Transgender men's self-representations of bearing children post-transition
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Since reports of Thomas Beatie’s pregnancy appeared in the media in 2008, the visibility of transgender men having children post-transition has increased considerably. Whilst this visibility, it may be argued, has attracted negative attention to transgender men who choose to bear a child (and transgender men more broadly), it may also be argued that representations of transgender men bearing children have usefully drawn attention to the complex negotiations that transgender men undertake in having children. At the heart of these negotiations lies what is often framed as a competition between transgender men’s masculinity, and their undertaking of a role historically undertaken by people who identify as women (i.e., child bearing). Yet what is repeatedly demonstrated in transgender men’s own self-representations of their pregnancies post-transition, is that they are very much men, even if their masculinity is placed in question by a society that equates child bearing with women. The present chapter takes transgender men’s self-representations as its starting place in seeking to elaborate how such men reconcile their masculinity with child bearing.
Chapter reproduced here with permission from the publisher.