trish bendix

Oh, everybody’s staring at the strange clothes that you’re wearing

Posted in Uncategorized by trishbendix on April 4, 2008

I watched Oprah interview the “pregnant man” yesterday and it was one of the most awkward interactions I’ve ever seen (perhaps second only to the botched-Holly Hunter Q&A last year). It was clear Thomas was nervous, but the whole notion of his being transgender was regarded as something “Tracy” chose to do because her mother died young and she hated growing boobs. Therefore, her natural progression was to turn into a lesbian and then a male. I think it was mostly upsetting because Thomas fell into the traps set by Oprah’s leading questions–although they obviously spoke with him before the onstage interview so it’s most likely that he was the one providing these initial ideas in the first place.

I can see why transgender groups would be upset about the public nature of an FTM becoming pregnant. It’s just another idea challenging gender, and challenging the mainstream views of normal and societal roles. However, I stick with the simplest of ideas when it comes to these situations: it’s my body, I’ll get pregnant if I want to. (I don’t, but Thomas does, so why the hell not?)

I thought it might be MORE understandable that Thomas was pregnant when it was revealed (oh so shockingly, ha!) that he was transgendered. It seemed the audience wasn’t quite sure what to make of it–there were haphazard claps and looks of confusion, and barely any laughs at Oprah’s attempts to make light of any part of the situation. Thomas’ stepdaughters (from his wife’s first marriage) as well as his neighbors were brought on to give opinions on it (because really, his pregnancy should be judged by everyone in his life).

Follow ups today in the news have included a range of opinions, but mostly those of “Why would he want to have a baby if he feels like a male?” Somehow it’s still difficult for so many to comprehend that feelings transcend genitals, estrogen and testosterone.

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