Thomas Beatie | Transgender | United Kingdom

Man Gave Birth In UK

Picture 11PinkNews reports that, for the first time, a man has given birth in the UK. It happened six months ago, and the press never picked it up:

... the man in his thirties gave birth to a child last year via a caesarean section.

Joanna Darrell, of the Beaumont Society, which helps men who wish to or have changed gender told the newspaper that the unnamed father got in touch to enquire for help having a child after having undergone gender reassignment surgery.

Through the charity, the unnamed man had hormone treatment to reactivate his womb. The womb had not actually been removed during his original surgery. “He got back in touch about six months ago to thank the society for its help and to say he had the baby,” Ms Darrell said.

You can't blame the anonymous fellow for wanting to lay low. When pregnant trans man Thomas Beatie was in the news, he took a lot of crap -- I remember the guys on Red Eye, usually FOX News' least odious show, referred to his gestating baby as "a litle ewok" whom Beatie would shortly "crap out," and fantasized about stoning Beatie to death in a parking lot. What's it even mean to be pro-family, anyway?

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  1. I'm not passing judgment, I simply don't understand. If one has GID, and feels that they should be a man, and undergoes reassignment, isn't it incongruous to then reactivate your womb and give birth? I mean, it is a scientific truth that child-bearing is naturally and biologically a female "role" (for lack of a better term). So why would someone who feels that they are really male do this?

    Posted by: Jack | Feb 12, 2012 11:08:19 AM

  2. fox news is nothing but republican hate

    Posted by: h | Feb 12, 2012 11:08:51 AM

  3. @Jack, um, why insist on such hard-line roles?

    Isn't that the sort of "logic" that CPAC types use to call for the elimination (or, in lieu of that, structural subordination, with all its badges of inferiority and second-class citizenship) of lgbt people generally?

    Posted by: just_a_guy | Feb 12, 2012 11:17:43 AM

  4. The world is overpopulated. Should have adopted. There will eventually be a need to be limit child birth.

    Posted by: Stephen Q | Feb 12, 2012 11:30:54 AM

  5. Jack, is it incongruous for a new father to want to pass along his and his ancestor's genetic code?

    Posted by: Acronym Jim | Feb 12, 2012 11:31:14 AM

  6. @Just a Guy:

    No, I don't think it is the same sort of logic. I'm saying that biologically, females are child-bearers. That's not really disputed.

    So we have a female, who has GID, and feels like she should be a male. So undergoes reassignment. That's fine, have at it, I won't be one of the people saying you shouldn't be allowed to do that.

    But if you feel enough like a male to undergo something as serious and probably painful as gender reassignment, then shouldn't you not really have the urge to carry a child? I'm not saying that he shouldn't be ALLOWED to, I'm just struggling to understand why he would want to, given that he sees himself as a male, and strongly enough to undergo transformation. The fact that hormones were specifically needed to reactivate the womb seems to me a little like he's saying "I am a man. But I want a little of my woman self back." It just isn't something I'm understanding right now. It seems inconsistent.

    Posted by: Jack | Feb 12, 2012 11:34:11 AM

  7. even after the surgery you are still a woman hence the ability to give birth. so no man has given birth to date

    Posted by: oousslander | Feb 12, 2012 11:35:33 AM

  8. To give birth, you need a womb for gestation. Biologically of course this man is a woman, no matter "his" outward appearances. I can just hear the right wing religious nitwits having a field day with this one.

    Posted by: Robert in NYC | Feb 12, 2012 11:44:07 AM

  9. Just when I feel like I'm getting comfortable with "trans" this happens and I back up again. :(

    Someone, I'm completely serious, explain to me how this is a "man" having a baby when the organs are female? YOU CANNOT HAVE A BABY WITHOUT A UTERUS.

    What the hell is a "female" anyway if not a baby machine?????????

    I'm female, I do not define myself by my long hair, love of things "pretty", or "sparkly"--yes I heard a trans explain this is how SHE knew she was supposed to have been born a woman--love of men, like of fluffy bunnies etc. Women don't have to like pretty things, they don't have to be into boys, and they don't have to have long hair or wear lipstick to be a woman, but we do have to have a uterus. I'm NOT trying to be mean, but if the sexes are not defined by our sex then what do I tell my daughters?

    Someone, anyone...I so DESPERATELY want to be tolerant, but come the eff on! Explain what I tell my I just say,'re "ITS" because the world can no longer explain what you are by your organs.

    This is out of control. Presumably you no longer DESIRE to have children if you "feel like a man" on the inside, or else you are completely full of crap.

    This is too much. My brain is going to explode and I will end up becoming a republican or something just out of utter frustration by how far left you have to go in thought to prove that you are tolerant. I absolutely love people, but this is anti-science. This is political correctness masquerading as science.

    True, not all women's reproductive organs work or breasts are still available due to cancer, but you were BORN with them. Yes, we were BORN THIS WAY. And, yes, in one millionth of a population there are genetic ANOMALIES wherein people are BORN with capacity for both sexes, but in those cases NATURE also decided that they would be unable to reproduce.

