Alex Blaze

Ridiculous transphobia in the Boston Globe

Filed By Alex Blaze | April 15, 2008 3:47 PM | comments

Filed in: Marriage Equality, Media, The Movement, Transgender & Intersex
Tags: Jeff Jacoby, pregnant man, Thomas Beatie, transgender

He's not a man, this Jerry. He's not even married like I am.

--Milos from Seinfeld

Boston Globe columnist Jeff Jacoby, in true gasbag form, has decided that he knows more about transgender experiences and Gender Identity Disorder than transgender people themselves do (as well as doctors and psychologists and anyone else who's listening). So he took to his column this week to remind everyone that what it takes to be a woman is making babies and what it takes to be a man is a penis.

Jesus fucking Christ, people, it's all that simple: those bra-burning feminists, dirty queers, and confused trans-folk should give up on their movement to live freely and honestly; it's making certain pundits feel insecure.

Autumn has a great line-by-line, but here's the gist of the article:

A 34-year-old who grew up in Hawaii and used to compete in beauty contests - she was once a finalist in the Miss Hawaii Teen USA pageant - Tracy, who now calls herself Thomas Beatie, apparently suffers from Gender Identity Disorder, syndrome 302.85 in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of the American Psychiatric Association. According to news accounts, she has felt uncomfortable with her female identity since adolescence. When she was in her 20s, the Telegraph of London reported, "she became more masculine," began a lesbian relationship, "and researched what it meant to be a transgender male." There followed breast-removal surgery and testosterone injections. Tracy/Thomas grew a beard, changed her legal identity to male, and married her partner, Nancy.

But it takes more than a mastectomy and hormone treatments to overturn biology. Thomas may be a man in the eyes of the law, but she remains physically a woman, with a woman's reproductive system, a woman's genitals, and a woman's chromosomes. So when she and Nancy decided to have a baby, she had little trouble conceiving through artificial insemination. The result is the spectacle that has drawn so much attention: a bearded pregnant woman named Thomas, who identifies herself as a man, and has a lawfully wedded wife.

Well, there's really no confusing where Jacoby is coming from - he just plain doesn't like transgender people.

He seems to have it all decided - being a woman is dependent on


  1. the ability to produce children,

  2. chromosomes, and

  3. genitalia.


Those women who can't, for whatever reason, have children aren't women, apparently, and people whose chromosomes or genitalia don't fit neatly into the male/female dichotomy don't exist.

But the problem is deeper than that, you see. It's about our children:

Those of us for whom gender is not a spectrum of possibilities but a matter of either/or are more likely to regard the whole situation as profoundly aberrant and detrimental - especially for the baby about to be brought into the world.

That statement is a ruse hiding something deeper. There's no evidence that transgender parents are particularly worse than any others, so I'm not going to believe that Jacoby sat down, reviewed the studies and evidence, and came to a reasoned conclusion that Thomas Beatie is going to be a bad father. (Oh hell yes, I'm saying "father")

His "culture war" rhetoric betrays a more visceral response:

What you make of all this depends on your political outlook. Transgender activists, radical feminists, and others at the cultural extreme who insist that sex differences between men and women are patriarchal constructs, not hardwired facts of life, will applaud Thomas and Nancy as gender-bending pioneers challenging an oppressive male-female dichotomy.[...]

Increasingly, though, anyone who upholds those taboos and standards is denounced as a narrow-minded bigot, while those who defy them are celebrated for their nonjudgmentalism and tolerance.

You see, Thomas Beatie becoming pregnant has nothing to do with Thomas Beatie becoming pregnant. And respect for transgender people has nothing to do with transgender people. This entire story is an attack on Jacoby himself.

It's nice when these sorts parade their insecurities about their own masculinity around. The subtext of Jacoby's column is: if it takes more than having a penis to be a man, than am I really myself a man?

I don't have an answer to that question for Jacoby. But I can tell him that the sky isn't going to fall if we trust Beatie to decide for himself what his body, mind, and soul are telling him:

This story of the pregnant "man" hasn't materialized in a vacuum.

