Why I Thank Thomas Beatie

According to Wikipedia, the most accurate source of information in the entire universe, there is a very short list of animals on this planet that have the remarkable capability for “male pregnancy”:  seahorses, pipefish, sea dragons (in the family Syngnathidea) and trans men (with specific mention of Thomas Beatie).

Apparently, syngnathid females lay the eggs which the males fertilize and then carry during development, either in a brood pouch on their chest or simply attached to their tails.

I will assume that the reader knows how trans men procreate.

I only mention this little tidbit because I find it amusing  —  I doubt Thomas Beatie ever dreamed when he went on Oprah in 2008 that someone would lump him in with seahorses and pipefish in a Wikipedia entry.

Or should I refer to him as, “Thomas Beatie the Pregnant Man”?  He’s not really just “Thomas Beatie” any more.  As opposed to Oprah, Roseanne and Cher, who all lost parts of their name when they became famous, Thomas actually gained a longer name when he became famous.  Or should I say when he became “infamous”?

Someone mentioned Chaz Bono to me the other day (a famous trans man who happens to not be pregnant) and I got to thinking about Thomas and wondered what he’s been up to, so I did a search on his name.  Guess what!  The pregnant man is pregnant again!  This is pregnancy number three for Thomas, a fact that many of you probably knew already, but I had kind of lost track of Thomas.

Losing track of Thomas wasn’t so easy back in April of 2008 when he hit the media scene with his first-person commentary and photo in The Advocate.  His actions spurred quite a brouhaha in the FTM community.

Some guys questioned Beatie’s maleness – they couldn’t understand how someone identifying as FTM could go off testosterone, let their female reproductive organs ramp up again and then actually USE them to become pregnant – whereas others contended that none of this made him any less of a man.  Some thought he was presenting the wrong picture of FTMs to the public, one that would have us viewed negatively, whereas others thought that by putting himself out there as a parent, he would garner support for trans people as being like other people who wanted to have kids.

Some considered him to be a media hound, trying to score monetarily with his story and his book, whereas others thought he was trying to bring into the public light the discrimination that some health care professionals perpetrate against trans people.

Many feared the possible legal backlash, afraid that surgeons’ letters of sex reassignment from top surgery would be more closely scrutinized or outright rejected by clerks handling changes of gender markers on driver’s licenses or social security cards.

I wasn’t quite sure what to make of it all.  I had only been in the trans community for two months when Beatie’s story came out and I was just a baby transsexual as far as experience and knowledge went, a newbie FTM still learning the ropes.  Well, I guess I’m still learning the ropes, but at the time, I knew very little about the FTM community.

However, what I did know was that the drive to have children can be very strong, and more specifically, the drive to have one’s own biological children.  It’s human nature, right?

My point is, I didn’t see how using his reproductive organs made Beatie any less of a man than did simply having them at all.  I would have bet good money (and still would) that there are plenty of gay couples out in the world who would give anything if just one of them could carry their biological child. Would that make them anything other than men?  Well, it sure as hell wouldn’t make them women. It would make them pregnant men, just like Thomas Beatie.

In fact, I would wager that some heterosexual men would be willing to become pregnant and carry a child.  I don’t know whether many would admit that openly, but one non-trans straight man I used to know admitted as much when he was complaining that women “control both sex and having children.”  He was a tad frustrated at the time for a number of reasons, but that’s a whole different story for some other blog.  (Or not.)

But going back to Thomas, when he and his wife appeared on the Oprah Winfrey show, the brouhaha in the community continued, or maybe even intensified.  Although Oprah treated Thomas well while he was on her show, her interview with him seemed to be all about hype, shock and awe, and she let the audience and viewers believe that Thomas was the first pregnant trans man.  Hell, if you go to her web site and search for “Thomas Beatie,” the interview comes up fourth on the list, but if you search for “pregnant man,” the interview with Thomas pops up as numero uno.

Winfrey was careful about choosing her words when she spoke for herself and the producers of the show; she said, “this is the first time we’ve ever heard of this.”

Well sure, the first time they’d ever heard of a pregnant trans man, but certainly not the first time there had ever been a pregnant trans man, and I’ll bet her producers found that out when they did their homework.  They likely came across an article about Matt Rice written by his FTM partner, Patrick Califia that appeared in The Village Voice in 2000, which may have been the first time an FTM who’d given birth was in the media- someone please correct me if I’m wrong about that.  No matter who it was, I would guess that trans men have been having children since… well, since there have been trans men.  But Oprah certainly had brought the subject to the attention of a whole lotta people.

