It takes an enormous amount of effort, time and resources to get the casual observer to consider you as a member of the opposite sex. Those wishing to undergo the several procedures that take many years are sent for psychological evaluation to assure that no one undertakes this process without the approval of someone with a doctor’s degree and the ability to prescribe medication.
The government can award this effort by legally reassigning the gender on legal documents. Several decades since “sex change operations” have morphed to gender reassignment procedures, going from male to female and vice-versa has become common-place. But now, there’s a new frontier.
Thomas Beatie, whose birth name I could not find, is a “transgender female” who has the appearance of a male, but the reproductive system of a female, and to prove it, she’s having a baby. In order to accomplish this gift that most women have, but no man will ever know, the patient had to go off of the hormone treatment for a number of months. In her own words:
While reading this adventure in biology, I was somewhat disturbed on several levels, and I wasn’t the only one. Ms. Beatie’s brother apparently had a similar reaction. Again, in her own words:
“When my brother found out about my loss, he said, ‘It's a good thing that happened. Who knows what kind of monster it would have been.’”
“Receptionists have laughed at us. Friends and family have been unsupportive; most of Nancy’s family doesn’t even know I’m transgender”. Beatie write, the first doctor she consulted, “told me to shave my facial hair.”
A lot of effort went into this process:
“After a $300 consultation, he reluctantly performed my initial checkups. A few months and a couple thousand dollars later, he told us that he would no longer treat us, saying he and his staff felt uncomfortable working with ‘someone like me.’”
When asked about her expectations of playing the role of father, Bealie was bubbly.
“Incredible. 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. In a technical sense I see myself as my own surrogate, though my gender identity as male is constant.”
After three embryos discarded and another attempt, the baby is due in July of 2008.
The Beaties are reportedly shopping for a media outlet to sell their story. I am a conservative, but I can’t help but think that some of the liberals reading this article would have reservations about the events that are taking place and the role of individual rights versus individual responsibilities. The first sex changes took place with the hopes of welcoming a fragile and marginal population into the shelter of mainstream society, the unintended consequences of that good-will gesture may irreparably harm the society that made it.