Although public interest in male pregnancy erupted when the story of Thomas Beatie first broke in The Advocate in 2008, many transgender men around the world have been giving birth, albeit more quietly, before and since.
The steady wave of transgender men choosing to carry children has seen coverage of Beatie and others in the U.S., as well as men Canada, Israel, Argentina, Germany, and Chile. And this week, a Kentucky-based couple, Nick and Bianca Bowser, have shared their own family's unique story with the U.K.'s Mirror.
The Bowsers, who are also both transgender and originally from Georgia, share how they were introduced to each other by a mutual friend in 2009. Their connection was immediate, and they soon expressed a mutual desire to have children and were married in late 2011.
When the time came to start planning their family, they considered their options and decided to conceive biological children that Nick would give birth to. Today, the Bowsers say their family is complete with their their three-year-old and one-year-old sons.
In their candid Mirror interview, which follows a year after their first public appearance on Ricki Lake's talkshow Ricki, the couple point out that the biological option was available to them, in part, because gender confirmation surgeries have been too expensive for either to access, especially once they started considering parenthood.
Nick describes giving birth as a way to reach his goal of becoming a father with the means he had access to, but says that he didn't enjoy the physical experience, like some pregnant men — Beatie included — have reported.
In addition, his social climate made his pregnancy more difficult. "My pregnancy was not the norm for a lot of people and so they stared," he recalls. "I couldn't handle the whispering and pointing by the time of the third trimester. …People are afraid of what they don't understand."
Today, the Bowsers say they live a "very quiet life." They are largely private about their trans histories and focus on raising their sons. They discuss, like most parents, the best way and time to talk to their children about where they came from.
"I don't worry about how [our children] will react. We will not treat it as a 'bad' thing," Nick says, explaining that he believes secrecy can only lead to resentment. "And young kids are accepting and nonjudgmental."