I'm against it for a different reason (obviously). I don't think TG people should be allowed to use any kind of ace in the hole offered by their biological sex. Ever. (Things like, for example, a MTF standing up to pee do not count because some genetic women have learned how to do the same.) It reinforces the notion that gender is about biological sex. People say about Thomas Beatie, "Well, she is a woman and thus has the same womanly desires as any other..." I don't blame you for not wanting to be perceived the same way. People need to pick a gender and stick with it.
If they absolutely must do something like this, then they should not be public about it.
I was thinking along the same lines.
I understand that it is very difficult to adopt, so sometimes it's either the man gets pregnant or the couple has no kid at all. It can be very tempting; I have heard that many genetic men would become pregnant if they could and their wives couldn't, as a means of providing for the family. (I guess anything can be a male or female thing.)
However, most of the world sees transsexuals as freaks, and so by not being discreet, these people are exposing their unborn child to a lot of ridicule in the future. If they make fun of the fat kid with glasses, can you imagine what they'll do to a kid with a FTM dad who is her/his biological mother? It's not enough to say, "It shouldn't be that way," or "Things will get better." The fact is, the world is "that way" now, and that is what we need to deal with.
As an aside: I hate that every time I try to speak up in favor of keeping a boundary that people should not cross, it's dismissed as internalized transphobia. Maybe without media whores like Thomas Beatie, we'd have a better image in the eyes of the world, and there's be less transphobia. Just a thought.
I realize people sometimes have to resort to drastic measures in order to have kids (I looked into adoption once and it's really, really hard to do and really expensive). But couldn't they at least be discreet about this?
But what if he had taken irreversible steps? The breast growth from the hormones is permanent, as is "the surgery." In cases like that, it is difficult to live as a man; one is seen as neither a man nor a woman, but a freak. And forever is a long time to go through that.
I guess my opinion on this one is going to be unpopular, but I think it's important that potential transitioners are aware of the risks. Seeing a person who did it and regrets it can save one from a similar fate.
I have had similar experiences, in spite of my physical appearance and the fact that I make no attempt to pass. At this point, I'd say 10-20% of people see me as female when they first see me (judging by how they refer to me). But that rate would be abysmal if I were trying to pass. And if I did try to pass, that rate might improve, but by how much? Even if 99% of people saw me as female, all it takes is to be spotted once.
According to the Transgender Law Center, 60% of all transwomen are subjected to hate crimes because of their gender presentation; some studies show that as many as 80% of the transsexual population (both male-to-female and female-to-male) has been physically assaulted, 80% have feared for their lives or well being, and 50% have been sexually assaulted. I've already been through that one, as a kid in school, bullied for the obvious reason. I'd do anything to avoid going through it again.
Besides, the other 80-90% treat me more like they treat women than like they treat men, so I'm not sure what the point would be for me (especially since I'm asexual).
I can see Ashlee's point, though. How are drag performances any better than those minstrel shows where white actors used to paint their faces black and act like white people's stereotypes of black people?
Theater in which men dress as women can be tastefully done, but with drag shows, unfortunately, this is not the case.
As for the original topic, I take the pope about as seriously as I would take [insert your least favorite politician's name here].
Then I suppose that is where we disagree. Because biological males cannot become pregnant, a transman being open about being pregnant (he could have hidden it--my mom thought he just had a beer belly) is not acceptable because he is flaunting his "gender outlaw" status--a biological female who transitioned to the male role, only to make the fullest use imaginable of his female biology.
But if biological males could become pregnant--and there were biological males other than MTFs who did it--then I would have no problem with Thomas Beatie.