And then People magazine brought it to the attention of even more people when a feature article about Beatie and his wife appeared in the April 14, 2008 issue.

Being a newbie trans person at the time and only out to a very small group of close friends, Thomas Beatie hitting the press had me worried.  I didn’t see a problem with Thomas getting pregnant per se, and I wasn’t even convinced that Thomas’ exposure in the media was necessarily a bad thing overall for the community, but I was concerned on a personal level about the possible negative (or worse) comments I would hear about Thomas made by my family, friends, coworkers and acquaintances.  Being a newbie, I was very sensitive to that sort of thing because, the way I saw it at the time, any rancor directed at Thomas would be a preview of what would be in store for me if I were to come out.

The good news was that I wasn’t exposed to any kind of significant reaction by the “public,” meaning people in my family, people in my circle of friends, people at work.  Thankfully, Thomas Beatie the Pregnant Man wasn’t a big topic of conversation in the coffee shops or around the water coolers or in my conversations with family. In fact, he wasn’t even a little topic.  In my tiny corner of the world, it was as though Thomas Beatie didn’t even exist.  When I queried my sister one day about Beatie, just to see how she would react, she had no idea who I was talking about.  Oprah she’d heard of, but not Thomas Beatie the Pregnant Man.  Then again, she didn’t have a television and she worked during the day when Oprah’s show was on, so perhaps she wasn’t the best person to ask, but still, I was not confronted with discussions about Beatie while being a closeted, newbie trans person.

Until, that is, I went to see my massage therapist.  I’d been going to her on and off for several years, whenever something flared up.  In this case, it was runner’s knee, which was really odd because I wasn’t running.  Anyway, when I entered through the front door for my appointment she was sitting at her desk, reading, with a very intense, concerned look on her face.  She looked up, asked, “Have you seen this?” and held up the recent issue of People magazine, open to a photo of pregnant Thomas Beatie and his wife.  I muttered in Seinfeld-esque fashion, “Beatie!” under my breath.

“Here we go,” I thought.

“Yes, I’ve seen it,” I said and sat down across from her.
“How is this possible? I haven’t read the article, so tell me how this could happen.”
“He’s a transsexual man,” I said, “He was born female and he transitioned to male, but now he is pregnant.”
She said, slowly, “Okay,” and nodded her head.   I thought she understood, but then she said,
“But how is this possible?  You’re a scientist.  Tell me how this happened.  Did they transplant a uterus into him?”

That’s when I realized that I had to give her a lesson in “FTM 101.”

I told her that Thomas was born a female baby and grew up to be an adult female but that he had gender dysphoria.  I said, “You know, a man trapped in a female body,” and she said, “Okay.”  I figured that if she was familiar with trans people at all, it would probably be with MTFs, so I geared my explanation from there.

I explained that female-to-male transgender people have a different set of surgeries than male-to-females, such as double mastectomy, plus separate genital surgery that many do not choose to have because the results are unsatisfactory to them, plus a hysterectomy.  She said that she understood so far.  Then I told her that these surgeries are expensive and she said, “And probably not covered by insurance,” and I said usually not.

I said that there are some FTMs who do not have the hysterectomy, like this man, Thomas Beatie.  I added that his wife was not able to have children because she’d had a hysterectomy 20 years prior due to severe endometriosis, so when they decided to have a child, Thomas went off of testosterone, began cycling again, was inseminated and became pregnant.

Then I waited for her reaction.  I tensed up, anticipating the nasty remarks that I was sure were going to come.  She sat quietly for a few moments, digesting what I had just told her.  Then, she stood up, flipped the magazine closed, tossed it onto the coffee table and said,

“Good for them.”

I’m sure my eyebrows went up in surprise.  I said, “Really?” and she said, “If a couple wants to have children, then I’m all for it.” I was sort of stunned at her acceptance and wondered how this had just happened.  I remembered that she and her husband have two children, a daughter and a son who, at the time,  would have been five and three years old.  She had always talked about her kids – it was obvious that they mean the world to her – but she also had a passion about children in general.

