'Pregnant Man's' Labor of Love

Once we reached this decision, I stopped taking testosterone. Nancy and I bought donor sperm from a cryogenic bank, and I got pregnant. It was an ordinary pregnancy in many ways, and in others it was not: while expecting I appeared in People Magazine, had carloads of paparazzi camp outside my home, fielded an offer from an artist who wanted to make a life-sized marble statue of me, was besieged by tabloid reporters from countries around the world, and became, literally overnight, at once the most famous pregnant person on the planet, and the least understood. Nancy and I did not go public with my pregnancy for fame or money. We actually turned down offers worth hundreds of thousands of dollars to tell our story, and instead chose to be in People for free. We came forward because there was simply no way I could hide from the world—a pregnant man is, after all, pretty hard not to notice. We knew that people were starting to talk about us; we could see them whispering about us in grocery stores or at the gym. I could slink around and wear really baggy clothing, or I could stand up proudly and face the future head on. Nancy and I chose to stand up. Yet neither of us were prepared for the media frenzy my pregnancy created, or for being seen less as human beings with feelings and dreams and more as symbols or inanimate cutouts on whom anyone could project their perceptions and prejudices. At one point I was the most searched-for person on the web, with nearly a million references on Google. The vast majority of items about me, I would discover, were negative.

At every step along the way I looked hard to find some precedent for what I was doing, to learn about anyone anywhere who could help me or give me advice. But there was no one. I wanted to look into the legal issues involving my pregnancy, but, again, I found nothing. And so I had to learn from my own mistakes, to rely on my own instincts, and to have faith in the sureness of my fight. It is one of the reasons I have written this book. I think my story is worth telling, for anyone facing long odds and daunting obstacles on the way to achieving the life they want.

I realize that what I am doing is strange and new, and that my situation causes people to be confused. I know that sometimes when people are confused they get angry and lash out. Nancy and I have received dozens of death threats, been called monsters and freaks, and confronted a hatred so deep that it can wish our innocent daughter be damned to hell. As much as we try to steel ourselves against the inevitable backlash our situation creates, we have been staggered by some of the comments directed at us.

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