Saturday, 16 June 2018

A Family in Transition

A Family in Transition

Party, an impish 1-year-old, has two fathers. one among them gave birth to her.

As traditional notions of gender shift and blur, parents, and youngsters like these are redefining the concept of family.

Patty's father Tanner, 25, maybe a trans man: He was born female but began transitioning to male in his teens, and takes the male hormone testosterone.

“I was born a person during a human body,” he said.

His partner and Paetyn’s biological father is David, 35, a gay man.

Their daughter, they agree, is that the neatest thing that ever happened to them.

“She’ll get older during a very diverse home,” David said. “We surround her with people that are different.”

In addition to their day jobs — David works at an insurance exchange, Tanner at an auto parts store, a cleaning service, and a bar — Party's fathers are both drag performers at an area club near their range in upstate NY.

To protect their privacy, only their first names are getting used.

Trans men have conceived intentionally, but Tanner isn’t one among them.

In his case, it happened accidentally after he missed a couple of doses of testosterone and he didn’t suspect he was pregnant until nausea hit.

It was a shock, but he and David said that from the beginning, there was little question that they wanted the baby.

“We get to possess a toddler that’s biologically ours, which is a chance tons of individuals in our community don’t have,” David said.

The first time that they saw the fetal heartbeat on the ultrasound, they wept.

“I can still see it as clear as day in my head,” David said. “It was a life-changing moment.”

Tanner said, “On the primary one, she seemed like a touch peanut.

Next time, boom! it had been a baby. you'll see the spine and everything.

It had been so cool. I saw her hands, and it had been like, ‘You’ll be a drummer or learn to sign.’ It blew my mind.”

Tanner had to remain off testosterone until the birth, but he had no interest in ever identifying as female again or dressing like a lady.

“Yeah, I’m a pregnant man,” he told friends and acquaintances.

“What? I’m pregnant. I’m still a person. does anyone have any questions? Come ask me. does one have a drag with it? Don’t be in my life.”

Starting in his teens, Tanner’s transition from female to male had been a series of steps over a variety of years.

As a toddler, he was a tomboy who preferred boys as friends and played tackle football.

“I always felt different,” he said.

Puberty, and therefore the changes that came with it — especially the developing breasts — were torture.

Suddenly he was not allowed to play outside without a shirt.

His first bra, a cheerful rite of passage for many girls, brought him to tears.

He began battling anxiety and depression connected to “gender dysphoria,” the sense that his body and outward gender didn't match his identity.

“It’s a continuing battle,” he said. “Being uncomfortable in your own skin makes for a negative life.

You’re suffocating in your own body.”

He felt interested in girls but had been mentioned to believe that being gay was wrong.

Still, he came out as bisexual during his freshman year of high school, then as what he called a butch lesbian.

During his freshman year in college, he saw a haul king performance for the primary time — women performing as men — and thought, “I got to do this .”

He tried it — and sensed he’d found his identity eventually.

to cover his breasts while performing, he would wrap his chest painfully tight in adhesive tape.

He began to transition socially — to measure as a person, asking friends and family to ask him as he or she. After a year, he began taking testosterone.

Gradually, his voice dropped, facial hair grew in, his periods stopped, his neck and jaw thickened, and his body fat shifted, giving him a more masculine build. It felt right.

“When you transition, you’re free,” he said.

“It was the simplest decision of my life.” He didn't expect to fall crazy with a person, but that's exactly what happened with David, a longtime friend — who had almost envisioned himself with a trans man as a partner.

“David came out of the left-field,” Tanner said.

Tracing his own path — from bisexual to lesbian, drag king, trans man, gay man, pregnant man — Tanner laughed and said, “I’m literally every letter of LGBTQ.”

David and Tanner have an enormous network of friends and family — straight, gay, trans, and every other possible variation — but both have encountered hostility in their hometown often enough to form them warily.

As his belly expanded into its unmistakable shape, Tanner spent more and longer at home, fearful that out on the road, the sight of a pregnant man would invite trouble.

And, he said, “I just didn’t want to be judged.”

When he did leave, he wore a huge black hoodie of David’s. “That hid it well,” he said.

He had always hated his breasts, even before transitioning, and as they swelled with pregnancy he wore a decent sports bra to undertake to hide them.

“The chest, that was what really messed with my head,” he said.

As fathers to be, they got a number of their most enthusiastic congratulations from the drag world — the regulars at the club where both men perform, dancing and lip-syncing, Tanner as a haul king and David as a sassy, 6-foot-tall drag queen during a tight skirt and size 12-wide high heels.

Tanner, fluent in signing, signs the lyrics also — Bruno Mars, Jackson and Pentatonix are among his favorites — and features a big following among deaf drag fans.

Apart from home, his only real temperature while pregnant was the bar where he and David performed.

At first, Tanner hoped the baby would be a boy.

“I thought it might be easier on behalf of me,” he said. “I’m not in tune with being feminine any more.

I’ll need to explain the transition.

I don’t want her to feel that being female may be a bad thing.

‘Dad wont to be a woman. Now he’s not.’ I don’t want her to feel being a woman is wrong and you've got to transition to suit in.”

No comments:

Post a comment