I thought that the subject of Thomas Beatie was behind us, but a little while into the therapy, she brought him up again.  “Okay, not to dwell on this subject,” she said, “but is this the first time this has happened?”  I replied, “No, there have been other trans men who have been pregnant and had children, but they didn’t publicize it like this man has. Now there is fear in the transsexual community that this story will have a negative backlash.” She said, “My point of view is that if two people want to bring a child into the world and they are loving and caring parents, then that’s all that matters. There are too many unwanted children in the world to worry about something like this.”

I was so taken with her acceptance that I almost came out to her right then and there, and that would have been remarkable because I was afraid of what people would say or do to me if they found out that *gasp* I was trans.  That conversation with that woman, witnessing her acceptance of trans man Thomas Beatie and his pregnancy, gave me some courage to go forward with my own process and some hope that I would also be accepted by …  well, anybody.  Maybe even everybody.  I mean, why not?  If this middle class mother-of-two could accept Thomas Beatie, then why couldn’t people accept me?  My fears and expectations of doom and gloom had been flipped 180 degrees and suddenly, it was a whole new world.

And I would have never had that without Thomas Beatie putting his ol’ pregnant self out there for the world to see.

I think that the haters are always going to hate and the people who reject us are going to continue to do so whether Thomas Beatie is around or not, but the people who are uneducated about us, who are never exposed to us, who would support us if only they knew what we are about, or the ones who are on the fence about us because they don’t know enough about us, they’re the ones that come around to accepting us if trans people like Thomas Beatie pop up right in front of them and say, “Hey, I am here and I’m a good person and I’m not that different from you and I only want the same things that you want.”

So Thomas, wherever you are, thank you man.  And best wishes on the birth of your third child.

— ATM

Note after posting:  Because I do not know whether Matt Rice and Patrick Califia are or were ever legally married, I have changed the reference to Patrick Califia in the post from Matt Rice’s “husband” to “partner.”

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13 Responses to Why I Thank Thomas Beatie

  1. Jeremy says:

    Nice article. However, I wanted to point out that, correct, Thomas Beatie was not the first FTM to give birth, but is in fact the first legal male and husband to give birth. Beatie never claimed to be the first FTM to give birth. Matt Rice (the only FTM on record before Beatie) was transgender, but legally unmarried and female at the time. Beatie’s situation was the very first of its kind and he faced legal issues that no one had faced before and no one seems to care about even today. Beatie went public due to discrimination he was facing and was not paid for his interviews or appearances. Thomas Beatie was the best thing to ever happen to the trans community. Trans people don’t need to sterilize themselves and can have happy, healthy families!

    • Thanks for your comment Jeremy. I’m glad you liked my post.
      I’m afraid your comment, however, contains a number of inaccuracies which I will address below:
      1. Thomas Beatie was not the first legal male and husband to give birth. There have been FTMs living legally as married men who gave birth long before Thomas Beatie came on the scene. They just weren’t on Oprah or in People Magazine.
      2. You are correct in that Beatie never claimed to be the first FTM to give birth, but I didn’t say that in my post. What I said was that Oprah alluded to that with her carefully worded comments. It’s the media who have dubbed Thomas Beatie “The First Pregnant Man.”
      3. Matt Rice was not female at the time of his pregnancy or his child’s birth. If you go to the article in The Village Voice that was written by Patrick Califia-Rice, which is linked in my post, you will read that Matt had been on testosterone several years before he even met Califia, so he was not living as female.
      4. Beatie’s situation is not the very first of its kind and he is not the only trans person who has faced these types of legal issues. He’s also not the first trans person who has experienced discrimination by medical care professionals. Discrimination against transgender people in the legal, medical, housing and job place realms has been on-going for decades.
      5. Beatie might not have been paid for his appearances and interviews (I don’t know about that one way or the other) but he was pushing his book which he did profit from.
      6. There are many other people, laws and situations that have been far, far better for the trans community than Thomas Beatie has been up to this point.
      7. Thomas Beatie’s appearance on Oprah and in People magazine did not suddenly result in new laws on the books that remove the need for sterilization for trans people to be recognized legally in their true gender. These laws are different from state to state. Trans people have been living without the need to be sterilized (depending on the state laws) long before Thomas Beatie came along, and they have been enjoying happy, healthy families before Beatie was even born. For FTMs, a letter from a surgeon following top surgery (masculinization of the chest) is often all that is required (again, depending on the state) for legal gender marker change, not sterilization.

