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Academic says pregnancy is ‘masculine’ as it’s revealed 22 transgender men gave birth in Australia last year

Vic Parsons August 15, 2019
Freddy McConnell (Photo: Seahorse movie)

Freddy McConnell while pregnant. (Photo: Seahorse)

The Australian government’s Medicare agency has released pregnancy figures showing 22 transgender men gave birth in the country last year.

They add to the 228 trans men who have given birth in Australia in the last decade.

Discussing the figures, an Australian academic said it can be “masculine” to be pregnant.

Lauren Rosewarne, a senior lecturer in social and political sciences at the University of Melbourne, rejected a broadcaster’s claim that “having a baby challenges your very masculinity”.

“Masculinity means different things to different people. I’m sure your masculinity is different to any other man in your office,” Rosewarne said.

Rosewarne said that society needs to “confront some the conceptions we have around pregnancy, parenting and child birth” when thinking about trans men being pregnant and giving birth.

“These are people who are born with what we would consider female anatomy and they have gone through a sex change,” Rosewarne said.

She was responding to Melbourne’s 3AW broadcaster, Neil Mitchell.

Rosewarne also said that trans men are men, whether or not they’ve had surgery and whether or not they later become pregnant.

“In this case, gender is something that is thought about in less binary terms than most of us,” she said.

“They may not have necessarily had an operation, but they now identify as male.”

“For them, they consider their entire identity wrapped up in the identity of a male, therefore they refer as males.”

The discussion happened as Seahorse, a film about a trans man’s pregnancy, screens at the 2019 Melbourne International Film Festival.

The new documentary, by the BBC in association with the Guardian, follows trans dad Freddy McConnell over three years, from trying to conceive to eventually giving birth.

McConnell is a gay trans man and Guardian journalist who chose to suspend his hormone treatment to carry his own baby. He is a “seahorse dad.”

The film banished the myth that a trans person is made infertile by taking hormones, although this can sometimes be the case.

More: Freddy McConnell, seahorse, trans dads

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