Calling someone by their preferred name and their preferred pronouns is an easy way to show that person that you respect and care about them. Unfortunately, not everyone is on the same page with this idea and may even be stuck in their old ways by conforming to stereotypical gender norms or by disregarding people’s sex or gender.
A man by the name of Bennett Kaspar-Williams is 37 years old and gave birth via cesarean in October 2020 to a beautiful, healthy baby boy named Hudson. He was supported by his husband named Malik. Despite being a man and using he/him/his pronouns, the nurses at the hospital kept misgendering Kaspar-Williams and referred to him as a mother.
Kaspar-Williams first realized that he was transgender in 2011 and began transitioning in 2014. He received top surgery but did not have any procedures done on his bottom half. The process of trying to have a baby and go through his pregnancy was at times hard but rewarding. However, this process was met with some personal troubles and hardships along the way as Kaspar-Williams found himself disheartened by the medical staff assuming his gender and constantly calling him a mother rather than a father.
The man indicated his gender on his medical forms, but the nurses seemed not to pay any attention whenever they spoke to Kaspar-Williams. Since giving birth to Hudson, Kaspar-Williams has done his best to remind medical workers — and anyone who may think similarly — that giving birth doesn’t have to be related to gender.
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After dealing with people assuming his gender while giving birth to his son, Kaspar-Williams has spoken out and is doing his part to remind people that having a baby isn’t gender-related and that the person who gives birth isn’t always a mother. According to the New York Post, the father was troubled by the hospital staff insistently calling him a “mom” after giving birth to Hudson.
“The only thing that made me dysphoric about my pregnancy was the misgendering that happened to me when I was getting medical care for my pregnancy,” Kaspar-Williams said.
The New York Post reported that Kaspar-Williams had checked the “male” gender marker on his medical paperwork, but people kept calling him “mom,” “mother” and “ma’am.”
Since then, Kaspar-Williams has made it clear to point out that womanhood and motherhood shouldn’t be connected all the time. He said, “No one can ever really know whether having children is possible until you try — being born with a uterus doesn’t make conceiving or carrying a certainty. That’s why it’s so important that we stop defining ‘womanhood’ in terms of ‘motherhood,’ because it’s a false equivalency that all women can become mothers, that all mothers carry their children, or that all people who carry children are mothers.”
Kaspar-Williams explained that he decided to wait to get pregnant until he “learned how to separate the function of (his) body from any notions of gender.”
And he certainly isn’t the first transgender man to have gone down this path. In April 2019, The Guardian reported on the story of Freddy McConnell, a transgender man in his 30s who gave birth to his own child. The Guardian later produced a documentary about the pregnancy, which premiered at Tribeca film festival.
McConnell experienced gender dysphoria throughout his childhood, which he described in the interview as “a cosmic toothache.”
“I once heard it described as a cosmic toothache, which is quite apt. And I’d felt it ever since the age of three or four. I was a very anxious child, maybe partly because of the trans-ness, maybe something else,” he told the paper.
It wasn’t until after his early 20s that McConnell transitioned, which he explained “made life not just livable, but enjoyable.”
Then, after hearing about stories similar to Kaspar-Williams’, McConnell spoke to his doctor about having a child.
“I went back and forth for ages. But for me, having that genetic link is something I felt I needed to have. It took me so long to feel OK about wanting kids, because there’s a stigma attached to it,” he told The Guardian. “It took me a long time to separate identity from biology. I’m just using my hardware to do a thing. It’s pragmatic.”
However, in contrast to Kaspar-Williams’ experience, McConnell said that the hospital staff was supportive.
“There is a strong case to be made for (giving birth) being the peak human experience, if it goes well. I cannot imagine ever experiencing anything as incredible or as transcendent as that,” McConnell told The Guardian.
Today, all three men — McConnell, Kaspar-Williams and his husband — are enjoying their lives as fathers.
“Nothing feels stronger than being able to say I’m a dad who created my own child,” Kaspar-Williams said. “To my son, there’s nothing more natural and normal than having a Dada and a Papa. And when he’s old enough, he will also come to know that his Dad was the one who carried him and took care of him so he could come into this world.”
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Were you surprised to hear about this father’s experience going through his pregnancy and giving birth? Let us know, and be sure to pass this along to your loved ones, too.
Source & Credit: thecareerbd.com