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]
That’s so messed up! A true FTM should be either male, or female. It’s not right to keeping going back to one, or the other. Not if’s they’re a true FTM! He shouldn’t be labeled as one if he isn’t! Sounds to me like he just wants attention and money. That’s so wrong and I’m sorry the FTM is getting a bad rep for this! Everyone else shouldn’t have to suffer for his actions!
There are some people who fall into gray areas and that’s okay, but they don’t usually identify as FTM and say they are a man only to go back to being a woman. It’s his flip flopping of genders and his contradictory language in a variety of interviews he’s done
On 20/20: I’ve always felt like a male. That’s why I transitioned.
In a UK Guardian Interview when pregnant w/ Susan: Thomas transitioned so he could marry his now wife, Nancy.
On 20/20: I’m her father. I’ve never felt maternal.
After Susan’s birth in an interview: Thomas insinuates he’s a male mother and the one disappointment he feels is not being able to breast feed, but then “a lot of other mothers don’t.”
These things are what make me upset about this!
Ummm. I was suspecting such as the entire world is googling for Thomas Beatie and landing to my blog site as I have a post on his pregnancy.
Anyways, let’s see what happens next!
Good or bad…..I am none to judge.
And yes, thanks for posting the post. It told me what’s to expect next.
I am a TS, and remaining anonymous (my email address would out me and outing someone is not fair).
My comment is this: There is no “tramsgender community”. This is a myth held by people that need an anhor for their own identity. It functions as a religious crutch. But it’s not real – we are all different, not just unique as individuals, but as trans people our physical, legal, and emotional issues are all so unique that is is difficult to find two TS people that relate at a deep level.
The only issue with Thomas Beattie is how public this thing has become. To the publc, Thomas is a freak in a freakshow, nothing more. This is the transsexual’s biggest problem: the sensationalization of our existence.
Thomas’ biggest problem is how he’s exploiting his children. If he was really that worried he’d say, well I’m just going to stop all this to protect my kids.
$300,000 for baby Susan’s first photo in People Magazine is just downright ridiculous.
I did a google search on this Thomas Beattie, because I wanted to know what others are saying about her. I’m a female…born and raised that way. I am also a mother. I am one for equal rights for all. However, a lot of us natural women are hopping mad at Thomas Beattie. It is okay to want to be identified as one gender, but don’t go back and forth. If you want to be a man, then be a man. A man doesn’t give birth to a child.
What was/is the hold-up with Beattie getting the final work done on her body? Is it that she still wants to be able to have children? I just don’t get it and I hope someone from your community can help us understand a bit more.
Honestly, many of us who are transgendered don’t get it either. Many of us have studied things that Beatie has said, and some of us (many) are convinced she isn’t really transgendered. For instance, in an article in the UK Guardian, it says:
“Beatie was born female but underwent sex change surgery in order to wed his partner Nancy legally.”
It sounds pretty much like Beatie just took testosterone and legally changed his birth certificate and identification so he could legally marry his wife. If he gave that reason to most doctors, they’d never have given him Testosterone.
Additionally, I don’t believe Thomas Beatie was honest about telling his doctor he wanted to keep his female organs and vagina for reproductive purposes. No self-respecting doctor would give a person testosterone if they were just going to come off it and resume activities consistent with being female. Beatie said he always planned to keep his lady parts so he could have kids, but I doubt he told his doctor that.
You have to be deemed fit to receive testosterone and I don’t believe Beatie is fit, nor does my girlfriend who is a psychology student. No self-respecting doctor would hand out testosterone to someone like Beatie without being told some sort of lie (or omitting truths).
Men don’t have babies. Nearly all of us true FTMs, true transgendered people agree. We don’t want kids (at least not out of our bodies). We don’t want to flip flop genders. So, I guess the only explanation I can give is that Thomas Beatie obviously lied to his doctor and should NEVER have been given testosterone to begin with.
