I wanted my first post on my blog to be something that truly reflects my thoughts as a man who is not just an artist, but one who is a transsexual. I’ve been thinking a lot lately about what defines a man and what defines a woman. I obviously believe that some individuals are born as the opposite gender, but I have a hard time grasping the whole gender fluidity, gender queer thing. For those who don’t really know what this means, there are some who feel they are neither gender or both. I think these individuals are not confused, but I think a lot of people try to pass off being a transsexual when they are transgeder. There is no confusion, for me, in my transsexuality. I am who I am.
I’ve heard the “surgery won’t make you a man” argument before. I agree. There is more to being a man then just having a penis, male breasts (pecs), and having a beard. It’s something deeply ingrained within you. It’s in your heart. It’s in your soul. That being said, there are things a man is incapable of doing and one of those is physically having a child. If you have any compulsion about wanting to carry your own child, to me, you are not transgendered.
Thomas Beatie argues wanting to have children is a human need. I agree. I have a son. My girlfriend gave birth to him. I want more children and I can tell you, if my girlfriend were to become infertile, I wouldn’t be carrying any child. I have no desire to physically have a child. I’ve always wanted to be a parent, but never wanted to give birth…ever. If, per chance, I couldn’t have another child with my girlfriend, we’d do what other infertile couples do. We’d adopt. There are millions of children, worldwide, who need good homes.
Yes, I have a human need to have more children, but no desire to give birth. I bet if you ask nearly any biological male who identifies as male if he’d ever consider giving birth, nearly all (if not all) would say no. It’s just not something men want to do. The male psyche isn’t capable of wanting that.
Thomas Beatie, is a professed “transsexual” man from Oregon. In my opinion, he has selfish motives behind telling the world about his pregnancy. He has selfish motives behind being pregnant. He had a “need” to give birth and this “need” made him stop taking hormones to have one child, a child he just gave birth to earlier this month. It’s convenient Beatie will be releasing a book about his experience this fall. It’s also convenient a movie will be made about his life (a documentary). In coming out with his pregnancy, Thomas Beatie has made himself open to multiple opportunities and ways to exploit his situation for money. That isn’t the only reason why Thomas is harmful to the transgendered community.
The vast majority of people still don’t get what being a transsexual means. They see some of us as crossdressers, fakers, wannabes, and mentally deranged individuals. They see us as confused. They see us as sub-human or “needing to be fixed”. Thomas Beatie has opened the entire trans community (not just transsexuals) up to more scrutiny. We’re going to have to deal with less people “getting” it. We’re going to have to deal with more people thinking this is just a phase and that all of us keep our uterus’ and want to give birth to children.
Honestly, what man wants a uterus? I don’t and many of the other transsexual men I know don’t either. Many of these individuals who are in the process of transitioning are ashamed of their feminine body parts or can’t wait to have them removed. When you’re transgendered, you have the chance to have multiple surgeries, go through all of the legal mumbo jumbo to become male, and be put on hormones. I can only understand why a transgendered man wouldn’t have one of these surgeries and that is bottom surgery. This is also known as genital reconstruction surgery.
There are many reasons not to have genital reconstruction surgery. Some of them include its massive costs (we’re looking at $80,000 or more that insurance won’t pay) and it’s lack of authenticity. Doctors struggle to make realistic male genitals and its a shame. With as advanced as medicine is, a realistic, working phallus should be easy to make. Nobody wants a deformed penis. There is no point in spending that much money to get just that. The other surgeries a transsexual man should want to have include full hysterectomy and top surgery. There is no reason not to have the female organs removed, if you think of yourself as a male. They’re also dangerous to have if you’re on testosterone because it ups the chance of having female cancer. If you see yourself as a male, they shouldn’t mean anything to you. That’s the big difference. Thomas is professing to be a transsexual (he says he’s male), but really his actions show he is more genderqueer or another part of the transgender community. That is fine, if he were not confusing society about transsexuality, in the process.
Thomas Beatie should have gone to a psychologist to get approved for his testosterone. The Harry Benjamin Code of Gender Dysphoria states this is a necessity. This is to ensure that the individual won’t want to go back to being female for any reason. I assume that giving birth is one of them. Thomas Beatie should have seen a psychologist for three months or more before being approved for hormone treatments. While I don’t think we should be defining the limits of gender, we should be conscious of how our actions affect others along the trans spectrum. Sadly, I don’t think Mr. Beatie cares.
Since Thomas Beatie was able to give birth, he was either deceptive to his psychologist in his desire to keep his reproductive organs, just in case he wanted to give birth, or he didn’t have a very good psychologist. It is a psychologist’s duty to ask these questions and determine if the individual is truly needing to be on hormones for gender dysphoria. Gender dysphoria is a persistent need to be seen, viewed, and appear as the opposite gender from which the individual is born. I was born technically female. Looking back, it is easy to see where I have always thought of myself as a male. Today, I can fully admit that and admit I’m incapable of thinking the way a woman thinks, understanding a woman’s mind or any of those maternal desires. I just don’t get it. The big concern is the health implications of keeping female genitalia, giving birth, yet being on testosterone. Those are big concerns.
Selfishly, Thomas Beatie has pushed back understanding of transgenderism. He has made those of us in the transsexual community more vulnerable to attack. He has made us look like freaks. We’re real people with real emotions. Had Thomas Beatie just kept his mouth shut and had his baby, no one would have cared. It’s his exploitation of the situation that bothers me. It’s his desire to force people into accepting his risky, potentially health harming behaviors. The rest of us are just trying to live our lives and just one action, the words of Thomas Beatie, put all of us at risk, closing doors and bridges of understanding we’ve been working so hard to create, thanks to his selfish motivation.