  2. Jeremy says:

    How do you know there have been other legal male and married transmen who have given birth while legally male and married? Do you know them personally? Do you know of them? People only say there have been others because they believe there ought to have been others. You think there’d be some sort of guide book on how to handle the legalities of what to do in a situation like that if so many guys have gone through it. So many people claim that Beatie is not the first legal male to give birth, but no one ever has any proof. The only example anyone can provide is Matt Rice- who, by the way, was legally female and unmarried while giving birth. He may have considered himself a transman and had chest surgery and testosterone treatment, but I’m talking about the issues of being legally considered male and making sure a heterosexual and federally sanctioned marriage is preserved with proper entitlements to both spouses concerning the child. Rice didn’t have to deal with Beatie’s legal or health insurance issues. Heck, he didn’t even have to go to a sperm bank and get doctor supervision, he just slept with a male friend. I’ve never heard of anyone anywhere who has had to deal with Beatie’s legal concerns. There has never been discussion of it in any crevice of the trans culture or on any shred of a blog or message board. Instead of the trans culture supporting Beatie and exploring the issues that will no doubt affect others down the line, they are trying to tear him down in a fit of confusion and jealousy by Beatie’s perceived gains. Talking about the issues is really important for the trans movement. Laws don’t protect trans people like they should, so any advice on preserving basic civil rights is a must. Why is there no discussion on what one should do if a legally male and married FTM gets pregnant? You’d think it would be in a Lambda Legal handbook. Why haven’t others who have supposedly been through it step forward and offer clarity? It’s been a couple years since Beatie’s gotten pregnant, and still no one else has come forward. They want to hide in the shadows and let someone else do it, right? I don’t buy it.

    There are reasons why there aren’t a lot of transmen wanting to get pregnant- especially FTMs who have gone through all the trouble of doing everything legally and getting married. First off, their wives would most likely volunteer first. Beatie’s wife couldn’t because of a hysterectomy. Then, a guy has to go off his testosterone. That’s a biggy. Most FTMs could never imagine that on top of getting washed with a pregnant body and all of its feminizing hormones. But, you mentioned that too. Most FTMs assimilate. They don’t ever want their previous lives as female to be public knowledge. Getting pregnant kind of ruins the ability to hide and blend in as the guy next door. Beatie’s community was finding out about his pregnancy and someone was sure to run to the National Enquirer- which eventually happened. And then, there’s the whole medical question of whether someone on longterm testosterone can get pregnant after so many years of female reproductive organ atropy. Lastly, the social stigma of a pregnant man is not something most FTMs can deal with. No one has ever seen it on a billboard, so are afriad as hell to go first. I mean, that’s a pretty freaky concept when you think about it. It flies in the face of every gender norm. Who’s going to want to stick their heads out first just to get it chopped off? Beatie obviuosly had very strong internal fortitude to buck social, psychological, and biological trends. He must have really wanted a family- wife, kids, the whole ball of wax. Well, guess what- he is the first pregnant man to be proud of being a family man. He may not have planned to go public with his pregnancy and did so out of necessity, but he’s the one who’s made a difference. Until proven otherwise, Beatie is the first. Period.

    Regarding the media, Beatie simply wrote a small article for the Advocate mentioning his struggles. He was reaching out to those whom he thought cared. The national and international media picked up on this obscure article and took off with it. This wasn’t Beatie’s doing. No one, I repeat, no one, has the ability to will themselves on Oprah and in People Magazine just by wishing it. Oprah and People Magazine have to want you. I don’t know if you saw the backlash from the Advocate article, but Beatie was trashed all over the world- especially here in the US… on TV, radio, print, internet, you name it. Beatie said he agreed to do Oprah to set the record straight and defend his position and family. I’ve met the guy and have had a few conversations with him and believe me, he is pretty soft spoken and shy. No way is he a media whore. He’s really down to earth and gives a crap about a lot of things, including GLBT rights. He was hounded by the media and chose to only do a few reputable sources. Good for him. Since Beatie’s pregnancy, there have been other pregnant FTMs who have chosen to go straight to the paying trashy tabloids. Matt Rice’s story was publically released just like Beatie’s- in a small GLBT publication, but Rice’s wasn’t picked up on probably because it didn’t seem like a big deal- being that Rice was, on paper, a woman though in a bizarre and unconventional relationship, giving birth.

    About Beatie’s book, which I’ve read, he did not make money off it. Though enlightening, it didn’t sell a lot and his costs exceeded the sales. He wrote his book to tell the story from his own mouth, not to make money.

