Last week the Boston Globe ran an op-ed by regular guest columnist Jeff Jacoby, who is known for his conservative views. In the op-ed Jacoby addresses the pregnancy of Tom Beatie and his wife Nancy. Tom, a transgender man, is carrying his and his wife's child. The couple recently shared their story of family creation in People magazine and on Oprah.
We at the Family Equality Council were outraged by Jacoby's offensive statements and dismayed by the fact that Jacoby spends his time criticizing a couple he doesn't know instead of addressing the ways all loving couples and prospective parents can be supported to create happy, healthy, loving families.
Jennifer Chrisler, Executive Director of Family Equality Council, wrote this letter to the editor in response to Jacoby's article. To date the Globe has published more response letters reiterating the negative and unfair associations Jacoby made than letters in support of Tom and Nancy. The Family Equality Council is working with the Globe to get our message -- that all loving families should be recognized, respected, protected and celebrated -- heard.
The following is the full text of Jennifer's as-yet-unpublished letter to the Globe:
RE: Pregnant, Yes -- But Not a Man, by Jeff Jacoby, April 14, 2008.
Jeff Jacoby's April 14 column "Pregnant, Yes--But Not a Man" missed the mark on what is most important about Thomas Beatie and his wife Nancy giving birth to a child. First and foremost children need loving parents and caretakers in their lives who will support them growing up in today's complex world. Tom and Nancy shared their story with all of us in hopes that they might begin to change the hearts and minds of those who sit in judgment of families different than their own. As Nancy's two grown daughters attest, there is no good reason for anyone to believe that Tom and Nancy would be anything other than dedicated, wonderful, loving parents to their daughter.
Instead of focusing on what unites us as parents--the desire to create the healthiest, happiest and most supportive environments for our children and families--Jacoby chooses instead to embrace his usual rhetoric of difference and division. With Tom and Nancy's pregnancy, we are given an opportunity to engage in conversation about how to support all loving families, so that all children know how to learn with and respect one another, so that our schools become safer, more welcoming places for all families that attend them, so that our communities and our governments begin to protect families in the many ways they need to be protected.
As the mother of two young boys and the head of the Family Equality Council, I urge Jacoby and others following Tom and Nancy's story to open their hearts and minds and focus on what really counts--supporting and caring for all kinds of loving families, honoring and protecting the children who are here or on their way, and promoting public policy that provides support and equity to those who need it.
Family Equality Council