Transgender pregnant man appears on 'Oprah Winfrey Show'
Ann Turner | April 03, 2008
Thomas Beatie, a transgender man from Portland, Oregon who revealed he is pregnant in the latest issue of The Advocate, will make his first television appearance on The Oprah Winfrey Show on Thursday. The 'pregnant man', as he has been labeled in the press, will speak about his decision to carry a child when his wife was unable to conceive.
In the The Advocate, Oregonian Thomas Beatie wrote a guest column about his extraordinary experience of carrying a child as a transgender man. Beatie detailed his decision to transition from female to male eight years ago, including undergoing chest reconstruction surgery and going on testosterone therapy. During the transition, however, he decided not to have his female reproductive organs removed. After transitioning, Beatie was able to register legally as a male and legally marry his wife, Nancy.
Beatie said he and his wife always wanted to have children, but Nancy was unable to carry a baby because of a hysterectomy due to severe endometriosis. Beatie and his wife, after experiencing rampant discrimination from the doctors they approached, decided to purchase sperm anonymously and do at-home insemination. Beatie first became pregnant with triplets, but lost the babies after it became life-threatening. Beatie's second pregnancy, a girl, is healthy and expected to arrive at the beginning of July.
Late night talk show host David Letterman mocked the story with a Top Ten list about "messages left on a pregnant man's answering machine", comparing Beatie with a Michael Jackson "androgynous freak show".
Beatie has been quiet about his story since the media firestorm over his pregnancy began. Now, however, it seems he wants to speak out further about his journey as a transgender pregnant man. The Oprah Winfrey Show and People Magazine have partnered to present the world's "first television interview" with Beatie and his wife Nancy.
In a preview of the show, Beatie addressed the controversy that has erupted over his choice to become pregnant after transitioning to a male. "I'm a person and I have the right to have my own biological child," he says. "If Nancy could get pregnant, I wouldn't be doing this." Beatie told People Magazine the choice seemed clear to him. "Who hires a surrogate if they are perfectly capable of carrying their own child?"
Writing in The Advocate, Beatie said that "Wanting to have a biological child is neither a male nor female desire, but a human desire." In the episode Beatie told Oprah that "I see pregnancy as a process and it doesn't define who I am. Ironically, being pregnant doesn't make me feel any more female or feminine." Gay Link Content