    My opinion is my opinion that what Beatie did is huge for the trans community. Face it, it put trans people in a healthy family-oriented light, rather than what the general public usually sees about trans people- prostitutes on drugs. I didn’t paint this image, it’s just what’s out there. The public couldn’t put a face on any single FTM person until now- unless you want to count the little-known and unpalatable FTM pornstar, Buck Angel . They only had images like Alexis Arquette or Dennis Rodman when he’s dressing up.

    My point about sterilization is that a lot of trans people feel like they need to cut everything out that represents their former gender- including their reproductive organs. A lot of trans youth, who have the money, make hasty decisions to terminate their reproductive rights because of stigma and trans peer pressure. Beatie’s showing that you can be a man and still give birth. What a concept! And one that’s catching on too.

    We’re on the same side, americantransman. I’m just sick of the negative backlash Beatie’s getting from the GLBT community. It’s pretty grotesque and the GLBT community should look at themselves in their own mirror of bias.

  3. Jeremy says:

    Exactly what it sounds like- having ALL vital statistic documents (state and federal) and any and all documentation that uses gender or sex as a classification read as the new gender (male)… i.e.: birth certificate, passport, social security index, marriage certificate, driver’s license, medical insurance, life insurance, etc… and having no conflicting documentation that classifies one as the former gender (female).

    • Right, well, I would argue that some of the things you listed would not make a person “legally” male, but I’ll go with it since that’s what you answered. So, of the FTMs I know of who have had children, I cannot say for sure that all of those documents you listed had a Male gender marker. The ones I know personally who have kids were already married to natal men but not living as male when they had their kids. I knew one in Chicago who wanted to have kids (along with his husband) and was legally married but I don’t think he was living legally as male when he became pregnant.

      “but I’m talking about the issues of being legally considered male and making sure a heterosexual and federally sanctioned marriage is preserved with proper entitlements to both spouses concerning the child” Why does a marriage need to be heterosexual to be legal? Don’t hide behind DOMA. There are states (and countries) where same sex marriage is legal and was legal when Thomas became pregnant. Also perfectly legal would be marriages of FTMs who married natal men prior to transitioning and becoming legally Male, although I don’t know whether there are differences among states. However, I know a number of couples in that situation.

      “No one has ever seen it on a billboard, so are afriad as hell to go first.” I’m not sure you can know the motivations of every FTM about why they would or would not do something.

      “No one, I repeat, no one, has the ability to will themselves on Oprah and in People Magazine just by wishing it. Oprah and People Magazine have to want you. ” True, but no one made him go on Oprah and in People. He made that choice, as you said. Just because he agreed to be featured in the media doesn’t mean that the media haven’t asked others to appear, but I’m not talking about pregnant trans men here, just trans people who are not Buck Angel. (And personally, I don’t have a problem with Buck Angel any more than I have a problem with Thomas Beatie.) I’m just glad Oprah was nice to Beatie, unlike Barbara Walters who treated him like crap. I couldn’t even watch the entire interview she did with him.

      “About Beatie’s book, which I’ve read, he did not make money off it. Though enlightening, it didn’t sell a lot and his costs exceeded the sales.” True, it didn’t sell well, but he didn’t know that would happen when he was pushing it. And it was published by Seal Press, so why would Beatie have costs associated with that? Those should have been paid by the publisher.

      “My opinion is my opinion that what Beatie did is huge for the trans community.” Fair enough. Saying what he did was huge for the trans community, however, is not the same as saying he was the “best thing” that ever happened to the trans community, which you stated in your first comment and which would not be my opinion.

      “A lot of trans youth, who have the money, make hasty decisions to terminate their reproductive rights because of stigma and trans peer pressure.” Again, I will suggest that you can’t know what motivates people or why they make certain decisions. I would guess that this is a very personal decision, like any medical transition decision, and so there cannot be one single reason why young FTMs make this choice. If I had to guess the main reason, I would suggest that dysphoria has more to do with it then stigma or peer pressure. Which of us is right? There’s no way to know right now. Someone would need to do a study. (a good one)

      “I’m just sick of the negative backlash Beatie’s getting from the GLBT community.” Yes, I mentioned that in my post, and Patrick Califia mentioned it in his article too.

      Your comments about Matt Rice will be addressed, I hope, a little later.