I don’t believe he’s transgendered. That’s the only logic I have to explain this.
Your comment “People can eventually understand that transgendered people feel like the opposite gender from the gender they are born” would be more accurate if it read “People can eventually understand that ‘transsexual’ people feel like the opposite gender from the gender they are born” because not all transgender people feel like the opposite gender. That’s misinformation.
Actually, using transsexual wouldn’t be accurate either, since textbook definitions leave both terms in very gray areas. I don’t like the term transsexual. I feel it has had so many negative connotations associated with it. That is why I use the term transgendered.
It isn’t misinformation if that is how people understand transgenderism. There are new names to go beyond the “gender spectrum” such as gender queer or non-conforming to the gender binary system, which explain things beyond male/female. Ultimately, by separating things into different titles,boxes, etc. it does make them easier to understand. If a person realizes that someone trans feels they are the opposite gender (male feels female and female feels male) and someone gender queer feels they are in some gray area gender wise, it’s a lot easier to get than lumping everything together.
I’ve found that transgendered is used a lot differently in the U.S. and in Europe/Asia/Beyond transsexual is used in lieu of how people in the U.S. use the term transgender. I’ve been using the term since transgender was used to describe someone like me. In the past few years, I’ve heard more and more trans guys switching over to use transsexual exclusively, but I’ve seen the two terms used so interchangeably online and off that the two terms (while some believe they do have differences and are almost militant in how they have become used) can mean a variety of things to a variety of people. I just go by how it was used when I was first “coming out” of the transgendered closet.
Hey Dominick, I went looking for the Thomas Beatty interview and found you. Interesting post. To be perfectly honest, I find your position on T.B’s life and choices incredibly frightening. Your worries and words sound a hec of a lot like the same judgmental shit that’s been hurled upon the trans community (and others) for eons: closed minded, protective of the minor bits of privilege you’ve gained in your own struggle, and scared as all get out. T.B’s doing exactly what you say you claim to support: “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.” He’s living his truth, dude. Without shame, with a lot of courage and he’s really smart too. He’s not damaging the trans struggle with his life choices, he’s not insulting or judging people who choose a different path, he’s doing what’s right for him. Don’t hold people down just to get ahead. We need to hold each other up.
Yeah, and getting paid hundreds of thousands of dollars to EXPLOIT HIS LIFE and HIS CHILDREN. If he wants to get himself pregnant, by all means, do it, but why do it at the expense of kids?
He’s already claiming they have to hide inside, with the curtains drawn, but then he goes out and does more interviews for more money ($300,000 for his first child’s baby picture from People magazine is sickening).
What kind of life is this for his children? He has them all holed up with no place to go and he’s wondering why he has to hide.
Look, it’s one thing to pursue happiness. It’s another thing to exploit your supposed happiness for profit. I don’t pretend to understand “T.B.”. I also don’t believe that it’s cool to say you’re male when its obvious you’re not. Call yourself “gender queer” or “between genders” but don’t make life harder for those of us who are really trying to become (or have become) male.
YES, life has gotten harder for us truly transgendered guys. I know MANY guys who have had to hear hateful, cruel things said about transgendered people by those talking about the “T.B.” situation. People have said to me personally, “Why bother transitioning? Aren’t all trans guys like Thomas? You’re just wanna keep your baby making parts, anyway.”
No, we are NOT all like Thomas. In fact, guys who identify as trans and take hormones should want to be the opposite gender not keep parts of their old gender. There is NOTHING confusing about that. Throw in Thomas and everyone gets confused and we pay the price for him confusing everyone.
If Thomas wants to be happy, he needs to get his story straight. Is he a mom or dad? He’s called himself both in interviews. Does he want male or female parts? If he has both then by all means, be between genders, but don’t claims ot be “male” if you don’t want to fully be male.
I can understand not fully transitioning for health reasons of surgery risks, but just so you can still get knocked up? You want your cake and to eat it, too. You wanna be a male and a female. That’s fine, but don’t try to pass yourself off as male then. Men don’t have/want baby makers unless they are MTFs or between genders.