The news out of Texas last week was of the police raid on a polygamist compound in which underage girls have been forcibly "married" to abusive older men. From Australia came word of John and Jennifer Deaves, the 61-year-old father and his 39-year-old daughter who have had two children together and pleaded guilty to incest, but say they just want "a little bit of respect and understanding" for their illicit relationship. These are only the latest in an endless series of reminders that sexual urges and appetites can be powerful and perverse and lead to harmful consequences. That is why human societies have always constrained sexual behavior with equally powerful taboos and moral standards.

I'd respond to his assertion that having an incestuous relationship with one's daughter has anything to do with being a transman, but Jacoby says it better than I ever could have:

Could anything be more incoherent or sad?

Yup. I think there's a certain Boston Globe columnist who needs to do a little self-reflection.


Recent Entries Filed under Transgender & Intersex:

Leave a comment

We want to know your opinion on this issue! While arguing about an opinion or idea is encouraged, personal attacks will not be tolerated. Please be respectful of others.

The editorial team will delete a comment that is off-topic, abusive, exceptionally incoherent, includes a slur or is soliciting and/or advertising. Repeated violations of the policy will result in revocation of your user account. Please keep in mind that this is our online home; ill-mannered house guests will be shown the door.


It's nice when these sorts parade their insecurities about their own masculinity around. The subtext of Jacoby's column is: if it takes more than having a penis to be a man, than am I really myself a man?

No, what it takes to be a man is the ability to parallel park and fire up a grill.

As for polygamists, they don't like the trans folks, either. So this is just a red herring. Don't they teach journalists better than that in journalism school? Oh, wait. It's the Boston Globe we're talking about. They don't even have to write true stories. They just make them up. So why are we talking about this?

Brynn Craffey Brynn Craffey | April 15, 2008 7:08 PM

I'm sorry, I can't read through that guy's statements.

I just tried earlier today to read a similar hate-filled, ignorant piece that was published in the Belfast Telegraph. (here for those with both the desire and the stomach to read it) and I couldn't get past:

We know that many people feel that that they have been born in the wrong sex, and it is only right their misery should be alleviated, and as humanely as possible.

Thomas Beatie is different.

Deciding she wanted to be a man, she had her breasts surgically removed 10 years ago, and also started taking testosterone. But she left her genitals intact — still female, though with all those male hormones stimulating the follicles, I should imagine more badger than Brazilian.

The Beatie story is really bringing the haters out of the woodwork.

Thing is, the words that people like Kevin Myers (author of the Telegraph hit piece) so flippantly throw out, REALLY HURT. They seem to think their purpose is amusement, and you can tell they think they're quite clever and sharp. In reality, however, it is ignorance spewed forth like this that cause trans people to hate themselves so badly, they commit suicide at appalling numbers.

I've heard it all, at one point or another. And I simply can't bring myself to read more.

Although I am glad that people, like you, Alex, have to fortitude to deconstruct their stupidity.

Give me a bit of time to come out from the past few weeks' onslaught, and I may, too.

The reason why people get so damn angry with us is that we PROVE the difference between gender and sex exists. And honestly, most people do not understand the difference. What I find most amusing is that we are lumped in with radical feminists, who in reality have as much vitriol for us as Christian Evangelicals do.

The reality of life is that even though I'm male bodied (or trans-bodied), my gender is that of a woman. I'll never be biologically female, but I can be a woman. If Thomas was seen on the street, he would be viewed as a man with a pot belly, not a woman. But if you viewed his internal structures, you'd know that he was and is female bodied.

You could say that he isn't a male, but you could never, in a million years, say he is a woman. Until Americans can understand the difference, we will continue to be treated like circus freaks.


Robert Ganshorn Robert Ganshorn | April 16, 2008 3:38 AM

Obviously, the article began with a conclusion and was written to enforce the conclusion. I would like to lock him in a room with Robin Williams and Johnathan Winters and let them show him how a "man" is supposed to act.

Two crazy straight men who can slice and dice his brain for him. "Aunt Blabby, do you have one more left in you?"

The Beatie story is really bringing the haters out of the woodwork.

Isn't that the truth? How nice of the Boston Globe to bring the ugly so forcefully to the front.

oh, go to an archive of this guy's columns and you'll lose your mind.

being from Boston, and know a few people who write for the Globe, I can only say he is the token conservative. the more extreme he gets, the more mail and the more they think he's a great thing to keep around.

ruffles feathers, you know.

I stopped reading his columns. I couldn't stand it. which is exactly Jeff Jacoby's intention- to get us furious.