  4. Jeremy says:

    The reason why I mention having a total list of any and all documentation that states gender/sex is in the event that gender/sex is called into question, i.e. in court to determine gender/sex if gender/sex is being contested. State and federal documents are the most important as any contradictions could cause problems. And, surely, having some forms listing someone as female and others as male could be the Achilles heal of an argument if the argument is that a person is living by only one gender. Though gender/sex shouldn’t matter when it comes to equal rights and protections, we all know that our country reserves rights exclusively based upon sex classification. This couldn’t be more emphasized in the case of marriage, particularly the marriage between a man and a woman. Contrary to popular belief, same-sex marriage is not equivalent to opposite-sex marriage. Same-sex couples miss out on the 1,132+ federal benefits associated with traditional marriage. Same-sex couples are deficient by a long shot when it comes to the rights, benefits, and responsibilities of marriage. Same-sex couples cannot file joint taxes, have proper survivorship rights, have a spouse immigrate to the US from a foreign country, receive the automatic benefits of child custody laws., etc., etc., the list goes on and on and the information is readily available. It’s the reason why gays and lesbians are so up-in-arms about fighting for the right to marry and receive equal treatment under the law. They don’t get equal treatment and the federal government does not sanction same-sex marriage. Therefore, in the eyes of the federal government, same-sex marriage is not legal.

    Beatie does not have a same-sex marriage. He is married to his wife in an opposite-sex marriage. He gets all of the heterosexual rights and benefits afforded to him by the federal government. It is vital that his sex/gender be recognized as male in order for him to continue to receive all of those rights and benefits. There have been current-day-male-classified FTMs who have had children while classified as female, but they weren’t “pregnant men” by definition of their documentation. On paper, they were women having babies with their male partners. That’s exactly what the government expects to see. Beatie was a precedent in that the government had never dealt with a legal male having a baby- and especially, a legal male who is married to a woman. They don’t have forms for this. There’s a space for the woman (the child bearer) and a space for the husband. Listing the pregnant man as the child bearer automatically puts him in the woman’s spot. It automatically puts the wife in the husband’s spot. Voila- you have a problem. You now have a legal document with conflicting sex/gender for a trans person who needs everything to read as male. You also have a document classifying the wife as male. A quick fix for the government is to instead issue a birth certificate for same-sex couples where gender is not overtly listed, but is filed behind the scenes. Here lies another problem, the opposite-sex couple now has a same-sex birth certificate intended for same-sex couples in a domestic partnership… a contradiction to their opposite-sex marriage which could easily be used against them in an adverse situation. Here’s an example: if Thomas were to die, a next-of-kin family member to Thomas could claim that Thomas and his wife were not legally married because their child’s birth certificate, basically- ownership paperwork to the child, was a same-sex certificate- which in turn supports the idea that Thomas was female. Not being legally married and receiving the full backing of child custody rights, his wife would then lose her rights as the guardian. It would also be proven that she is not biologically related to the child and has no legal binding to and authority over the child. Thomas’ child and potential estate could be taken by his next-of-kin, not his wife. These are just a few of the issues Beatie has had to deal with. I’m not sure if he’s found a resolution to everything, but I believe there was mention of adoption and attorneys and legal fees… something no married couple should have to deal with. According to state vital statistics offices, national GLBT organizations, and an extensive search by the media, there are no other cases like Beatie’s. Up until him, all cases have been FTMs prior to transition, or in Rice’s case- during transition, but all have been female on paper and not married to a woman. I’ve heard of some cases since Beatie- FTMs who have had children with male partners, but in these situations, these couples are more than happy to have same-sex birth certificates because there is no federally recognized marriage to be threatened. In addition, in the case of a bio-male being a father, he would be next-of-kin and likely not challenged. The point is, there’s a gaping legal hole for people like Beatie. He’s got to jimmy everything together by himself rather than have a smooth and protected transition into fatherhood. He has to hope that what he’s doing will truly protect him and his family. He tried to ask the national GLBT organizations and the ACLU for help, but they had no clue what to say because there was nothing on the books about it and instead treated him like a pariah. To add insult to injury, the ACLU wouldn’t represent him because he was unpopular with the big GLBT groups and they wanted to remain on good terms with these organizations. If other FTMs have gone through the same exact thing as Beatie, there would be a paper trail with talking heads in the know. There are none. To brush off Beatie’s unique legal positions as if they’re old hat is an insult to his plight. The fact is, no one really knows what Beatie is facing or how it can be fixed. So to suggest that hoards of FTMs have already secretly conquered this thing that we don’t even fully understand, is, well, a cocky and misguided presumption.