My point is Thomas is doing this for money, publicity, probably even to be “shocking”. I found him to be incredibly fake, perhaps even loopy in his interview with Barbara Walters. I also wouldn’t be surprised if he and his wife don’t make it through this. She’s exploiting the situation, too. If he just did this to be happy then TURN OFF THE CAMERAS, and WORRY ABOUT the KIDS. Be happy, but not at the expense of others.
It’s Tray here again. I can’t help but respond again. I find your posts so full of bullshit, privilege and hate. I hope you never have to suffer the kind of dark hatred you are putting out in the world about this.
If your concern was truly about the exploitation of the Beattie family, then that’s one thing. If you are envious or judgmental of the “hundreds of thousands of dollars” you seem to know he’s making off of his interview, that’s another thing. I would add that perhaps neither of these things are any of your business in the first place. And, by the way, Thomas Beattie’s responses in the interview was about everything but shock value. His words, his terms, his approach and delivery were all quite humble, honest, direct and intelligently about his understanding of gender that challenged the whole “natural gender” debate. (I, myself, don’t really believe in “nature” when it comes to gender). But what I’m hearing you say, over and over and over again is that your main issue with Thomas Beattie is, in fact, his gender.
You have a problem with his gender. You find it confusing. You think it’s holding you back. That it’s holding back the trans movement. That’s what you keep ranting about. You’ve become the new gender police. That’s fucking scarey, dude. And wrong.
I guess you’ve forgotten that gender is something we all make up as we go along. All of us. Remember how you grew up as not “naturally” male and realized that you were male and then shifted your life to become male? I’m pretty certain that society wasn’t holding your hand as you figured your way through that journey. I’m also pretty sure that most of the world still wouldn’t understand your gender choices as “natural”. You didn’t fit in so you made it your own. Way to go! Gender is the new fashion! That’s totally cool and right and amazing. Now lets allow Thomas Beattie and the rest of us do our thing. Gender is not always about oppositions (male vs. female). And, the less oppositional gender becomes, the room there will be for people like you and me. SO MAKE ROOM.
Again, you’re blog reeks of your power and your fear; of your small strides of privilege and power being threatened. You’re scared, Dominick. You’re really scared. Come on, be a “real man” and be honest about your real feelings. What’s underneath your need to hang desperately onto your anger about Thomas Beattie’s gender? Your need to hold others down to exercise your power reads loud and clear. You are exposing your own self-loathing, fear and prejudice. Your words, your attitude, your take on gender are all violent. Keep your violence off our bodies and do what makes you happy without harming the rest of us. I think that’s what you advised Thomas Beattie to do?
Stop policing gender. It’s really gross of you.
ps- You’re right, you SHOULD put “judgmental prick” into you title.
I’m not saying anything new. Many other transgendered men are saying the same thing. I’ve heard the stories of many men in my FTM groups who are facing more oppression due to the Thomas Beattie affair. Many fear Beattie could affect transgendered laws, for the worst. I guess, for that, only time will tell, but it doesn’t stop people from hearing terrible things about transgenderism at school, at the bus station, at the doctor’s office and nearly anywhere else.
People say a lot of mean things about this when they don’t think transgendered people are around, or even when they do. The vast majority of us don’t believe Thomas is doing this with good intentions and the vast majority of us (that I know, at least) feel he makes transgendered people look like money-grubbing, exploitative people.
I am not self-loathing. In fact, I’m quite happy with who I am. I don’t need anyone to hold my hand and I don’t need to be paid to tell people about who I am. I’m comfortable in my own shoes. I would NEVER put my children out there for the public to abuse, make fun of, or pity. I don’t even use my son’s real name if I happen to mention him in a blog post, on my site (which isn’t that often). I feel, as a parent, it is my responsibility to protect my child no matter the cost.
