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?

Comments

  1. Jack says

    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?

  2. just_a_guy says

    @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?

  3. Jack says

    @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.

  4. Robert in NYC says

    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.

  5. Rin says

    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 daughters…do I just say, well…you’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.

  6. Gregv says

    @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.

  7. Jack says

    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.

    shrug.

  8. Caliban says

    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.

  9. TJ says

    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.

  10. shane says

    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.

  11. Jack says

    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.

  12. Acronym Jim says

    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.

  13. just_a_guy says

    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?”

    :–)

  14. Nat says

    “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.

  15. TJ says

    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)?

  16. says

    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.

  17. Nat says

    “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.

  18. mike128 says

    I’m not sure this has anything to do with gender. as a gay man, i would LOVE to be able to have a biological child with my partner. if there was a way to do it, i would possibly consider it. this isnt about a desire to be a woman or do something woman-like. it’s just about an option to procreate that is possibly easier and possibly less full of complications that adoption/fostering/etc. (not that there is anything wrong with any of those options).

  19. Rin says

    @Stuffed Animal

    I saw the title of the post and actually got excited–seriously, I thought there had been an organ transplant and was anxious to read how they did it.

    @TJ

    Thanks for trying to help me understand it. I just…I don’t understand how someone can say a “man” had a baby. If you are a trans-man then why on earth are you giving birth? How do you as a man feel comfortable with this? Men can nurture and parent, but…men don’t give birth. They give sperm.

    And as for the biological component some people made…if they are going to transmogrify then they should have their eggs removed for future use just as many male>female transgenders have their sperm saved.

    Another thing that concerns me is: committment.

    Okay, when males transition to females, they remove the penis and invert it. He becomes a sterilized “she” for all intents and purposes. The commitment from male to female is exactly at the sort of “believable” level, IE, taking that final step to rid yourself of any remnants of “male” left in you.

    When women transition to men, they are not undergoing a hysterectomy or closing up (sorry, don’t know how else to put it) that area for business. They are not “committed” to the new gender in the way that male>females are.

    If they are not committed, why should I then call them a “male”? They are a female taking male hormones because part of being female is the capability (at some point in their life) for fertility + gestation of a fetus. Males don’t, so you must abdicate that capability and assume the role of man, IF you believe you are a man.

    This is having the cake and eat it, too, and then expect the world to not only accept you, but understand and support your rights. Most of us don’t always get what we want out of life. There are gay and lesbian couples who want kids and make due with one partner contributing and just loving the hell out of the child when its born.

    I WANT to accept people. I want to learn about people, but this doesn’t seem…kosher. It makes the whole “trans” concept of feeling a different gender on the inside seem frivolous, less than fully sincere, and somewhat fake. If you are adopting what “male” is or “female” is and saying you are defined by gender constructs (which is what it truly is) then you must fully embrace it if you want me to embrace it.

    And most people do want that acceptance. They want to use the female facilities or male facilities. They yearn for that label and name, and the ones that aren’t willing to full embrace the change are hurting the case of those that do.

    Now, am I going to spray paint this persons house or be mean to them in public…? No, a thousand times no. There is no excuse for cruelty, none at all. I just do not understand this “men having a baby” thing. And if I don’t understand…I can’t see the voting population understanding. It’s just gives people another excuse to martial the troops and start up the old pitchforks and torches routine.

  20. GregV says

    @Rin: I don’t understand why you care what someone else does with their body as long as the person it affects feels comfortable.
    He considers himself a “he” so that’s fine with me.

    Your insistence that someone pass a threshhold of “commitment” in order for you not to use your words to protest their gender strikes me the same as if you had a friend who had to get a hysterectomy for medical reasons and you suddenly told her that you will never call her a “she” again (no matter what she feels like she is) because she does not have the equipment to give birth.

    Or let’s say you meet someone and she says “My name on my birth certificate is Catherine but I’ve always felt more comfortable being called ‘Kate’.” Would you tell her that she’s not fully committed to being a “Kate” because she hasn’t changed her passport and put an announcement in the paper, so you refuse to refer to her the way she prefers?
    Why not just refer to people in the way that they prefer?

    It shouldn’t be a problem explaining to your kids that men are XY and women are XX or that men have penises and prostates and women have vaginas and uteruses. As a general rule, that is the case. If they have follow-up questions about the exceptions where people are XXY or fragile X, or about a a friend’s mom who adopted because she’s infertile or a a man who had prostate cancer, etc., etc. (highly unlikely until they are much older and WAY beyond asking “What’s the difference between a boy and a girl?”), then you can discuss those exceptions, and the original information about the general rules of thumb shouldn’t make that any harder to understand.

    You might also teach your kids when they’re in kindergarten that it’s cold in February and it’s hot in July.
    That gets them started understanding the way the seasons work.

    And if you take them to the Southern Hemisphere when they’re 12, they can learn that for some people in the world, things are different.

    The basic starting points you tell them in kindergarten (it’s cold in February; women have uteruses) don’t make the exceptions any harder to understand later on when they’re ready to study more advanced genetics or global climate zones.

