Meeting a New Earth-The First Pregnant Man Interviewed By Oprah

Stephen Wellington Mormon 37 Comments

Here are 3 videos (all together about 30 minutes) from a recent Oprah episode where she interivews Thomas Beatie about being the worlds first pregnant man.



What are your views?

Comments

comments

Comments 37

  1. you can try and switch out the pipes or doll them up with different clothes…but, genetically, she’s a woman.

  2. Although gender reassignment has made this person a woman in society’s eyes, there’s no real “miracle” here in my opinion… this person was a woman before…. I’d be truly impressed if maybe this person were a hermaphrodite.

  3. Push the envelope – that’s what this is all about. Heather still have two Mommies. One just happens to have changed her name to Thomas. That fact that “he” has a uterus and that “he” has a vagina means that “he” was artificially inseminated or impregnated by a real he. Sorry, Oprah, not a pregnant man here.

  4. Hey, I resent the implication that this pregnant man story has anything to do with Oprah’s embrace of Eckhart Tolle’s “New Earth” book or philosophy.

    I admit I was a little skeptical of what appeared to be just another New Age guru, but I’ve been sincerely impressed with the scale and scope of Mr. Tolle’s teachings and have found that they have added depth to my very Mormon beliefs.

    I did watch the pregnant man episode a few days ago and think it’s much ado about nothing. But let’s not link it to the important work Oprah and Eckhart are doing with waking up the world with The New Earth ideas.

    Just my humble opinion, for what it’s worth.

  5. I have several good friends who are transgendered. It breaks my heart to see what they go through and what little support they have. Some estimates have the transgender community at 70% unemployment. He is a trans man – not a woman.

    http://www.apa.org/topics/transgender.html

    “Many experts believe that biological factors such as genetic influences and prenatal hormone levels, early experiences in a person’s family of origin, and other social influences can all contribute to the development of transgender behaviors and identities.”

    I can not imagine the horror of feeling your body does not match your natural gender.

    I wish their family well in this journey – Im sure it will not be easy on any of them, not by their own fault, but because society refuses to grow up and face the fact that transgendered persons have existed for as long as our written history. They deserve every right to happiness that anyone one else seeks, including their own biological children when its possible IMO.

    Im sure the daughter will be picked on because his dad is transgendered – but I was picked on for being Mormon. People get picked on no matter what background you come from. I believe its the job of all honest moral people to make sure everyone in society is happy and healthy, even if you have different beliefs than them – and that includes the TG community.

  6. Intersting story. I wonder what would happen if they joined the church and wanted to be sealed together; or if their child should grow up and want to be sealed to his/her parents? How does their geneology and temple work get done or does it?

  7. He’s still got two X chromosomes. Biologically, his body knows how to produce the physiological changes required to support life in a womb. Is he really the first, though, or just the first to get the attention of the world? There are plenty of transgendered people out there who have undoubtedly had children.

    Does he take testosterone during the pregnancy? ’cause that might have some unforeseen effects on the fetus if so. He probably doesn’t, though, because no doctor would prescribe it to him.

  8. SteveS: he said on Oprah he stopped taking the testosterone two years ago when he and his wife decided to get pregnant. He had one pregnancy with issues already (tubal pregnancy). Im sure he is not the first either – just the first to speak out about it so openly.

  9. “He is a trans man – not a woman.”

    When did we all become required to accept your language conventions for describing people who like to play Mr. Potato Head with their genitals?

    So I assume you believe our sex is whatever we want it to be. Where do you draw the line? How about species…is the woman who got a pig kidney still human, or a trans-pig?

  10. ‘Im sure the daughter will be picked on because his dad is transgendered – but I was picked on for being Mormon.’

    Jeff, I respect your desire to be sympathetic about people in what they perceive to be a difficult situation, but that statement is just silly.

  11. If I was a Japonophile, could I have my eyelids surgically altered and call myself Japanese? If I had Peter Pan syndrome, could I petition the state to be declared a minor and attend thrird grade for the duration? Why is Ward Churchill critisized for declaring himself Indian, can’t he just be an authentic, ethnic studies professor of native american descent, even though his geneology proves he isn’t?