My issue isn’t as much with who Thomas is or what he’s doing in his private life. It is this:
A. Check other interviews – Thomas flip flops on his positions…First he was upset he couldn’t breast feed, then he said he “never” ever wanted to breast feed in another interview. That’s not a job for a father (his thoughts not mine). In another interview, he called himself a male mother, then on 20/20 he insisted he is not Susan’s mother.He’s her father.
Then there was the interview that stated he “transitioned to be able to legally marry his wife”. That was the reason listed for the transition. On 20/20 he claimed it was because he always felt male. He also said he always intended to keep his womb to have biological kids himself, but on 20/20 it was changed to where he said that he only had the babies because Nancy couldn’t have children.
He changes his story from interview to interview. He needs to get his story straight. If you did some research on this, you’d see the inconsistencies in his stories. Check the UK Guardian story on him, for examples in contrast to the 20/20 interview to see how full of BS he is. Other stories about him are quite inconsistent, too.
B. Thomas shouldn’t have gone on television if his life and what he is doing is no business of anyone else. By going public, he opened himself and his family up to all of the attention he’s getting, negative or not. I’d much rather he HADN’T gone on television. By all means, live your life, but why expose it to the entire world?
It’s like I said to an FTM friend of mine, ‘if mid-parade an orgy broke out amongst gay or lesbian individuals and it was being aired on television, people would be disgusted. They’d believe all gay and lesbian people were out having orgies. The vast majority of GLB folks not out orgy-ing would feel this was majorly negative press towards the GLB community.’
What Thomas is doing is kind of like that orgy. He’s bringing vastly negative attention to transgenderism. Like the GLB orgy folk, if they’d kept it in the home and off the television, it’d be better for all in the GLB community. Who cares if people orgy in the privacy of their own home? Just don’t bring it into my world if it is going to affect my world (or those I care about’s world) negatively. So, why is it not logical that those of us in the trans community are feeling like this is bringing negative press on us?
I’m honest and you say my honestly is hateful and prejudicial? Why, because I don’t think Thomas should have the right to exploit his kids and the trans community? Suddenly, because I give reasons for what I think is wrong about what he is doing, you think it’s my being insecure or unsure about my own gender. Anyone can tell you, I’m about the most masculine person they know. I’m sure of my gender, and the fact you have no other argument but to bash me personally for my beliefs or feelings says quite a bit about you.
Notice I didn’t mention or say one bad thing about the other transgendered (FTM) men who have been known to give birth. They did it in the privacy of their own homes/lives. They didn’t come out to tell the world “look at me, I got knocked up.” That’s their business and though I would never have kids myself, it is not my place to say whether what they did is right or wrong. I have no issues with these people. They aren’t profiting off their children.
You insinuate I’m jealous of Thomas and his money, but I would rather be POOR and live a poor life then make money by profiting off my child. I could never take money for that, ever. I believe in more honest forms of hard work to support my family (which I do).
I think it is JUST as exploitative of Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes for selling their daughter’s photo for excessive amounts of money. I don’t discriminate on this issue by the gender/sexual orientation of the couple. Wrong is wrong is wrong Beattie, Cruise, or otherwise.
Dear god, whats wrong with you people, are you the fucking FTM police?!?! Just because he is FTM, doesnt mean he cannot or shouldnt have a baby if thats what he wishes! He sees himself as man and feels secure in that identity, so secure that he can view himself as a pregnant man. He’s NOT flitting between one gender and the other, how’s he doing that?!
WHY ARE FTM PEOPLE SO MEAN ABOUT HIM?!?! Give it up already and be NICE to someone in your own community. And yes, before you have a go at me, my partner is FTM, so I do sort of know what Im talking about. Just because you would not personally have a baby, that doesnt mean you should judge another persons decision. Why not unite in the face of criticism? Why are people in Thomas’ own community turning against him?!
Maybe because he’s exploiting his kids for money? Maybe because he makes us all look like freaks. Maybe because it appears he’s just doing it for attention and money?
