[Screenshot from Daily Mirror, https://twitter.com/DailyMirror/status/1211049938412396544]
The family unit is certainly evolving.
Take for example Reuben Sharpe and her partner, Jay.
Reuben is a woman identifying as a man; Jay is a woman identifying as neither a woman nor a man.
And, as reported by the Mirror, “Britain’s most modern family” — a lesbian couple identifying as a…I’m not sure if there is a word for it — have become parents.
The 39-year-old transitioned to a man 12 years ago.
But he still had maternal instincts and six years ago stopped taking testosterone in the hope of one day having a child.
The pair are a bit of a standout, as they’re one of the first alternative families to showcase themselves for the world.
[W]hile a handful of other UK men have fallen pregnant after transitioning from a woman, Reuben and Jay are among the first couples to speak out about their remarkable journey.
As part of that trek, three months ago, “proud dad Reuben…gave birth to a miracle baby…”
— Daily Mirror (@DailyMirror) December 28, 2019
Reuben, who — like Jay — is a wedding photographer — explained that it’s been a long time coming:
“It’s taken six years to get this far, but now we have a baby in our arms and that was the end goal. I finally feel complete.”
The mom identifying as a dad would’ve been okay without it, but she had the desire and the parts to make it happen:
“It wasn’t that I was desperate to have the birthing experience or pregnancy experience, but I wanted a child and I had the facility to do it.”
Reuben began presenting as a guy in 2007, and the testosterone she took provided her with a mustache and beard.
But at some point, she realized she wanted a baby.
The doctor said it was a Go:
[Reuben] was reassured it was possible as he still had his womb and ovaries.
She took a break from the hormones and underwent fertility treatment.
Reuben recounted broaching the subject with Jay, who uses the pronouns “they” and “them”:
“After a few months I started getting nervous, realising I was planning to have a kid – I’d been building towards it for three years to this point. I realised I would have to talk to them.
“If they didn’t want kids we’d have to break up.
“I managed to bring up the subject but luckily Jay was open to the idea.”
Jay adds: “It just seemed right – we wanted to raise kids similarly.”
Months of fertility treatment paid off:
Reuben got his first break. He explains: “I woke up the next morning and my period had started for the first time in six years.”
Then, the next step:
Reuben and Jay had to consider who could act as the sperm donor. They Facebooked a contact who is a trans woman but can still produce sperm.
Reuben adds: “I thought they would be perfect.”
Jay — who had her breasts removed — and Reuben — who has facial hair but still has breasts — had to deal with bigotry at times, but at others, they got the royal treatment:
The months ahead were a rollercoaster of emotions… joy at their impending birth, discomfort at getting strange looks in hospital waiting rooms and sadness at bigotry from some people unwilling to understand or accept their situation. Jay says: “Sometimes we’d go to appointments and be treated like celebrities.”
The stares were upsetting, because they just wanted to be normal:
“It felt uncomfortable and made us sad because it was happening at such important times when we were going to see our baby. Both of us just wanted a normal experience.”
Reuben adds: “I found it frustrating that people didn’t just ask my gender or not use it. I look like a man, have a beard.
“It’s bizarre you wouldn’t just avoid saying ‘she’. People asked very invasive questions about body parts and how I’d give birth. Giving birth isn’t a trans thing. Women give birth in different ways too.”
For Reuben, the physical changes were emotional. But to her, that’s not so strange — women experience them, too:
I actually liked my pregnant body and liked being bigger. It was very affirming and I really enjoyed it – I’m a man and I get pregnant. There’s a lot of changes to go through but I felt free of that.
“Women struggle with their bodies when they go through pregnancy too, so it isn’t something a trans man would exclusively feel.”
She ended up having a C-section.
So what’s next? Every option is open:
[A]lthough Reuben carried the baby this time, Jay would be open to doing so in the future. They plan to marry next year and are keen not to be boxed off into mum and dad roles.
Reuben says: “Like with many things, people have got it into their heads ‘this is a female thing, this is a male thing’. Having a child is male, female, everyone.
So did getting pregnant and having a baby make Reuben feel any less like a man?
Why would it:
“Wanting to have a baby doesn’t feel like a female thing for me.
“I don’t think pregnancy is the ultimate female experience, therefore it didn’t challenge me as a man.
“It doesn’t make a woman less of a woman if she’s not keen on pregnancy, infertile, doesn’t want a baby. This isn’t a trans issue – it affects everyone.”
So that’s the tale of Reuben and Jay, a most unconventional family: A woman identifying as a man, giving birth thanks to a man identifying as a woman, co-parenting with a woman identifying as nothing in particular.
With baby Jamie in tow, “the family have just enjoyed the best of Christmases.”
Oh, and in case you wondered: The doctor was transgender.
See 3 more pieces from me:
Find all my RedState work here.
Thank you for reading! Please sound off in the Comments section below.