Pregnant men: hard to stomach?
Beatie, 34, from Oregon, looked like a chirpy chap with a light beard. Much to my relief, it turned out that he'd started life as a girl, but felt that he was actually a man trapped in a girl's body. So he, or she, took a course of testosterone and had an operation to remove his, or her, breasts. Having dragged himself across the threshold of maleness, he got married to a woman. She'd had a hysterectomy. They wanted a baby, so he was doing the decent thing.Wasn't he?...
Watching all this, I began to have a certain amount of sympathy for him. But I still hoped it was a hoax. I thought of James Frey, who had also been a guest on Oprah when he wrote about his addictions to alcohol and crack. Frey, it turned out, had written stuff that wasn't strictly true. Later, he made another appearance on the Oprah show, this time to apologise. News headlines about Beatie's case invariably included a couple of queasily sceptical quote marks - as in ' "Pregnant" man appears on Oprah'.
No offence to Beatie, but those quote marks should actually be around the word 'man'. His female reproductive organs are still intact; legally he's a man, but biologically, in many ways that count, he's still very much a woman. And he's not even the first transgender male to become pregnant - that honour belongs to Matt Califia-Rice, who gave birth to a baby boy back in 1999. Despite the headlines, the world is still waiting for the first true male pregnancy.