So, first Thomas Beatie had to go and have one child and now he’s having another. The issue I have with this is the backlash this is going to have on the transgender community. Let me go back a bit, to explain this to those who might not know who Thomas Beatie is and why he has the ability to affect an entire community of individuals.
Thomas Beatie is someone who has taken the steps to legally change their name, physiological body characteristics and nearly everything but their female reproductive organs and vagina to reflect the fact that this person is, in their words, male. Thomas Beattie is said to be transgender, identifying as male. Essentially, Thomas Beatie is supposed to be just like me (born bio female, but taking/took steps to legally become and live as male). However, Thomas Beatie isn’t like me. Thomas Beatie has reversed the “becoming a male” process, in order to utilize his female reproductive organs and have not one, but two children.
I know this sounds confusing because it is. It’s confusing to many of us who are transsexuals, too. First, let me explain that some people believe they are between genders. Some people don’t believe in the gender binary system. These people aren’t trying to make a spectacle, nor are they claiming to be something they aren’t. That’s one of the reasons why I have such a problem with Thomas Beatie. If he wants to look like a guy, with a beard, but still have kids, that’s fine, but don’t say you’re a male transsexual, because male transsexuals typically don’t have kids through their own bodies. They just don’t. Those of us who are FTM (and identify as either transgender or male) and are legally becoming male nearly all agree on this point. Many of us also agree that Thomas Beatie has the potential to do IRREPARABLE harm to our community and the potential for acceptance and equality.
See, this is what it boils down to. People are entitled to be happy and live their lives the way they see fit and/or be who they are as long as that doesn’t affect others negatively. The transgender community has long made strides towards acceptance and equality. Slowly but surely, we’ve been getting there. People have been learning to accept us. It’s a slow and grueling, painstaking process. People are able to get the concept of what being transgender is and means, but Thomas Beatie has bounced back and forth between the process, to the point where the average person simply cannot comprehend who or what he/she is.
I don’t have to tell you that acceptance is the first step and equality comes thereafter. Without acceptance there can be no equality. I want to be treated equally. I want the same equal rights and protections as other Americans, but the possibility of such equality and such protections is tipping in the balance thanks to Beatie and his confusing decisions. I don’t want this to tip in the wrong direction, because that truly means we’re taking strides back…not forward.
In a split second, the media circus surrounding Thomas Beatie could destroy years of hard work and building bridges between the transgender minority and the majority. The fact that he seems to be doing this for publicity’s sake is even more painful for those of us, who are truly transgender, to watch. Seriously, look at what the fundamentalist right has done to gays and lesbians. Can you imagine their reaction to this? I cringe to think of all of the possible, destructive messages they will be spreading about the transgender community, all thanks to Thomas Beatie.
My question is, why? Is it worth it to break down an entire community Thomas? I know you got paid by Getty for images of you while pregnant and with your daughter. I know you got paid for interviews, to be in a documentary and you’ll be making profits from the new book you’re set to release next week. I guess all this must be worth it. All this must be worth destroying and affecting the lives of millions of Americans not asking for notoriety or money…just asking to live normal, healthy, equal, and accepted lives. I guess it must be worth it to destroy all the hard work of transgender advocates, by confusing everyone, with your twisted logic of what it means to be male, what it means to be transgender, and what it means to be a father.
Advocates on Beatie’s side claim being a parent is a human need. I agree. I have one son. I want more children. I, however, will NEVER be having a child through my body. I’m a man. Why would I want to have a child? If my girlfriend couldn’t have children we would do what other couples who cannot have children do. We’d adopt. Biological connection does NOT make a parent, especially with millions of children in foster homes and orphanages around the world. It’s plain selfishness, in my opinion, but Thomas Beattie doesn’t care what this is doing to others…or what this will do to his own children once they become old enough to understand the controversy. All he cares about is what he can gain from this and gain he has.
People can eventually understand that transgender people feel like the opposite gender from the gender they are born. So, a person born a female feels male and thus doesn’t want to be seen or treated as female. That makes sense. It makes sense to me and it might not be understood completely by others, but it is not as complicated to “get” as many make it out to be.
What most people don’t get is someone taking the steps to be a man only to back track to be a woman by coming off hormones, having kids, then going back to being a man again. It confuses them and all of us who aren’t confusing (us transgender folk unlike Beattie) become confusing to them. I don’t want people to keep telling me, I’ll probably just want to go back to female to pop out a few kids, because that isn’t me. That isn’t me. I don’t want that. BUT…because of Thomas Beatie people think transgender people are all CONFUSED, and most of us aren’t.
I can’t say much more than I have. It makes me mad to think about all of the money Thomas Beattie is making off the suffering of others. So, please, don’t judge those of us who are transgender by him. Judge us by who we are. Most of us aren’t like him and most of us agree that he truly is not a part of a community that just wants one thing…equality.
[tags]Thomas Beattie, Thomas Beatie, male mother, transgender, pregnancy, kids, parent, birth[/tags]