It’s finally happened: someone has noticed that a trans man in this country has had a baby. Of course the mainstream media, who between them seem utterly incapable of the slightest act of research, are responding in a predictable storm of inaccuracy and mild hysteria.
The facts appear to be as follows: some fellow – who quite understandably appears to desire anonymity – decided to have a child, and contacted the Beaumont Society for advice. The Beaumont Society don’t have a lot of knowledge in this area as they predominantly help out MtF spectrum individuals and their families, so they quite sensibly referred the individual in question on to GIRES. The grateful father later got back in contact with the Beaumont Society to thank them for their help, and everyone lived happily ever after.
Of course, that really isn’t a very exciting story. So the British media have taken a few steps to spice it up a little:
1) Exoticise trans pregnancy. Apparently this is the first British man to ever give birth. Except, of course, he isn’t. He’s just the first one they’ve noticed. There are a great many trans men in this country with children, but I suppose if you give birth before having a “sex change” (by which I believe the media mean taking hormones and/or having chest surgery) it doesn’t really count. I mean, you’ve got to be covered in hair to be a “real man”, right? There are probably also several trans guys who have had children prior to transition (at least one guy I know is planning this) but if the media doesn’t know about it, it ain’t happened. Even Pink News fall foul of this one.
2) On a related note: emphasise the international significance. Only around two or three men in the world have ever given birth before! I say “around” because there’s some confusion over this. The Telegraph uncritically quotes the Beaumont Society’s Joanna Darrell, who (purportedly) stated that one trans man gave birth in the United States (Thomas Beatie) and another in Spain. Meanwhile, the Metro states that an additional American and a guy in Israel gave birth after Beatie.
3) Highlight the risks. There is no evidence that trans children are in any particular danger from being born to trans parents, but gosh-darn it there might be! Right? According to the Telegraph: “Last night medical ethics experts called for a full inquiry into the issues surrounding transgender births, saying the interests of the child should not be risked to ‘fulfil the rights of an adult’.” At the heart of this is a very topical concern with trans fertility.
4) Finally, think of the children. A number of sources are citing Trevor Stammers, Director of Medical Ethics at St. Mary’s University College. Stammers clearly isn’t a fan of queer families: “The fact that the medical profession is facilitating and encouraging this is a serious problem. You are hardly going to end up with a baby that’s going to have a happy, productive and optimal childhood.”
Of course, Stammers himself doesn’t appear to be a medical doctor. Now there’s a surprise.
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Actually my friend I am medically qualified since 1980 so I have seen my share of life – queer, straight and most other types you care to name.
Sadly, you’re still a bigot. What a waste.
Perhaps then, you might be willing to qualify your remarks, Trevor Stammers, and explain the reasoning by which you assert the substance of this quote to be the case?
Medically qualified as what? Nurses are medically qualified, GP’s are medically qualfied, EMTs are medically qualified, first aiders are medically qualified. I wouldn’t let a damn one of them perform open heart surgery on me though. Unless you’re an expert in reproductive or trans health your opinion means pretty much precisely jack on this.
if you’re medically qualified then you should really start schooling yourself before coming out with such prejudiced bull-crap. a baby from queer parents may be more likely to get bullied, you’re right. as would a baby of black parents, so I guess we should warn the medical profession from “facilitating” those pregnancies too?
Seeing queer life isn’t the same and being a fan of it, or knowing the impact that your statements make on queer people. I wouldn’t tell straight families what to do, don’t tell me what to do with mine!
Also straight cisgender parents never have queer/trans* children it’s all about how the parents act.
5 months since this was posted: the best response you can come up with is “I’m medically qualified”.. I’m going to presume here that you don’t have any specialist knowledge in the field. That much is evident from your initial article.
You would think it would be good journalism to do some research in order to ensure that you are informed in your subject before writing rather than resorting to pure conjecture. Sure, you may use longer words, but the content of your piece is no better than that of a cheap tabloid.