Maybe because FTMs are now facing excessive criticism in their every day lives due to Thomas and his “happiness”. Maybe because he’s a hypocrite?
He’s so secure in his role as a man that he once referred to himself as a “male mother”. No, not a father. A Mother. Then, in another interview he is steadfast in saying he’s the father not the mother. Just friggin pick a story man! Stop changing it every twelve seconds. I don’t see why people don’t see his exploitative nature and his constant hypocrisy?
As you notice, I have not much to say about the actual posters on this thread, so not sure why you’d thought I’d start with you. My main criticism is with Thomas and what he’s doing to the FTM community, to his kids, etc. If you’re FTM yourself, dating an FTM, etc. fine, but nothing is going to change my opinion that he’s an exploitative hypocrite.
Just because you say you’re something doesn’t mean you are. Actions speak louder than words and Thomas’ actions seem to show that he’s a woman who wanted to marry a woman so he tried to beat the system.
Liars often tell different stories (like Thomas first said he transitioned to marry his wife, Nancy – then he changed his story to “I’ve always felt like a man.” – check the UK Guardian Interview then Barbara Walters for differences). People who tell the truth only have one story/one truth. Thomas has many and that is why he’s bad for the FTM community. That is why many of us dislike him.
Im doing a Psychology Review over Thomas Beatie and I was wondering if someone has any Psych terminology that he is dealing with.
The only thing I could come up with is that he is going through a gender identity crisis,since he is so confused about wanting to be a male but wanting to be a mother.
I’d call it beyond a gender identity crisis. He’s a liar who only transitioned to legally marry his girlfriend, but kept his girl parts to have a baby. He probably has something like Borderline Personality Disorder.
you said in a comment: “No, we are NOT all like Thomas.”
So why does Thomas Beatie having a baby threaten you?
Im really disappointed that some transpeople attack Beatie and anyone else that doesnt fit into their rigid gender ideas.
Its seems like people start out their transition with doctors telling them they must be and act a certain way to recieve their treatment. This upsets many at the start of their transition.
They go through transition and then start acting the exact way their doctors did!
and in another post [the letter to barbara walters] you said:
“I know that there is always room for diversity, so why not balance out the negativity of Thomas’ story with the positive spin on the life of someone like me, who has truly fought to be who they are and doesn’t want anything but equal treatment and compassion for who I have become.”
read what you wrote. the bold parts.
the middle part? what negativity? giving birth to a child for your wife because she cant, is a negative thing?
“He probably has something like Borderline Personality Disorder.”
do you know what borderline personality disorder is?
Have you not read my posts on Thomas thoroughly? I’m more concerned he brought it out into the media. He did it to make money not to educate the public, and wow he got what he wanted.
I’m more concerned about his children, whom are going to have to live with the effects of their parent’s greed.
I have heard of transmen having kids before, but none of them make themselves a circus act. That’s bad for the entire trans community. If he came out and was like, I’m just doing this to educate. I don’t want press for $$ I wouldn’t have cared. I would prefer he’d done it because he wanted people to know about diversity.
I also am troubled because he was on testosterone, which is dangerous for any child. His child could have had severe problems, even his doctor said that. I don’t think he did this for his wife or to even have a child. He loved the sensationalism of it all, as seen by him going out and having a second right away.
I think that all of this is crazy and people shouldn’t give a rats ass about this mother/father-man/woman.
I mean he cant be a man if he is carrying a child,he can’t be a woman if he wants to be a man. Its so confusing he should just join the freaking circus.I have no problem with transgendered people at all,everyone has the right to do as they wish but this man has taken it to far by taking his childs life and endangering it.He could have made his children severly handicaped.There is no need to put your childs life in dangers way.If he was planning on having children he should have gotten off the testosterone and prepared for pregnancy!
We are noone to judge this only God can do that.
If i sounded like i judges him,Im sorry and its not like my opinion counts.