    How does one “know” that they are transgendered, never having been another gender? It just seems self-negating. It is impossible to state “I feel male” while being female, because the individual cannot know what feeling male feels like.

  12. kwk, your “Mr. Potato Head” comment made me very nearly herniate myself with laughter.

    Thomas isn’t a man. Thomas is a bearded woman who has had surgeries and taken hormone treatments. (It is similar to the claim of a promiscuous acquaintance of mine that she was still a “virgin in Christ” because God had forgiven her. Now, I admit that I am no expert in physiology, but either you is a virgin or you ain’t.)

    I wish the couple and their child the best of luck, because life for them is going to get very interesting.

  13. “kwk When did we all become required to accept your language conventions for describing people who like to play Mr. Potato Head with their genitals?”

    This is uncalled for and extremely hateful. You might want to actually go learn something about Transgendered persons and what the medical field refers to them as. You should be ashamed of your self.

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    #7 DJ – if you watch the video Oprah actually describes this experience as “Meeting a New Earth” so it is Oprah that places the two together…

    #17 – Jeff, I must say I stand with you on this one.A s a medical student we are taught not to discriminate against patients in terms of race, gender or sexual orientation and I like to take this advice into my personal life aswell. I also feel sympathetic too Transgender people because of the discrimination they receive. We learn about transgender issues in our psychological modules. The general public is often unawares of hormonal and chromosomal abnormalities that occur in some of these patients. I think only Christ can judge and know the full situation but for us it is to love. I would be interested to hear John Hamer’s view on this as he always has great insight.

  15. Transgendered individuals deserve to be treated with respect. I for one don’t believe they “choose” to be a different sex like picking an outfit or that motives for transgendered people are sexual orientation. These are very difficult situations with biological factors at play. I would not want to judge anyone who felt gender reassignment was necessary. This is not how some super-committed gay people change the team uniform & equipment. These issues are more complex.

  16. Of course they should be treated with respect as individuals.

    But the issues are more complex from all perspectives, not only that of the individual themselves. One’s feelings of otherness, as compelling as they may be, do not remove the social and biological realities and I don’t think it is fair to expect others to make believe that those realities don’t exist.

  17. #17 “…this is extremely hateful…”

    Look, I’m not going to be politically correct about this, but I’m not that shallow. Is acceptance of this kind of thing as morally “OK” good for society? If this isn’t a mockery of the family, I don’t know what is.

    It’s fascinating how people refuse to acknowledge that free will plays a part in these gender decisions for fear of sounding judgmental. I find the degree that biology plays in gender confusion to be immaterial to my acceptance of trans-gendered people’s lifestyles as healthy and worthy of esteem. Should we accept zoophilia and consensual incest between adults into mainstream morals, if we find that human physiology influenced the behaviors? A large part of our definition of righteousness involves leaving certain desires of our bodies unsatisfied, and even overcoming those desires altogether.

    This medically and legally defined “man” (who never wanted to be male to the point of not having a uterus) has gone out of her way to grab as much spotlight and attention as possible. For what end?

  18. What I find much more squicky than F to M gives birth to baby girl is the publicity machine they have surrounded themselves with. It’s happened plenty of times before…it’s most definitely NOT a first…so why put yourself front and center?
    I find the desire to go in front of Oprah and the world saying “HEY

  19. ack! Hit return before I meant to.
    I don’t care that he’s transgendered and giving birth. I care that he’s decided to put his yet unborn daughter front and center in front of a media blitz. That’s true asshattery and exactly the opposite thing a loving mother OR father ought to be doing.

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    #22 Jett_X – I must say that I agree with you on this. I personally felt uncomfortable about the public presentation of this case, but I found it fascinating enough to post it. Cheers for the comment.

  21. #17 I think only Christ can judge and know the full situation but for us it is to love.

