Archive for the 'GLBT issues' Category

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 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!


Congratulations to new domestic partners

Congratulate Lisa Brodoff and Lynn Grotsky, whose relationship, after 26 years of being a committed couple are now officially recognized, accepted and validated by the State of Washington.

But they are not alone – yesterday was nothing short of beautiful.  More than 150 couples lined up yesterday in Olympia to register legally as domestic partners, giving same-sex couples and unmarried senior citizens a few basic rights: hospital visitation, inheritance and the right to make funeral arrangements.

There is still a very long row to hoe, but at least the ground has now been broken.  Yea, Washington State! and a presidential political debate

I’m a member of, a progressive grassroots political action group 3.3 million Americans strong which backs such diverse agendas as getting out of the Iraq war as soon as possible, sustaining funding for public television, ending global warming and many other causes.  (I wish they would pick a side on GLBT issues, but I’m covered there by my membership in another grassroots group – the Human Rights Campaign.)  If you are like-minded politically, I urge you to join this group and help make a real difference in politics.

Currently  MoveOn is putting together a series of town hall meetings in which they will invite presidential political candidates to answer questions posed by MoveOn members.  Members will also be choosing which candidates to invite.  The first town hall meeting will be about the war in Iraq.  Don’t miss your chance to pick which candidates to invite and ask your candidate a question!

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