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Back to Beatie

Photo Courtesy of People.com

Photo Courtesy of People.com

I have to talk about the man who had a baby.

This is why: I know it’s a little late in coming, but I’m really getting annoyed by all the “sick” and “weird” comments I hear when someone even dares to bring this topic up. A man had a baby. So what? This isn’t the ’80s. The concept of a transsexual is not shocking anymore. Yes, this man used to be a woman. YES, this man chose NOT to have sexual reassignment surgery, which can be risky and invasive. 

Actually, the reason I am bringing this up is because of my mom. My dear, sweet mother who has oft shared the enthusiasm over the plight of the misunderstood transgender people with me. “Why would anyone put themselves through this unless they really felt it was true?” “They can’t help that they were born in the wrong body!”

My mom doesn’t think the man should have had a baby. Or rather, she thinks, if he did want to have a baby, he should have waited to become a man until after he did so. 

Simply put, I think this is fucked up.

I’m just going to say it – I think it’s really, well, cool, that this man had a baby. Is his kid going to be screwed up because of this? Well, everyone’s kids are screwed up, one way or another. Kids that come from perfectly “normal”, “happy” families are screwed up because nothing interesting ever happened to them in their lives.

My real answer is no, this kid will not be screwed up. I am willing to bet on it. If she, or any child for that matter, has loving parents who care for her, it doesn’t matter if they have penises growing out of their foreheads. A parent’s love is a parent’s love whether it’s from a biological male or a man that was born a woman.

Furthermore, I am also willing to bet that this kid would be considerably more screwed up if she had a mother who had spent her whole life feeling she was in the wrong body and wishing she were the opposite sex. What kind of pressures would that put on a child to know that the reason her mother delayed her own happiness was all because of her? And what kind of possible resentment would be filtered onto the child by the mother that sacrificed so much just so her child could have a “normal” life?

What I find the most troubling, is that people have such a hard time considering Thomas Beatie a man. He can’t be a man, he has a uterus. He can’t be a man, he doesn’t have a penis. He can’t be a man, he had a baby. Are those really the things that make you a man or a woman? Does that mean my mother, who had to have a full hysterectomy in 2006, is no longer a woman because she doesn’t have a uterus? Does that mean David Reimer, who lost his penis in a terrible circumcision accident as an infant, was no longer a man because he had no penis (some, like Dr. John Money, would say yes – but sadly, this proved to be tragically wrong)?

I think that people who take issue with Thomas Beatie having a child need to reevaluate what it is that is really bothering them here. Is it that a man can have female reproductive organs and still be a man? Or that a child is going to grow up knowing that her father gave birth to her? What, exactly?

Really, pinpoint it for me. Because I just don’t get how this situation is so objectionable.

Knowing that my father gave birth to me wouldn’t change a thing for me, truly. That is, unless people constantly tried to convince me that it was wrong, or not normal, or weird, or perverse, or sick, or disgusting, or anything else.

Sure, it might defy everything I’ve been taught about biology and the human body and reproduction, but would it really mess me up? I love my father, he has always been an amazing parent to me, so why would that be devastating news?

This little girl, Susan, is going to grow up with a mother who loves her and a father who gave birth to her (and her future siblings). A father who wanted children with his wife so badly that he stopped his testosterone therapy to conceive them. A man who wanted a baby so badly, he had to be “a woman” for nine months.

That child will be more than loved, she, and all of her brothers and sisters to come, will be treasured.

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