    On one hand we pay homage to evolution over creation, but then we say that evolution obviously didn't know what it was doing by creating two separate sexes for humanoids.

    With KINDNESS, someone please tell me how this is a MAN having a baby. Make me be kind again, make me understand what this means to my daughters and how to explain to them what THEY are? Because right now, if this is a "man" having a baby then my daughters are no longer female because ... being female no longer is defined by reproduction.

    I am so so confused and I'm not content with psychobabble at the moment, because our future will be defined by how we act now. Everything is progressive. Will be begin to choose gender neutral offspring through genetic egg alteration in 50 years by allowing parents to help the child make a choice later?

    Just because science can do something (create opposite sex organs, feed opposite sex hormoes, etc) doesn't mean it should. GMOs are turning out to be one of the worst things that happened to man and will adversely effect our future health, but it started from a good place and good idea.

    Someone nice like lil kiwi or TJ ...please help me. :( I really want to be kind and get this stuff, but it just seems like BS when someone "changes" sex then really doesn't and goes and has a baby.

    What do we teach in evolution studies? How will we evolve--not philosophically, I'm serious. What happens if an asteroid hits the earth and there are few people left...what happens?

    Sorry...just flustered.

    Posted by: Rin | Feb 12, 2012 12:04:38 PM

  10. @Jack: I don't see why it should be hard to understand. You ask "should" he feel this way or that, but why "should" someone feel a certain way? He feels as he feels, just as any other individual.
    If it were possible for ANY man to have a womb with a relatively minor treatment, then there would surely be some (probably not millions but some) men with infertile wives who would want to carry a baby.

    Think about it this way: I remember a friend of my parents being told years ago that he had only a few months to live and the only way to survive longer would be castration. He chose to keep his testicles.
    Some would say that he "should" have made the choice he did, because, well, who would a man be without testicles?
    Others would say that a "man" is not defined by his testicles or penis and that he could still know who he is inside and identify as male no matter how different he looks in the locker room.
    And if he did choose to have them removed, should he want implants to look like the other men? That's up to him.
    I don't care if some men (or women) look different from others or experience their male or female identity in different ways or feel very male in general without limiting themselves to only typical "male" experiences.

    @StephenQ: it's true the world is overpopulated. But that's more an argument for everyone to stop having four or five babies (especially if they have no means to care for them), but not so much for this one individual not to have one.

    Posted by: Gregv | Feb 12, 2012 12:21:03 PM

  11. Nope! A woman gave birth here. A uterus is a female organ.

    Posted by: Brad | Feb 12, 2012 12:25:05 PM

  12. Well then maybe it's just something I'm bound not to understand. But I appreciate nature and science, and never has there been a male that has given birth before. I just don't think I can get on board with having your cake and eating it too here. If you're a man, scientifically, you cannot give birth.


    Posted by: Jack | Feb 12, 2012 12:26:14 PM

  13. Rin, if you accept the idea that one reason people are gay is due to hormone levels during pregnancy, as several studies have shown, then is it really so difficult to imagine that in the nine months from fertilization, starting with an XX or XY genetic code, that hormones and other variables in the womb lead to brain development that's more typical of the opposite gender?

    Yes, it's true that there's a certain amount of Political Correctness involved in how we perceive and address trans people, "you are X because you say so," but so what? Frankly it's no skin off my @$$, so why fret about it?

    I don't really "get" why someone who transitioned to the opposite sex would do this either, but it's not my life and at some point I realized that your "getting it" isn't required for something to be reality.

    Posted by: Caliban | Feb 12, 2012 12:26:52 PM

  14. That's so wrong on so many levels.

    Posted by: Rance | Feb 12, 2012 12:29:30 PM

  15. Well RIN, I wish I could help. But the same questions you and JACK raise are ones I have as well. If one is so committed - mentally and emotionally - to the belief that one's gender does not match one's phenotype (despite apparent genotype) that one commits oneself physically through gender reassignment surgery, I believe in respecting the autonomy of the individual. I'm willing to believe what that person believes. I've met FTM trans people who defy "detection" of ever having been anything but their current presentation. They truly seem at home in their skin, in their gender. I've seen MTF trans people who likewise seem "at home." If they are happy, that's ultimately all that matters.

    But "going back," in a sense, through further medical intervention, to do something one's original genotype and apparent gender would have allowed for "naturally" has me scratching my head. Is this a new gender, the "hairy mother" (okay, we'll exempt Armenian women - just kidding, Kim Kardasian!)? If it is, well, so be it. It's that person's life. But it does seem to require an awful lot of artificial intercession to get there.

    I'd be all for listening to a transgender specialist on this one. I'm puzzled.

    Posted by: TJ | Feb 12, 2012 12:37:15 PM

  16. RIN -- loved your words. tell your daughters whatever you want, you're not going to be "wrong." you can tell from your post that you've got all the right intentions. that's what matters. but your issue is that you're "desperate" to be tolerant...don't be "desperate"! if you want to judge, go ahead. here's a basic way to look at it: if some random person wants to go back-and-forth in their gender/sex/body features and have all pieces of their pie, what's it to you? it's not going to become the mainstream, or change the fundamentals of science or evolution. it's just not ever going to happen. so you can tell your daughters that they are, in fact defined as female by a function of their body parts, no left-winger will fault you. and if you want to be a little bit republican, go ahead, you're allowed.
    the answer to your frustration: let other people live their lives, while you live yours. and don't worry about being intolerant, it's clear that you're not.

