctor in my price range, lodgings, food, and travel to and from. My surgery was in Pennsylvania where for seven days in August 2006 I spent $5,500 for surgery, $300 for a room, $400 for two round trip tickets, $500-800 for food and other stuff. My surgery and other expenses added up to about $8,000 and that was cheap to most other guys I know.

5.) A hysterectomy can start at $8,000 on the cheap side meanwhile on hormones the thing just goes dormant and stays that way until hormones are discontinued.

6.) Bottom surgeries as there are many different kinds for ftms depending on what they want. The cheapest with or with good results start at $12,000 and go up from there to the most expensive I have seen at $40,000.

The last thing I will address is the he/she stuff. I understand that some simply do not know how to deal with the pronouns. Mr. Beatie speaks and writes of himself as a man/he to do or imply less than this is hurtful. To qualify that I will use a situation that has happened to me by my own family.

More than two years after my mother knew and said she was behind my decision she brought up a scenario that she wanted to happen. I present it below to the best of my recollection as to what occurred during a phone call. The normal how are you, how is the weather, and when are going to visit are over with.

Mom: I wish you would get pregnant.
Me: Are you serious and why are you saying this?
Mom: I want you to have a baby before you are a MAN.

I hung up the phone because she had been doing this for two years before that. Dismissing a persons self image is cruel. This is not directed at people here because for the most part respect was shown.

Thanks and sorry for the length.

Stardust said...

Welcome Phoenix, Thanks for your comment and thanks for reading here and at GifS.

You wrote: "As for why he did not have the female genitalia (inside and/outside the body) there could be many different reasons. One is that we as transsexuals usually end up paying for everything from hormones to surgeries out of our own pockets. I will include below some prices for ftms.

It wasn't the case that Mr Beatie couldn't pay for the female genitalia surgery, it was that he chose to not have it so he could get pregnant and give birth to children. I guess this is the part I am confused about. Men do not reproduce and do not have female sex organs. I don't mean this to be derogatory, or bigoted. It's so hard to convey things via the internet. But it seems as if Mr Beatie is half man, half woman if he did not complete the whole transformation process.

I am confused as to how Mr. Beatie can consider himself to be a whole man while clinging to his female self. It's like he wants to be both. The state legally declared him to be a man. What is the criteria for a person to be declared a man or a woman?

This is what confuses me in Mr Beatie's case.

phoenix said...

Stardust,

I should have put in my response that though bottom surgery is available a lot of ftms do not have it because the results are very mixed depending on the type that is selected. It is not uncommon for sensation to be lost which is the biggest reason for not selecting to complete the surgery.

The only reason that I know of that comes straight from Mr. Beatie is that he chose to keep the female organs because he and his wife wanted a biological child and the wife could not carry due to a hysterectomy.

I am going to make a few assumptions here so do not take them as complete truth. Mr. Beatie has been with his wife/partner for ten years and has only been on hormones for eight. He either started transition after they were together or very shortly before.
He may have wanted a biological child before he finished by himself anyway.

This is not the first time a ftm has become pregnant after starting transition. I would now like to present my views. Though I give him and his wife credit I personally do not agree with his choice for myself. To clarify I would never become pregnant and if I somehow did an abortion would be performed but I will not apply that to every transsexual.

As for how he can consider himself a man I can't answer that without speaking to him. If I find a way to contact him I will let you know. The confusion of all this is also in the trans community as well.

The criteria for being declared a male or female is different for state to state. The only state that I can talk about is California because that is where I was born and issued a birth certificate.
Hormone therapy is a must as well as some surgery (not the full bottom or hysterectomy) and a letter from two therapist as well as the surgeon. The letters serve the purpose of explaining to the judge that yes this person is a tranny that has gone for therapy, real life experience, and other procedures that are not reversible.

The hormone therapy creates non reversible changes like voice depth and a male hairline. Surgeries are sometimes reversible but this process is designed to weed out people that are unsure as to who they are. That is why we have to see a few therapists.

I hope this has helped but feel free to ask for more information and I will provide the answers to the best of my ability.

Stardust said...

Phoenix, thanks again for taking the time to answer my questions. I appreciate your response. I can understand that since Thomas Beatie's wife was unable to conceive and he was, then I can understand him wanting to have a child since it was possible. I only hope that society will not be mean to the child because of the non-typical birth and parents he has. It will take a lot to make the child feel secure and that child will have to have a lot of self-confidence. I read that they were going to move somewhere where no one knows them and start out unknown. But they still have family to deal with and that may be where the challenges come in.

Anyway, I do hope it all turns out well for the welfare of the child. For me, I do not care what people do, just trying to understand better.

wanderer said...

If you want to be a man and live as a man, why claim to be the mother (female term) of a child you are only able to carry because you have elected to keep the biologically female parts you were born with? This is not a pregnant man in scientific terms. This is a pregnant woman living as a transgender FTM, which doesn't cause nearly the sensational journalism, of course. Yes, he did present the story himself. I'm talking about the media backlasch and debatable societal implications that occured after the story was originally published. I, too, think what these two people do in their own lives is their business. I, too, hope the best for this child and their family unit as a whole. I just wish the wording would be more accurate. This is not, as I've seen headlines claim, "the world's first pregnant man" (leading some to believe that the common man can now become pregnant, which of course, is false), it is simply one of the several female-to-male transgender people to have carried a child. Suddenly, when put in accurate light, the "big story" loses it's punch. There's nothing more to argue about then and people would become as indifferent with this birth as they would with the millions of children born every year to others. Anyway, I am glad that at least the subject line here included the word "transgender" before "man pregnant" to indicate the whole truth of the matter so as not to cause misleading thoughts or stir the pot of confusion. Thanks to Phoenix, too, for offering a first person FTM perspective here.

Stardust said...

Have there ever been any trangender women (female to male) transgenders who have gotten pregnant? I will have to do some research. THAT would be some interesting news.

phoenix said...

Stardust,

Patrick Califia and Matt Rice were a couple both being ftm that got pregnant. I do not know which one gave birth to a son in 1999. Google their names I am sure something will pop up. There have probably been more pregnant ftms. Hope that helps get you started.

Stardust said...

I meant to ask have there been any male to female transgenders who have gotten pregnant. Sorry about that!

phoenix said...

Stardust,

A male to female transsexual may have get others pregnant but they themselves lack the mechanisms to become pregnant.
With the research I have done thus far it will be about a century or more before the technology is available to make mtfs able to get pregnant and ftms able to impregnate.
This is all conjecture that depends on research specifically nanotechnology being directed to that purpose.