Brynn Craffey Brynn Craffey | April 16, 2008 11:56 AM

the more extreme he gets, the more mail and the more they think he's a great thing to keep around.

ruffles feathers, you know.

I think Kevin Myers with the Belfast Telegraph serves the same function.

But in the process, the mainstream media are targeting trans folks--AND our families!--in a way that would NOT be considered acceptable toward any other minority group, even gays and lesbians.

It infuriates me.

A Real Wolf in sheep's Clothing, I consider this to be worse.

So I happened to be a member of the Dr Reed yahoo list, http://groups.yahoo.com/group/MTF-SRS-FTM/, when a discussion about Mr Beatie started and some real strong if not nasty comments were made against him by some of the members of the list. Keeping in mind that this is suppose to be a support list for both transexed women and men moderated by DR. Reed himself who does surgery on both.

One of the members wasn't sure what the issue was an asked. The following was the response and first piping in on this issue by Dr H Reed.

Message #36245

The much renown man who is having a baby of course is an FTM, whose present spouse could not conceive and he/she was impregnated months ago. And just so happened he wanted to have a child.

Is this any different from a single man or woman who wants to adopt a child and will play both the father and mother role (doing things that traditionally are done by Mom's and Dad's for the
child.)

The desire to pass on your genetic contribution, share your philosophy, and have the pleasure of company and watching your children grow up is a wonderful experience. Of course there are
responsibilities headaches and unpredictability, but such is life.
And we it not for our Mom and Dad we wouldn't be here.

So yes, perhaps some day for those brave men who wish to go through a pregnancy, it might be possible.

One of our frequently asked questions...

Can you make a man have sex organs that can reproduce offspring
and go through a period every month?
Perhaps in the future.

Uterine transplants are being done
in New York Downtown Hospital on natal women.
Tap in msnbc.com to research this subject or view
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/16532785/
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/16637583/

When or how soon this exciting, new technology
will be applied to transsexual patients is uncertain.


Harold M. Reed, M.D.

-------------------------------------------
Yep he called Beatie a he/she.
I complained about him posting such a comment since he of all people, as a surgeon who works and professes to support people who are transexed should not be putting down one in the community.

To that he replied,

--------------------------------------------------------

Message #36252


Hi Rosalyn,

Sorry to have offended, but a person with a beard and pregnant
is going to be treated more like a woman during her perinatal
experience. At this time we have a mother and child, and the
whiskers will have to wait. And this patient fully expects
everything the medical staff has learned about the birthing process
will be applied as needed.

I can guarantee she will most likely have a private room, but
for sure, she will not be placed in a semi-private men's room
or floor where nurses may not have a knowledge of managing post
partum patients.

If she pushes, the staff will call her whatever she wants
to be politically correct, and probably will be very happy to go back to 100%
ladies in the OB-GYN suite.

Please understand I fully respect the patient's decision to deliver
and now a small question for you.

Rosalyn, when does should a lady be called a man. When the subject says so at
any time, when testosterone has been prescribed, only if a therapist says so, if
the subject stops wearing makeup regardless of hair length and presence of
obvious breast tissue, use the drivers license to settle it?


Harold Reed, M.D.


----------------------------------------------

I was never permitted to answer the question he wrote for me as each time I did it was refused and the few times he did allow my posting through it was edited so as none of my comments were even there but instead just a comment saying I finally have been able to have my say.

The idea that this guy, who makes money off the community has such a low opinion of trans men that he publicly makes such posts one has to wonder just what he really thinks about the community as a whole.

That he continues to allow his list to be the most dysfunctional list I have ever seen bar non, allowing for days of flaming by the women, to go unchecked has me wondering what kick he gets out of watching it go on.

I can only say that if I had ever once considered recommending him, the only thing I would now tell a person is to run and stay away, I know I sure will.

I won't be too surprised if he begins to delete messages and if he does he will have to delete all messages with the header "Re: "male pregnancy" FTM view" because fortunately many people don't delete other messages they respond to.

A Real Wolf in sheep's Clothing, I consider this to be worse.

So I happened to be a member of the Dr Reed yahoo list, http://groups.yahoo.com/group/MTF-SRS-FTM/, when a discussion about Mr Beatie started and some real strong if not nasty comments were made against him by some of the members of the list. Keeping in mind that this is suppose to be a support list for both transexed women and men moderated by DR. Reed himself who does surgery on both.

