Thomas Beattie: First Pregnant Man

Thomas and Nancy are a loving, happily married couple living about 4 hours away from me.  They are expecting a child, due in July.  Their doctor says this is a perfectly normal pregnancy.  The only difference – Thomas is the one that’s pregnant. Thomas, who was born Tracy, is the first legally male person who is going to give birth.

“…our situation ultimately will ask everyone to embrace the gamut of human possibility and to define for themselves what is normal.”

They appeared on Oprah here:

Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5

He wrote an article for Advocate.com here:

Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3

I’m feeling sort of deflated when I read the comments on the Youtube videos.  Many of them say Thomas is just a gay woman having a baby…and many quote the Bible, etc.  I think it is interesting that they choose to ignore the parts of the Bible where Jesus directly asks them to not cast their stones and not to judge lest they be judged.

I believe that gender is not defined by what “parts” we might have, whether we are talking about penises, vaginas, testicles, ovaries, or chromosomes.  You might choose to define females as someone who has XX chromosomes and males XY.  But how about someone with XXY or XYY?  How about babies born with both female and male genitalia?  How about “females” that grow a penis at puberty (I learned about this in sex education back in college – unfortunately I cannot remember the name of this syndrome or find a link).  All of a sudden, being able to assign gender gets a lot more fuzzy.  The way I see it, if you can’t medically assign gender all the time, the only true way to determine gender is within.

As a doula, I’m trained to deal with the emotional side of childbearing.  I have no doubt in this couple’s being fit to bring a child into this world – any child would be blessed to have this gentle, loving couple as their parents.  I do feel for them, though – they’ve already experienced opposition from their first doctor, who dropped them as a patient because he made the staff uncomfortable.  Pregnancy and childbirth brings up strong feelings for any couple, often requiring time to work them out, and they are probably no exception. I see a host of emotional possibilities here (just as I do with any family).  I think an experienced, sensitive doula or perinatal counselor (pregnancy counselor) would be a valuable asset to their team.

One thing is for certain – they are a loving couple and will be wonderful parents.  I applaud their ability to open and share themselves with the world – being able to put faces on stories like this is exactly what the world needs to break down misconceptions of gender and sexuality.  Way to go Thomas and Tracy – thank you for the gift of your story!

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1 Response to “Thomas Beattie: First Pregnant Man”


  1. 1 journeytocrunchville April 8, 2008 at 7:13 pm

    To be really honest I am kind of annoyed at all the hype that this is getting. He is not honestly a “man”. He was born a woman and never had his/her reproductive organs removed. He/She still has the hips and pelvis that were meant to expand for a child. The breasts that produce milk, etc. I am not understanding why this is such an “amazing” accomplishment other than being another family blessed with the addition of a child. KWIM?

    I will be impressed the day a true “man” gives birth to a child, even if he were surgically implanted with a uterus. Their hips and pelvis are not the same, etc. Basically you reverse the hormone treatments that made this woman a “man” and poof, it’s a woman again (for all reproductive biological purposes).


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