    Lastly, Beatie is a successful business man. He’s self-made and did not profit from the whole media affair. He mentions in his book that he turned down hundreds of thousands of dollars only to give a few, reputable, free interviews to try to open peoples’ minds. He said he wrote the book without the expectation of any profit- he did it for his own piece of mind and the ability to reach out and help others facing daunting odds. Well, it’s a good thing he didn’t have big expectations because trans books aren’t big sellers. For anyone to insinuate he had a family to profit from an unpredictable media explosion is crazy. I wish he had made money though. I mean, why not. The media probably made bank on him.

  5. A says:

    A friend of mine (at the time lol) was trying to come out as gay to his parents and they weren’t happy about it (and he knew they wouldn’t be) anyways for about a year or so on and off he spent hanging out at my place. Then one day I told him I’m trans and he told me every last thing his parents told him without so much as blinking.
    I play MMORPGs and have been in “glbt” friendly guilds some of the people in them are rather unfriendly to trans folks. I figured maybe it was something that I’d have to accept. Now just a few weeks ago I was talking to a friend of mine I’ve been talking to on and off for about 10 years now, when he told me that I am who I am and always had been. (yes he knows) He had less trouble accepting me than I do, and just like that he put all the rest of it back into perspective. The hell with the rest. I get why Thomas wanted kids of his own, and I can tell you that while I never expected to have kids myself, I am very glad that I do. I’ll probably be mom to them forever no matter what I decide in my future, transition is a harder choice for me because it will effect their lives as much as mine. Imagine my surprise when my 10 year old tells me “you know what? you’re actually more of a boy, you may look like a girl, but you’re not” he said that, pretty much out of nowhere. He gets it, even if he doesn’t know it yet.. so simple. I just told him “yep”. Not that I’m not terrified he’ll repeat it to someone who doesn’t know (and some folks I KNOW would have a problem with it) lol but a bigger part of me is starting to feel “let him”.

    • Kids don’t have all those societal filters clouding their vision and they see things for what they are. They’re also more exposed to this kind of information than we were as kids because of the internet and cable TV.

      Not all GLB folks are unfriendly to the Ts. Some of them are very cool with us.

      What is MMORPG?

  6. A says:

    Massive Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game, online gaming such as lord of the rings online, ultima online, world of warcraft, everquest, aion, start trek online, star wars galaxies, whatever not.. people do have a tendency to be somewhat more extreme online and in game. You hear some of the the opinions they might not have said to your face, for better and worse.

    It’s amazing to know someone really does accept you, and have no doubt in your mind that they really mean it. really amazing. It shouldn’t be, I know, but it is.
    It feels so right. and then everything I’ve ignored for years it right back in front of me.
    I wonder if I’m too old now? I was never that much of a “tomboy” crap at sports and avoid confrontation, am I really trans? would I really be happier being a guy? I mean I know I would be had I been born one, but now? Could I really ever pass? never mind the people around me.I guess I wonder if me being happy is worth it’s price.
    Right now I am in the process of trying to figure out what I am going to do with the rest of my life. I am leaving some important stuff about what’s going on in my life out here. but I am at a crossroads of sorts. I’m trying to figure out what I need to make me happy. I’ve lived with myself like I live with the smoking habits of housemates. Mostly ignore it, put up with it, shut up about it, but it drives me crazy.
    I wonder if I’m fooling myself, if I can live my life and be happy as I am.. then I think of being 70 years old,.. and female.. and I feel like smacking my head against the nearest wall LOL

    • I suggest reading some Matt Kailey (not a tomboy either) and Jamison Green (decided to transition when he couldn’t think of himself as an old female). Matt has a blog: http://tranifesto.com/
      and a book Just Add Hormones (which is very good): click here for his book

      Jamison Green also has a very good book, Becoming a Visible Man (click to see).

      Too old? To be yourself?

      Do you have a good gender therapist to help you with these questions?

  7. A says:

    thank you. wow. no I don’t have a therapist, and things are tight money wise so it’ll have to wait but this is a change in perspective for me. I’m off to read more and catch you in a few..

  8. A says:

    ps the itty bitty smily on the bottom of the page… neat
    🙂

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