Thomas and Nancy Beatie moved to Oregon from Hawaii a couple years ago. They run a successful business, own a home and are expecting their first child, a girl, in July. And then there’s the rub: Thomas, not Nancy, will be the one delivering the baby.
Thomas' story ignited across the Web last week after Thomas published an essay on advocate.com. His impending maternity/paternity leave challenges our notions of gender roles and societal norms, and generally induces a bit of head shaking. Wait a minute – the transgender Thomas still has girl parts? Yep. He decided to keep ‘em during his reassignment process years ago and was – clearly – successful in restarting his period after years of female hormone suppression.
Thomas is legally both male and married to Nancy. He certainly looks the part, too, with a flat chest and facial hair, thanks to surgery and testosterone therapy. His six-month baby bump might otherwise pass for a well-fed beer belly, if Thomas weren’t the unabashedly proud father/mother-to-be that he is, even in the face of judgment from the likes of family members and doctors.
Once upon a time, surrogate motherhood and same-sex adoption likely blew away firmly held beliefs about reproduction and family. In the future, when pregnancy news is delivered, will “Who's carrying?” be a common follow-up question to “When are you due?”