    Most people have accepted this type of outlook at some point when a friend or relative commits suicide. If someone I knew was considering suicide, of course I would do all I could to help them see more constructive options. I will never know what it is like to be trapped in the body of the wrong gender, but that wouldn’t stop me from trying to encourage someone to look at all the other options before undergoing a transgender procedure. If I met someone who had already done so, I would treat them with respect, of course. What I don’t see the reason to respect is transgendered persons who adopt the persona of “she-males” and live for the attention of being outwardly woman with a hidden penis. (Either financial or emotional attention). If they are truly a woman in a man’s body, then why are they not going the rest of the way to become as close to a woman as possible. Ditto the “man” who kept his uterus. I suspect a narcissistic trait if not a full blown personality disorder in many cases, although my internet link is too slow to watch the Oprah session above. Unfortunately, many medical schools are so politically correct that they are quick to group people into politically correct categories rather than to rock the boat and say that such a category may not fit. Thus, I agree that nobody is bound to accept language conventions—they change every 10 to 20 years anyway. (Also the time it takes for medical science to change their advice from one extreme to the other…i.e. hormone replacement therapy in post-menopausal women). Humor is also a tool that can be used to bridge gaps rather than divide…i.e. when we are 80 years old, all the Mr. Potato Head parts become nothing but sagging flesh anyway. (Sorry all you 80 year old bloggers!)

  22. (9) “Intersting story. I wonder what would happen if they joined the church and wanted to be sealed together; or if their child should grow up and want to be sealed to his/her parents? How does their geneology and temple work get done or does it?”

    I think the transgendered thing falls under the arm of the Proclaimation on the Family about geneder being premortal. Does that mean that Thomas was a boy in the pre-existence. Who knows? There are people that do sex changes because they’re screwed up psychologically, so I think it would have to be sorted out in the resurrection to see what gender Thomas turns out to be.

    (12) “He’s legally a man, therefore a pregnant man, in response to a couple comments up top.” The law is a human institution, and I think the draw of the article is in trying to show its miraculous nature when it truly isn’t that miraculous.

    (18) “Jeff, I must say I stand with you on this one.A s a medical student we are taught not to discriminate against patients in terms of race, gender or sexual orientation and I like to take this advice into my personal life aswell. I also feel sympathetic too Transgender people because of the discrimination they receive. We learn about transgender issues in our psychological modules. The general public is often unawares of hormonal and chromosomal abnormalities that occur in some of these patients.”

    Stephen, I can’t even imagine how hard it is to deal with something this big, be it pathological, biological, philosophical, or cultural. I worry that some people do this for reasons that are other than healthy and we perpetuate it because of political correctness. If only we could learn to love the way we ought to love, people may not feel the need to go to such extremes.

    (21) “It’s fascinating how people refuse to acknowledge that free will plays a part in these gender decisions for fear of sounding judgmental. ”

    These decisions are made with free will, yes, but the compelling emotional issues that underly that choice are much more complicated for someone who is transgendered than one who is not. It’s hard for us to relate. I wouldn’t want to put myself in a situation of judgment over someone who felt compelled to take things to this leve, especially someone who is without the light of the gospel.

    Also, while I do agree what uber-tolerance of sexual orientation/transgendered equality issues are a slippery slope, lets not equate it with something as foul as bestiality or pedophilia. We lock of people who do that latter, but should be laissez-faire with the former in their lifestyle choices. There is a difference.

  23. (26) “These decisions are made with free will, yes, but the compelling emotional issues that underly that choice are much more complicated for someone who is transgendered than one who is not. It’s hard for us to relate.”

    Not all of us deal with the same issues, and degrees of difficulty vary, but to struggle with overcoming unrighteous desires of our imperfect bodies is universal. Is it not a well accepted fact among those who are experts of such things that men’s minds and bodies are hard-wired to mate with as many women as possible? Just because we don’t know the degree of another’s temptations doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t condemn the sin. If we don’t, we trivialize the faith of those that bare their burdens righteously.

    “Also, while I do agree what uber-tolerance of sexual orientation/transgendered equality issues are a slippery slope, lets not equate it with something as foul as bestiality or pedophilia. We lock of people who do that latter, but should be laissez-faire with the former in their lifestyle choices. There is a difference.”