One of the members wasn't sure what the issue was an asked. The following was the response and first piping in on this issue by Dr H Reed.

Message #36245

The much renown man who is having a baby of course is an FTM, whose present spouse could not conceive and he/she was impregnated months ago. And just so happened he wanted to have a child.

Is this any different from a single man or woman who wants to adopt a child and will play both the father and mother role (doing things that traditionally are done by Mom's and Dad's for the
child.)

The desire to pass on your genetic contribution, share your philosophy, and have the pleasure of company and watching your children grow up is a wonderful experience. Of course there are
responsibilities headaches and unpredictability, but such is life.
And we it not for our Mom and Dad we wouldn't be here.

So yes, perhaps some day for those brave men who wish to go through a pregnancy, it might be possible.

One of our frequently asked questions...

Can you make a man have sex organs that can reproduce offspring
and go through a period every month?
Perhaps in the future.

Uterine transplants are being done
in New York Downtown Hospital on natal women.
Tap in msnbc.com to research this subject or view
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/16532785/
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/16637583/

When or how soon this exciting, new technology
will be applied to transsexual patients is uncertain.


Harold M. Reed, M.D.

-------------------------------------------
Yep he called Beatie a he/she.
I complained about him posting such a comment since he of all people, as a surgeon who works and professes to support people who are transexed should not be putting down one in the community.

To that he replied,

--------------------------------------------------------

Message #36252


Hi Rosalyn,

Sorry to have offended, but a person with a beard and pregnant
is going to be treated more like a woman during her perinatal
experience. At this time we have a mother and child, and the
whiskers will have to wait. And this patient fully expects
everything the medical staff has learned about the birthing process
will be applied as needed.

I can guarantee she will most likely have a private room, but
for sure, she will not be placed in a semi-private men's room
or floor where nurses may not have a knowledge of managing post
partum patients.

If she pushes, the staff will call her whatever she wants
to be politically correct, and probably will be very happy to go back to 100%
ladies in the OB-GYN suite.

Please understand I fully respect the patient's decision to deliver
and now a small question for you.

Rosalyn, when does should a lady be called a man. When the subject says so at
any time, when testosterone has been prescribed, only if a therapist says so, if
the subject stops wearing makeup regardless of hair length and presence of
obvious breast tissue, use the drivers license to settle it?


Harold Reed, M.D.


----------------------------------------------

I was never permitted to answer the question he wrote for me as each time I did it was refused and the few times he did allow my posting through it was edited so as none of my comments were even there but instead just a comment saying I finally have been able to have my say.

The idea that this guy, who makes money off the community has such a low opinion of trans men that he publicly makes such posts one has to wonder just what he really thinks about the community as a whole.

That he continues to allow his list to be the most dysfunctional list I have ever seen bar non, allowing for days of flaming by the women, to go unchecked has me wondering what kick he gets out of watching it go on.

I can only say that if I had ever once considered recommending him, the only thing I would now tell a person is to run and stay away, I know I sure will.

I won't be too surprised if he begins to delete messages and if he does he will have to delete all messages with the header "Re: "male pregnancy" FTM view" because fortunately many people don't delete other messages they respond to.


Express, UK

WORLD EXCLUSIVE: THE MAN WHO GAVE BIRTH

Sunday April 20,2008

By Lucy Johnston, Health Editor

THE world's first pregnant man has broken his silence in an exclusive
interview with the Sunday Express.

Dylan, 40, and his 10-year-old daughter Joanna opened their home to
the Sunday Express to explain how a woman turned into a man, had a
baby and became a dad.

[PHOTO: TRANSFORMATION: Dylan with his daughter Joanna as a toddler]

American transsexual Thomas Beatie has recently gained worldwide
attention after posing for a magazine showing his pregnant belly and
his bearded face.

But he is merely following a trail blazed more than a decade ago by
German company executive Dylan.

It is an extraordinary story he never sought to publicise, indeed
those he did confide in found it difficult to believe.

"I was studying for my PhD when I became pregnant," Dylan said. "When
I told my professor I was going to have a baby, he said he didn't need
to know the details of my girlfriend's condition.

[PHOTO: A week after giving birth, 10-years ago]

"When I told him it was me who was pregnant, it left him speechless.

