By Trudy Ring
Originally published on Advocate.com August 26 2012 8:25 PM ET
Breastfeeding support group La Leche League International has announced it will reconsider its policies limiting leadership posts to women after a transgender man was barred from such a position.
Trevor MacDonald, a Canadian who underwent procedures to transition to male several years ago but kept his female reproductive organs, has been breastfeeding his infant son, despite the challenges posed by having little breast tissue left after top surgery. He became involved with La Leche League’s Canadian affiliate and inquired about taking a leadership position in the organization, counseling nursing mothers. The group replied this month that only women could hold such posts.
Now, after MacDonald’s inquiry and subsequent publicity, the international organization is revisiting the policy. “This is the first time in La Leche League’s 56-year history that we have had an inquiry about leadership from a breastfeeding father, so we have had to consider carefully La Leche League’s prerequisites for leadership, policies and the societal issues of gender identity,” officials with the Canadian affiliate wrote in a letter posted Sunday on MacDonald’s Milk Junkies blog. Noting that the Canadian group cannot make such a change unilaterally, the organization is soliciting input in hopes of achieving an international consensus on admitting transgender men to leadership.
MacDonald is asking supporters to submit letters to La Leche League International and provides a sample on his blog. Read more here.