Yes, the pregnant man *is* a man: Basic Etiquette

I'm sure you've all heard of Thomas Beatie by now. If you've been hiding under a rock for the past while, Beatie is a transman from Oregon who happens to be pregnant.

Now, apparently, this is front page news. It's even made it's way to Oprah, where Thomas talked openly about his past and his transition.

Unsurprisingly, transphobia has once again reared it's ugly head. Numerous sources across the web have taken this as an opportunity to remind us all that trans people are either confused, perverted, or mentally ill. Others have pointed out that obviously, he can't be trans, because he hasn't undergone the full process of transition.

Now, I'd like to point out a few small details that these people seem to miss, in no particular order:

  1. Gender identity appears to have a biological basis.
  2. Gender Dysphoria is not reliant on undergoing surgery
    • A transsexual person is a transsexual person, regardless of whether or not they've transitioned.
    • Many FtMs don't fully transition. The results tend to leave something to be desired (like functionality) and many choose to wait. Other factors, such as money, health issues, and, like Beatie, the desire to have a child, also come into play. remember, Mrs. Beatie had a hysterectomy about 20 years ago. I'm sure that played a part in Thomas' decision not to undergo genital surgery.
  3. "Man" and "Woman" are gendered terms
    • The terms "man" and "male" are not interchangeable. "Man" refers to a person's gender identity. It merely happens to be the identity most commonly found among those who are biologically male. Beatie's genitalia doesn't come into play when we're talking about gendered terms.
  4. Transitioning is not a spur-of-the-moment decision
    • Prior to taking hormones, one must undergo either surgery or several months of living as a member of the sex they are transitioning to. Beatie has been on hormones for at least 8 years, meaning that if he weren't sure of his gender identity by now, he has had plenty of opportunity to stop taking hormones and live as a woman. Obviously, he hasn't done so, so one can assume that he isn't unsure of his gender identity, and that he does identify as a man, just as he's displayed for years.
  5. The urge to procreate is not solely a "feminine" desire
    • Yes, he is pregnant. No, this is not something that is typical, though he is not the first FtM transsexual to become pregnant. Some state that his desire to have a child is a sign that he's simply confused about his gender identity. I'd say, it's a sign that he desires to reproduce, regardless of what steps he must take to do so.
  6. Using the Proper pronouns is a matter of basic respect
    • Obviously, some people out there have no respect for anyone who isn't a white, cisgendered, heterosexual Christian, but the rest of you really should know better. The English language has this thing called gendered pronouns. Unsurprisingly, gendered pronouns tend to relate to a person's gender. Not a difficult concept, though some seem to find this overly problematic.
    • Using "it" is just plain rude. You refer to inanimate objects as "it." You don't refer to people as "it."
    • Using quotes around gendered pronouns is also rude. I'm sure you've seen it- articles and blogs which use quotation marks to ensure that the reader knwos that the author is merely humouring us by using the appropriate pronouns and gendered terms.

      No, it does not make you look witty. It makes you look like a fuckwad with no respect.
In closing, I'd like to wish the Beaties the best of luck through the pregnancy, and remind anyone who happens to read this that, yes, basic respect applies to everyone, even those of us who's sex and gender aren't congruent.

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