Labor of Love

Is society ready for this pregnant husband?

BY Thomas Beatie

March 13 2008 11:00 PM ET

To our neighbors,
my wife, Nancy, and I don’t appear in the least
unusual. To those in the quiet Oregon community where we
live, we are viewed just as we are -- a happy couple
deeply in love. Our desire to work hard, buy our first
home, and start a family was nothing out of the
ordinary. That is, until we decided that I would carry our
child.

I am transgender,
legally male, and legally married to Nancy. Unlike
those in same-sex marriages, domestic partnerships, or civil
unions, Nancy and I are afforded the more than 1,100
federal rights of marriage. Sterilization is not a
requirement for sex reassignment, so I decided to have
chest reconstruction and testosterone therapy but kept my
reproductive rights. Wanting to have a biological child is
neither a male nor female desire, but a human desire.

Ten years ago,
when Nancy and I became a couple, the idea of us having a
child was more dream than plan. I always wanted to have
children. However, due to severe endometriosis 20
years ago, Nancy had to undergo a hysterectomy and is
unable to carry a child. But after the success of our
custom screen-printing business and a move from Hawaii to
the Pacific Northwest two years ago, the timing
finally seemed right. I stopped taking my bimonthly
testosterone injections. It had been roughly eight
years since I had my last menstrual cycle, so this
wasn’t a decision that I took lightly. My body
regulated itself after about four months, and I
didn’t have to take any exogenous estrogen,
progesterone, or fertility drugs to aid my pregnancy.

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