He was famous for being “the pregnant man”. This is where Thomas Beatie is now
It’s been 13 years since Thomas Beatie sat down for his first TV interview and told Oprah – and the world – how he could possibly get pregnant, as a man.
Today, the concept of a transgender man giving birth is hardly new, although research, education and awareness are still sorely lacking. But the company has come a long way, as has Beatie. The father of four, now a stockbroker in Phoenix, spoke to TODAY Health how he thinks the trans community benefited from the media attention her pregnancy received, and how he and his family are doing today.
“When my story came out, there wasn’t a single person in the public eye as a transgender man – most people had never heard of it,” said Beatie, 47. “It was a first exposure for a lot of people. And on top of that, they can give birth! I think exposing the importance of fertility for trans people has been a huge eye-opener.”
In 2008, after writing an essay for The Advocate about her pregnancy – an article he wrote, he said, because he was desperate to seek advice from anyone who had been in his shoes and feared his daughter would be taken away by the authorities – l Beatie’s story has spread around the world. Pictures of Beatie cradling her belly – a bare belly, closeup, Pregnant stomach – has gone viral. There was a rush of requests for interviews on television and in magazines. He wrote a book about his experience called “Labor of Love”, became the subject of several television specials, and even appeared on a French reality TV show.
“It was all a whirlwind,” he said. “But I still don’t regret it.”
After having her first child, Susan, in 2008, Beatie gave birth to two more children with her then-wife Nancy Beatie. The couple separated in 2012 and in 2016 Beatie married his second wife, Amber, who worked at the daycare where her children attended. They had a baby together in 2018, which Amber gave birth to.
Today, Beatie and her family lead a relatively quiet life in Phoenix, although Beatie occasionally accepts public speaking positions or small acting roles (you may have seen her appearing in a U- commercial. Haul). Her older children – now 11, 12 and 13 – divide their time between her house and their mother’s house, around 10 miles away. When they’re all at home, they swim together in their pool, play checkers and try out new recipes.
“We are on this keto kick in right now, so we’re trying to cook some cool food together, ”Beatie said. “We’re going to make healthy ice cream. “
Yet more than a decade after her first pregnancy made national headlines, Beatie said he still hasn’t been able to shake off the nickname “pregnant man” completely.
“I thought I had blended into society, that I could just walk down the hall and remain anonymous,” he said, referring to the hallways of his financial office building. But soon enough, word of his public past spread, he said. Not that he cares, exactly.
“I don’t see anything wrong with being a pregnant man,” Beatie said. “I was so proud to be a dad, and I’m still proud to be a dad. I’m so proud to have been the one who brought my children into the world. It’s kind of like a badge.”
Most of all, he marvels at how much the world, although still very imperfect, has changed since his story first came into the limelight. It was a time before most people understood the concept of gender identity and what it is. means to be transgender, not to mention the etiquette for talking to or about someone who is part of the trans community. Beatie recalled being mistreated and “deceived” by the media and being the butt of jokes on talk shows. When Beatie sat down for an interview with Barbara Walters, the news icon called one of her maternity photos a “disturbing image.”
“It was really tough when my story came out,” Beatie said. “People were saying on television and in the media that if they were about to say today, they would be immediately fired. I’m just in shock at how wild the Wild West was back then.
Despite the challenges of sharing her story and the fame she has spawned, Beatie doesn’t regret speaking publicly about her pregnancy experience and said he hoped that by doing so it would make things a bit easier for her. the trans men who followed him.
“I wanted to make sure that for my family and for others this was going to be something doable, that our laws would respect it,” Beatie said. “So I felt compelled to keep fighting. I wasn’t going to lay down and say, ‘All right, call me a woman.’ “
Yet he acknowledges that even though the public’s perception of his personal experience has changed, there is still a lot of work to be done to support trans people who hope to start families – more training among health care providers, more access fair to fertility treatments and parental leave, for entry.
“I think a lot of people are still cataloged, thinking that if you want to be transgender you have to completely get rid of all of your (reproductive) organs,” Beatie said. “There must be discussions about fertility, preservation. Being transgender, you shouldn’t lose your right to have a family. You have the right to be happy, to have a family and to be respected.