Oprah Winfrey aired her exclusive People Magazine interview with "The World's First Pregnant Man" on April 3rd. Pregnant man Thomas Beatie was born a female whose birth name was Tracy Lagondino before it was legally changed.
The buzz in the blogosphere and on Oprah's message boards after the show aired was that the "Pregnant Man" episode created a low point for the Oprah Winfrey show and set the tone for a Jerry Springer type media circus. Some viewers also stated their beliefs that the pregnancy of Thomas Beattie who was born a female and is a now a transgender man was a hoax and not newsworthy because women get pregnant and have babies everyday. Thomas Beatie stated, "I see pregnancy as a process and it doesn't define who I am. Ironically, being pregnant doesn't make me feel any more female or feminine."
Thomas Beatie's sex change surgery involved chest reconstruction and testosterone therapy, but he chose to keep his female reproductive organs.Though he was legally a man, when the couple decided to have children he stopped taking male hormones and began getting his period again.
Beatie was then easily able to conceive a child using donor sperm, without fertility treatments. After losing a life-threatening initial pregnancy, with triplets, he and wife Nancy are expecting a healthy baby girl in July, he wrote in The Advocate, which shows a shirtless photo of him with a baby bump at 22 weeks.
He plans to continue living as a man as his pregnancy becomes increasingly obvious to the world. "Despite the fact that my belly is growing with a new life inside me, I am stable and confident being the man that I am," he wrote in The Advocate.
Despite discrimination from doctors,
some of whom refused to provide medical care for the pregnant man, as
well as questions about how the baby might be affected by having a
father for a mother, Beatie seems to think whatever obstacles his
family might face are well worth it. "I will be my daughter's father and Nancy will be her mother," he said. "We will be a family." source
Many Oprah fans have vowed never to watch the show again.
DSNYFAN02 wrote on the Oprah message boards.
I was in the studio audience for this show, and I have to say I felt like I was watching the taping of an episode of Jerry Springer, or Maury Povitch (who's your Daddy?, no wait, he's your Mommy!). What the heck were the producers thinking? Must be sweeps week. Thomas and Nancy were there to promote his new book, nothing else. No matter how much testosterone she took, Thomas was born a female, and genetically will always be female. A hormonally-challenged pregnant female? Not newsworthy. Thomas told his story as if he and Nancy were forced to announce the pregnancy against their wishes, and would suffer and dread any additional publicity. Yeah, right. In the few days since the taping, I've learned that Thomas initiated the uproar by posting an announcement that he is the "World's First Pregnant Man" on Advocate.com. And, prior to his surgeries, Thomas, then Tracy, was a major and outspoken lesbian activist in Hawaii. Oprah herself mentioned their upcoming interview in People magazine. Serveral times during the taping, Nancy referred to Thomas's soon to be published book. This just reeks of a self-promoting publicity stunt. Sorry. My family and I have waited a very long time to attend the Oprah show, and we left after the taping feeling stunned and slightly disgusted.
Blogger Sandra Rose criticized the show calling it "Oprah Puts on a Freak Show" and wrote the following on her blog sandrarose.com.
Oprah Winfrey featured transsexual Thomas Beattie, who is 5 months pregnant, and his “wife” on her show yesterday. I shook my head as Oprah fed into the couple’s delusions that Beattie was a pregnant man. Over and over Oprah repeated (for the benefit of Beattie’s psyche) that Beattie was a man and she incorrectly stated that Beattie had a penis. In fact, Beattie’s vagina is intact as are her female reproductive organs. Beattie has no penis.
In his interview for The Oprah Winfrey Show, to be broadcast in the US tonight, Mr Beatie reveals that, as a female called Tracy Lagondino, he used to date men in his teens. Before having gender reassignment surgery, Miss Lagondino was encouraged to model by her dad and even became a Miss Hawaii Teen USA finalist. She had always felt male however and was apparently shocked by her physical changes during puberty. In her 20s she became more masculine, had a lesbian relationship and researched what it meant to be a transgender male.She began taking testosterone with the help of a physician, and met the woman who was later to become Mr Beatie's wife, Nancy.He is now legally male after having his breasts surgically removed but making the decision to keep his female reproductive organs."I wanted to have a child one day," he told Oprah. "I didn't know how. It was just a dream."He conceived through donor sperm as Mrs Beatie was unable to, having suffered severe endometriosis and undergone a hysterectomy."I have a very stable male gender identity," he said. "I see pregnancy as a process, and it doesn't define who I am. It's not a male or female desire to want to have a child…it's a human desire."I'm a person, and I have the right to have my own biological child."An article written by Mr Beatie last month, in which he was pictured topless with a swollen belly, made headlines around the world. The news triggered heated discussion among ethicists and family groups. Armen Hareyan, publisher and CEO of eMaxHealth, an independent health news website, said: "As a Christian I believe this is morally wrong. I feel that this is just too far and that they are trying to do an experiment with the child.
"If they wanted to have a child, they could take an infant from an orphanage. They should not be doing this." source