    Posted by: shane | Feb 12, 2012 12:38:12 PM

  17. Shane:

    That's one of the most mature comments I've ever read on here.

    For me, like I said, I don't think that this should be "disallowed," and I bear no ill-will towards this individual or think they are a "freak."

    To me, it's less that I am seeking that which would make me more tolerant, it's just that I'm trying to *understand.* Having grown up fascinated by science (and then forsaking that interest for a career in law), I have the innate need to understand why and how things work.

    And as TJ put it very well, this one is very very puzzling.

    Posted by: Jack | Feb 12, 2012 12:44:02 PM

  18. So many are focusing on the pregnancy and not on the fact that this man wanted to be a parent to a child who would carry on his family's genes. I celebrate the fact he had the option to do so regardless of his biological gender. A good example of a man acting upon his head and his heart.

    Posted by: Acronym Jim | Feb 12, 2012 12:45:38 PM

  19. I thoroughly enjoy your blog posts and I consciously put into practice your concepts as they allow us to...

    Posted by: academia research | Feb 12, 2012 12:51:11 PM

  20. I dunno, I applaud this guy. Yeah, he was born female. And sees himself as male. Good for him. Does that mean he needs to live as stereotypically male for us to accept him? What's wrong with him giving birth through his functioning uterus?

    Heck, I prefer guys and am male. So it's annoying sometimes when people EXPECT me to behave all stereotypically femmy because that's just not who I am!

    Gawsh, to me, opposition to this trans guy giving birth strikes me of Iran's logic with forced sex-changes (by definition brutal and dis-affirming, and incidentally low-quality and unsafe)for anyone who so much as identifies as being attracted to the same sex.

    Ain't healthy to force ANYONE down a rigid gender role box.

    Like "racial purity" was only 50 years ago, "gender purity" is the apocalyptic fantasy of the far right today; let's leave obsession about "gender purity" to the haters, thank you.

    @RIN, I enjoy your contributions here specifically because you come across as very direct and real. So I'll try to be direct; maybe consider your supposed "concerns" about explaining this stuff to your kids with the perspective of Louis C.K. on gay marriage in mind?:

    "Gay Marriage doesn’t have ANY affect on your life. What do you care?! People try to talk about it like it’s a social issue. Like when you see someone stand up on a talk show and say 'How am I supposed to explain to my child that two men are getting married?'. I dunno, it’s your sh**ty kid, you f***in’ tell ‘em. Why is that anyone else’s problem? Two guys are in LOVE but they can’t get married because YOU don’t want to talk to your ugly kid for f***in’ five minutes?"


    Posted by: just_a_guy | Feb 12, 2012 12:53:26 PM

  21. "Ain't healthy to force ANYONE down a rigid gender role box."

    I personally take Rin's point about some trans people syncing their gender with a supposed gender 'role' though. I have had trans folk explain why they felt like they were biologically born the wrong sex, but it becomes troubling when they make reference to gender stereotypes to elucidate their feelings.

    Posted by: Nat | Feb 12, 2012 1:16:56 PM

  22. But how do we learn, as children, what gender "looks like" without a reference to gender stereotypes? If I "felt" female, wouldn't it make sense, in a sense, to adopt and be drawn to behaviors I saw expressed by the gender I felt I was, and particularly the most "obvious" to a child (e.g., liking shiny or frilly things)?

    Posted by: TJ | Feb 12, 2012 1:35:50 PM

  23. Isn't this all about the use of words ?

    We all know what happened; the individual involved can call himself whatever he feels he is.......
    Can't we just get over the gynaecology already ?
    I believe same as TJ: the individual can believe himself a man and still give birth having retained some essential physical female reproductive essentials.
    I don't think we should start laying down parameters of definition with which a Transgender individual must comply.

    Posted by: JackFknTwist | Feb 12, 2012 2:25:39 PM

  24. "But how do we learn, as children, what gender "looks like" without a reference to gender stereotypes? If I "felt" female, wouldn't it make sense, in a sense, to adopt and be drawn to behaviors I saw expressed by the gender I felt I was, and particularly the most "obvious" to a child (e.g., liking shiny or frilly things)?"

    I don't know. I'm not saying trans people are 'wrong' for feeling that they were biologically born the wrong sex. I'm simply troubled when gendered roles are assumed to be inherent and immutable, because they're not. And it's particularly glaring when all one has to do is go back in time - often by no more than a few centuries - to see how artificial gendered assumptions are.

    I'll put my position this way: it's up to the individual to ultimately determine what their gender means to them. But they should not project their own gendered construction onto others, by making pronouncements about what it means to be a particular gender.

    Posted by: Nat | Feb 12, 2012 2:25:50 PM

  25. Agree about gender roles. Point well-made, NAT.

    Posted by: TJ | Feb 12, 2012 2:34:28 PM

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