Tristan Reese is a transgender man (born in Vancouver), eight months pregnant, and he is carrying his first biological child. When, at 20, Tristan Reese realized that he was a transgender man, his mother was concerned if her son could ever build a family. “The first question my mother asked me was:“ Who will love you? Reese tells Global News,“ She didn’t want to offend me or hurt me, but really worried that it would be difficult for me to find in my life path a man with whom I will be happy. And, of course, biological children were out of the question. Today, at the age of 34, a nonprofit professional from Vancouver, he is carrying his first biological child. “I knew that other transgender men went through this,” he says, “I always knew it was possible I just wasn’t sure if I wanted it until I met Biff.” Reese and his partner, social worker Biff Chaplow, now live in Portland (USA) and adopted Biff’s nephew and niece. After Reese and Biff began blogging about their non-traditional family in 2015, many other transgender couples who were in a similar situation began to turn to them. On their blog, they began to regularly publish records about the experience of adoptive gay parents, revealing the topics of psychological difficulties, upbringing and the current political situation in the United States.
In 2016, the couple went through a first miscarriage, and Reese believes that this must be told to other potential transgender parents. “If we want to be truly open in our history, then we need to share not only joys, but also difficulties,” he says, “One of the pitfalls of educating children in the modern world is that everyone expects from us only nice photos on Instagram, but that’s not in our principles. He adds that only a few of the closest people know about a failed pregnancy. “We decided that we need time to recover,” he continues, “We made a decision. If the next time it’s impossible to make a healthy baby, then we will leave this venture and enjoy the upbringing of our two beautiful children. But today, a transgender pregnancy has become a reality for the couple, and with it a lot of hatred and embarrassment. Reese says that he is shocked by the negative comments in the direction of his pregnancy. “It’s very difficult, because we want to create a happy family in order to bring more love into the world,” he says in an interview with Global News, “When you get a backlash, you realize that you are on the right path, because it means that you are challenging existing ideas and norms.
The experience of raising children among transgender parents has its own characteristics. Reese adds that many people may be interested in some aspects of pregnancy with transgender people, for example, how they carry a child, but they are afraid to ask these questions. When Reese was six months pregnant, he posted a video on his blog, in which he answered the most frequently asked questions and told why he decided to carry his own child. “Sometimes you have to refute things that talk about transgender people,” he says. “For example, it’s not true that we were born in the wrong bodies and hate ourselves for it.” Reese, for example, became a transgender man through hormone therapy. Increased levels of testosterone in the blood allowed him to look like a man. That is enough for him he does not want to change his body. However, drugs based on the male sex hormone can complicate the pregnancy, so the last eight months, Reese does not take them. He also takes into account all the characteristics of his transgender organism so that the child is born healthy. Reese says that apart from mild morning sickness and heartburn, nothing bothered him during the pregnancy. “It’s great to realize that my body gives me the opportunity to live as I dreamed of, and build a family with Biff,” he says, “We will not wait for our child to be born.”