  21. Acronym Jim says

    With all due respect, it seems many here are focusing on the plumbing while ignoring the wiring.

    For all practical purposes, transgendered persons think, live, feel and breathe a gender identity that is at odds with their biological bodies. It’s one of the reasons a biological male is required to live as woman (and vice versa) for a significant period of time before they may undergo sexual reassignment surgery.

  22. antisaint says

    Agree w/Acronym Jim — Transgendered people are so because of their brain first.

    Personally I don’t have a problem with a trans man “reactivating” his womb so he can give birth.

    The thing I take issues with is that Thomas Beatie, this anonymous guy — they are not biologically male. I don’t believe they or anyone in their lives are “pretending,” mind you. Thomas Beatie is a man, this guy is man. However, they are biologically female.

    As such, if someone who is biologically female gives birth, it is not news, and to me it doesn’t count as a man giving birth. It’s a sensationalist headline to suggest such. If a man born with a penis and testicles carries a child to term and births it, then a man has given birth.

    I don’t think that invalidates the trans man’s ability or right to be a man–more power to him, but it is not news if someone who was born with a uterus chooses to use it, regardless of what gender they consider themselves to be.

  23. frank says

    I would be fine with all this if the headline said Transman Gave Birth in UK. I’m Irish German American and no headline is going to call me Mexican because I can get tan and speak Spanish. For heaven’s sake we use the words adopted when describing children who were lovingly chosen by their parents and naturalized when describing a U.S. citizens who chose to become so. So to not say “transman” before this is to make one read the article because of the sensational nature of the headline to realize, that yes a man who has a uterus gave birth to a baby- AGAIN!

  24. frank says

    FYI- when you link to the original article it all starts out with TRANS-MAN which would have changed this whole discussion for many of the folks on this board

  25. InscrutableTed says

    Thomas Beatie did it because his wife was infertile. I don’t know what this guy’s motivation was, but I want to give him a pat on the back for freaking all you people out.

    Seriously, some of you are acting like this is the end of the world. I can’t understand the levels of hysteria here. I understand a man wanting to be pregnant more than I understand you lot.

  26. TJ says

    RIN – I appreciate your frustration, and get what you mean by commitment. How I originally processed the idea of a male transitioning to a female was that as much as I believe I am male and enjoying being male, and in particular am grateful for the years of pleasure my outside plumbing fixture has provided me, the person willing to give up their outside plumbing fixture must also believe what they believe and feel how they feel pretty strongly. Since I can’t actually feel what that person is feeling or think what that person is thinking, I try to empathize as best I can. Certitude, and commitment, helped me understand.

    Although this person’s particular circumstances are not entirely clear, and lacking any evidence to he contrary, I am going to assume that this person made the best decision for himself. While I can understand that some would use this against the trans community, I suspect that those looking for an excuse will always find one, with or without the help of an outlier. What I see as ultimately important is to respect this person’s right to live his life as he sees fit, because his choices don’t negatively affect my life or anyone else’s, as far as I know. It is not his duty to make his life understandable to me any more than it is that someone explain to me the appeal of Adam Sandler movies; it’s none of my business or concern.

  27. TJ says

    RIN – I appreciate your frustration, and get what you mean by commitment. How I originally processed the idea of a male transitioning to a female was that as much as I believe I am male and enjoying being male, and in particular am grateful for the years of pleasure my outside plumbing fixture has provided me, the person willing to give up their outside plumbing fixture must also believe what they believe and feel how they feel pretty strongly. Since I can’t actually feel what that person is feeling or think what that person is thinking, I try to empathize as best I can. Certitude, and commitment, helped me understand.

    Although this person’s particular circumstances are not entirely clear, and lacking any evidence to he contrary, I am going to assume that this person made the best decision for himself. While I can understand that some would use this against the trans community, I suspect that those looking for an excuse will always find one, with or without the help of an outlier. What I see as ultimately important is to respect this person’s right to live his life as he sees fit, because his choices don’t negatively affect my life or anyone else’s, as far as I know. It is not his duty to make his life understandable to me any more than it is that someone explain to me the appeal of Adam Sandler movies; it’s none of my business or concern.

  28. Henry Holland says

    From Monty Python’s “Life of Brian”:
    *****
    Stan: I want to be a woman. From now on, I want you all to call me Loretta.
    Reg: What?
    Loretta: It’s my right as a man.
    Judith: Well, why do you want to be Loretta, Stan?
    Loretta: I want to have babies.
    Reg: You want to have babies?!
    Loretta: It’s every man’s right to have babies if he wants them.
    Reg: But…you can’t have babies!
    Loretta: Don’t you oppress me!
    Reg: I’m not oppressing you, Stan. You haven’t got a womb. Where is the fetus going to gestate? You’re going to keep it in a box?

  29. Henry Holland says

    “you are your own unique individual being”

    No, this person is, at the most basic genetic level, a man. He was conceived as a male, his genetic code was XY at birth, he will always be a man, no matter what cosmetic changes he makes to his body. It’s a sad situation, but until they can manipulate a person’s entire DNA sequence, he’ll always be a man.

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