    You seem very confident in your placing of these sins in their proper spot on the wickedness scale. Are you really so sure that transgenders are so much less responsible for their actions than pedophiles and bestialitists (don’t even want to know if that’s a word)? I’m surprised that the willing removal of your God-given reproductive organs doesn’t strike you as at least as abhorrent as other sexual deviations. I also don’t agree with appealing to one nation’s sentencing precedents to assess the degree of sexual sin.

  24. OK. Here’s my beef with this whole thing. I am not a homophobic person. I tend to agree that some individuals are actually born gay and naturally have no sexual inclinations whatsoever towards the opposite sex. I would even be willing to concede that there are probably some individuals who are born with a good genetic argument for being a man/woman trapped in a woman’s/man’s body and thus have a good reason for wanting a sex change. Naturally, then, when I first read this story, I was willing to give this person the benefit of the doubt in his (her?) situation…until the fellow said this: “I knew I was a man on the inside, but I wanted to keep my female organs because I knew I would want to bear children at some point.” This is the most ridiculous statement I’ve ever heard. Can anyone else spot the contradiction?

  25. There are people who believe they are experts on these matters. I am not one of them. However, I have read a little, and in my job I have worked with people who are transgender. There are many different varieties of transgendered individuals. There are some who feel their body has the wrong sexual organs and they need to have them changed. There are also some who find two genders inadequate and would try to make a case for a third gender or for being able to transition back and forth between two genders. Some of these latter individuals are very convincing as both sexes. There are some who have different sex attraction, others with same sex attraction, and some that are bi-sexual or even consider themselves to be asexual (I assume they mean sexually vs. reproductively). I can’t imagine being a transgendered individual without some internal compulsion because it’s so difficult. So, I have to think this is too complex to judge. BUT, I do find people suspicious who take a difficult situation and publicize it.

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  27. Medical science can change a lot of different things. It certainly is a slippery slope. Perhaps one could argue that all ART (assisted reproductive technology) should be done away with because people who can’t reproduce “naturally” aren’t meant to. Ouch. Drawing lines is tricky business. Figuring out what’s “right” is not easy when it’s isn’t crystal clear.

    My first temptation is to get all judgmental on the judgers but then as a recovering judger myself, I’m trying to get over that sort of righteous indignation.

    As for people who take a difficult situation and publicize it, the Smarts did the same thing and for the same reason – so that it was them telling their story. Mormons don’t like it when non-Mormons try to tell others about Mormon beliefs, the first vision, the temple, etc. I hope you (the collective you) never are involved in something by your own choice or that of others which thrusts you into the media spotlight. But if you are, you’ll wish you could have your say.

    It is interesting, the people out in the world who condemn those with atypical gender and sexual orientations who end up with children who face these same struggles. They often end up having incredible love for their children’s partners and grandchildren (however they arrived). This whole situation is an opportunity for understanding and compassion. When you (the collective) get to know a person or people who struggle with gender/sexual orientation you might feel differently versus tossing out generalizations or comparing them to abusive people.

  28. I guess what disturbs me about this is that the transgender man or woman (however you view it), did it because her wife could not get pregnant. Once again, we are using technology to fulfill our desires, and is it fair to the children to put them in a situation where none would have existed? You can say that s/he could have gone out and had sex with a man, but then what man would do her the favor? We have natural aversions to things for a reason, and to pretend that its all just in the name of equality is a real reach. Oprah, you are a rich and spoiled black woman to air such a show, and really do cater to the rich white males who are injecting Europe and America with this illness. These whites are the pioneers of a new day for all of us, but you can personally leave me out of it.

  29. I’d like to add one more passing comment: Oprah, why don’t you think about the fact that one out of two black women are going through an abortion because of the poverty and racial discrimination, as well as that many women, particularly black and Hispanic have not gained the liberty of white women (though we struggle with this too) to take control of our own sexuality and make sure that the men understand that Birth Control is going to be part of it if you want me. Its all related to sexism, mysogyny, lack of education, and relgigious morality, as well as the main one: Poverty and disenfranchisement, as well as not taking personal responsibility. You should concentrate on those things, rather than the rights of some transgender who feels her/his God given right is to give birth, while the baby, as we all know, has no voice.

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