Bearded and breastfeeding – the story of a pregnant man
As Neil Hope puts it, being pregnant is a bit of a public “spectacle,” prompting even complete strangers to comment on the expectant parent’s condition.
In his case, the inquiries in the street and on the bus came with an unusual degree of puzzlement. The combination of the 37-year-old’s protruding belly and beard might have explained that.
“People say, ‘Oh, you’re going to be a Mummy,’ then I’d say ‘Actually, I’m going to be a Dad,’ and then they suddenly give funny looks,” recalled Mr. Hope, whose son Derek is now seven months old.
“It’s sort of like a running joke, the idea of a pregnant man. There was a whole Arnold Schwarzenegger movie about it…. So when you say that you are one, it’s understandably a bit confusing for people.”
Yet the Toronto musician is among a growing number of transsexual men and women who use assisted-reproduction treatment to have children, with the Create Fertility Centre in Toronto handling about one such case every month. Despite having undergone gender-reassignment surgery in his 20s, Mr. Hope still had a working uterus and, with the aid of artificial insemination, was able to conceive and give birth last year. (Illustration by Andrew Barr)
Part one: Who decides the makings of a modern family?