Trans man feels ‘blessed’ to have become pregnant and given birth
A transgender man has said he is “blessed” to have been able to give birth, after putting his transition on hold to enlarge his family.
Having lived as a man for three years, Mr Kearns postponed his physical transition in order to give birth to another child.
“So even though I knew I was a man and was quite comfortable with the fact that I was transgendered, I had to put the physical transition on hold whilst I gave birth,” ABC Australia reports.
Mr Kearns and his then-partner Zu White already had one child – but due to complications during the first birth, he decided to carry their second child.
“I understand my story may seem confusing. I see it as a simple thing. My body was blessed with the ability to provide life,” Mr Kearns said.
In 2010 Mr Kearns started seeing a gender specialist to seek approval to have testosterone treatment and chest surgery.
He said he was nervous about telling his psychiatrist he planned to have a baby and that there were times when he found the pregnancy both physically and mentally challenging.
“I was concerned that he wouldn’t see me as a man or I guess maybe I wouldn’t be trans enough or it would be misconstrued as a desire to be a woman,” he said.
“Regardless of what clothes you wear or anything else they start seeing the quintessential female form.”
Despite their split, Ms White says her former partner is the perfect father to their children.
“I was really concerned for AJ whilst he was pregnant because I knew he had such strong dysphoria and that it caused a lot of anguish… but somehow he found the inner strength.”
Ms White said AJ was “exactly what I would have ordered” for a father.
“He is committed, he’s devoted, he’s very easy to work with,” she said.
The pair say they have been honest with their children about how they were conceived.
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“Most probably my greatest fear is that my children will bear the brunt of people’s ignorance,” Mr Kearns said.
“People’s perception of what makes a family is becoming broader.
“I think as long as the child knows it’s deeply loved that’s what makes a family. So the fact that I have my own gender history I guess or story makes me no less a good parent.
“There’s nothing experimental about this, we’re just living our lives and being authentic and I think if you were going to raise a child that’s the least you give them is the sense that they should be themselves.”
Mr Kearns, who has a Masters in Fine Arts, documented his pregnancy and transition every month for two years with photographer Alison Bennett.