I need to start writing again. So, below is my response to Jill Wagner's Out on the Town blog entry on a pregnant man
(Jill, this comment is not an attack on you, noting your bravery in sharing your gut response to this situation and your stance as a queer (and trans) youth advocate. Thomas Beatie obviously causes us all to question gender role issues. Please view it as a continuation of the conversation, and possibly a bit of devil's advocacy--Scratch that--trans-advocacy.)
Queer. But not cheating. How smart and loving to have the foresight, in the middle of an intensely personal, emotional and physical transition, to plan for children.
I appreciate the gut response of awe and amazement. Obviously this situation is nowhere near the norm. But since when has the queer community been about endorsing the norm?
Please consider the ignorance and offensiveness of the below:
"If she identifies as a lesbian and goes to the effort to legally register as a domestic partner, doesn't she give up the chance to bear children? Isn't it philosophically anathema to being lesbian?"
I know, I know. How horribly anti-feminist, anti-queer, anti-woman to even suggest such a thing. Can you imagine a queer-friendly blogger putting such a thing in writing?
Imagine reading this blog entry from the perspective of someone who doesn't conform to society's "normal" gender roles. Oh, that's right. You don't have to imagine. Lesbians (and gay men and bisexual people) don't typically conform to those established gender role norms (that whole same-gender-loving thing).
I let my imagination run wild here. I'm not a lesbian, but I imagine being the parent of a lesbian. When a daughter comes out, I might wonder if I'm going to miss out on having grandchildren. Then I hear about Melissa Etheridge and her partner (former?--I don't really keep up with it) have children with the help of David Crosby. Once over the shock of perpetuating David Crosby's genes, I imagine the elation of discovering the possibility that my child, in spite of her gender-abnormal situation, could one day also bear a child with David Crosby's help (or maybe some other donor). What a moment of awe, confusion, clarity, and optimism!
Now I imagine being a teen "girl", torn between the desire for family and my real identity as a boy. I imagine the relief, upon hearing the news about Thomas Beatie, that I don't have to choose between being myself and bearing my own children. Especially after SRS to bring my physical body inline with my gender, is a Caesarian section at all "unnatural"?
Thomas Beatie's story is a cause for celebration. His bravery in going public is phenomenal. How many confused or distraught teens and adults will hear this story and find a reason to be proud in the face of trans-phobia, rejection, ridicule, and cruelty? How many lives will Thomas Beatie save?
Her "Out" column today
for the Spokane Review
elaborated on her thoughts. I encourage you to read it.