"Being pregnant was weird. I didn't have a male role model who had
done it before.

"But now my daughter is a happy 10-year-old. She has two daddies who
she loves, one of whom is special and can have babies." Dylan had
wanted to be a boy ever since he was a little girl – the eldest of
three sisters. He describes his family as very conservative.

Their home in Germany was ruled by the beliefs of his engineer father
and teacher mother, who banned television and even newspapers to
protect the children from corrupting influences.

He says he hated being forced into girls' clothes, and would have a
tantrum if he was made to wear a dress.

"I told my friends I was a boy but my parents said I was a girl. When
I was 15, I started wearing my father's clothes."

School was lonely. Dylan said girls avoided him because he was so
boyish and the boys ignored him, regarding him as a strange girl.

He found his salvation in the German Scouts, where the uniform was the
same for boys and girls and neither gender nor sexuality played a big
role.

"Gender didn't matter in the Scouts. School was difficult, I felt
totally separate from the other children but I had friends in the
Scouts."

Though small in stature, and slight in build, by the time he was in
his mid 20s, Dylan was living as a man. He had small breasts, which
were easily hidden beneath clothes, and mannish body language. He
explains: "People always mistook me for a teenage boy, which I quite
liked."

[PHOTO: THE GIRL WITH TWO FATHERS: Joanna has become a happy 10-year-old]

Desperate to undergo the medical procedures to become the man he felt
he was, he started saving money for hormone treatment and surgery.

Yet despite progress in becoming accepted as a man, he felt a growing
need to have a family.

He explained: "I come from a traditional family and I feel that part
of being a real man is being a father, this was very important to me
and my self-image as a man."

He and a gay friend, who also wanted to become a father, found a
doctor who performed artificial insemination.

[PHOTO: CHILDHOOD DREAMS: The young Dylan, with his younger sister,
always wanted to be a boy]

"The pregnancy was not a problem. I knew it was only going to be for a
little while. There were lots of hormones in my system and they
actually affirmed my feeling of being a man.

"I once saw an overweight young boy in a shop and felt sorry for him
because my bulk at least was temporary. I felt very protective of the
child that was growing inside me. My breasts grew bigger but my belly
was there too and they kind of fitted. I wore baggy clothes and no one
realised.

"People thought I was putting on weight. They were mostly treating me
as a man and no one is going to start wondering whether a man might be
pregnant."

Only a few close friends were let in on the secret and one girl friend
volunteered to be his birth partner. The birth was a surprise to
Dylan. "I did not realise it was going to be so painful," he said.

"I took a long, long shower and my birth partner was there to support
me. It was pretty difficult and I almost had to have a caesarean, but
by the time they found a doctor, the baby was there.

"I didn't want to stay in the hospital afterwards, it would have been
a nightmare with people treating me as a female. The birth was at 4am
and I was home just a few hours later.

"I've never worn a bra, not even during pregnancy. My breasts became
pretty big and I didn't like that. Breast-feeding itself was very
nice, it creates a close feeling to the child, I would recommend it –
it's very practical too."

He decided to stop breast-feeding after three months to start
testosterone treatment before full sex change surgery. And by the time
Joanna was a toddler, Dylan had become her daddy – with hairy legs, a
square jaw which he had to shave, no breasts and a deep masculine
voice.

Joanna also sees her biological father, who lives two hours' drive
away. "Many of her friends don't have, or rarely see their fathers,
yet she has two," said Dylan.

"I told her I am a special daddy who can have children and she accepts
that. At her first school there was a project where they had to bring
in photos of their family and talk about their relatives. She 'came
out' to her whole class and no one teased her."

To neighbours Dylan is simply a single dad doing his best by his
daughter. Colleagues in the international com-pany where he is a
manager do not know he was born a girl.

"I believe there are a lot of young transgender people who would like
to have children. It is a wonderful thing to have a baby. You are more
connected to humanity and society, no matter what your gender is or
originally was."

Names have been changed.

(ALL PICS: KARSTEN THIELKER)

Copyright (c)2006 Northern and Shell Media Publications.

http://www.express.co.uk/posts/view/41909/World-Exclusive-The-man-who-gave-birth

So then telling the truth is hatred.

Transgenderism is a disorder, just like anorexia is a disorder.