Thomas Beatie, the transsexual at the centre of the ‘pregnant man’ story (see my earlier post here) has continued to be in the headlines this week. Not least for appearing on the Oprah Winfrey Show yesterday in the States.
You can view a clip from the show on the Oprah website and another shorter clip on the BBC news website here. I was really struck that the Oprah player has a caption saying ‘Is it a boy or a girl?’ and that Beatie refers to ‘she’ and ‘her’ has their baby. Is it only me who finds ironic that such a conventional and conservative view of gender is being used in this pretty extraordinary circumstance? That certainly isn’t a criticism of Beatie. Unlike O’Reily on Fox News who called this a ‘freak show’ last night, I think it’s an amazing and wonderful thing. He also expressed concerns about a 13 year old viewing this interview. I think a 13 year old should watch this interview and should have a broader more thoughtful understanding of gender and sexuality.
This story also, at least for me, brings back the issues of maternal and paternal definitions within the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill currently before Parliament (see my earlier post here). I only wish some MP would raise these transgender issues in Parliament in the context of the Bill as it raises some very real questions about the limitations and appropriateness of the proposed definitions.