A transgender man has opened up about his unique pregnancy journey, and it's truly heartwarming...
But first, what exactly is "gender dysphoria?"
GettyGender dysphoria involves a conflict between a person's sex and the gender with which he or she identifies with. People with gender dysphoria experience high levels of discomfort with their own bodies, and they often report feeling as if it isn't their own.
It is more commonly known as being "transgender."
GettyPeople who are transgender more than often realize that they are from a very young age - children are able to experience gender dysphoria and this is when the majority of trans people realize this conflict.
It is a heartbreaking reality that many trans children face rejection from their families.
According to the Human Rights Campaign, studies have shown that familial rejection can lead to the LGBTQ+ youth engaging in behaviors and activities that endanger their health, trigger depression, and other mental health issues, and, in some extreme cases, can lead to homelessness and suicide.
Family support is one of the most important things for a child or person coming out as trans...
GettyChild welfare expert, Caitlin Ryan, stated that "family acceptance predicts greater self-esteem, social support, and general health status," for LGBTQ+ youth. "It also protects against depression, substance abuse, and suicidal ideation and behaviors - issues for which transgender youth are at disproportionate risk."
Coming out as transgender and beginning the transition is never easy...
GettyDespite this being what a person desires, the first few steps into transition are never easy, especially for a child. Enduring taunting in the school corridors from their peers who are too naive to understand the situation is a sad reality for many trans children.
Thankfully, the LGBTQ+ community is bigger than ever today.
There are countless organizations around the world that work hard together purely to support people, especially children, of the transgender community.
But despite this amazing support...
The transitioning process is never an easy one.
It is both physically and emotionally straining...
via: Getty ImagesAnd it puts the human body through a lot of changes and stress.
But as any trans person who has undergone a transition can agree...
via: Getty ImagesThe results are totally worth it to become their true selves.
When Trystan Reese told his partner Biff Chaplow he was pregnant, it wasn't met with the usual celebratory reply.
Reese, a transgender man, had seen friends have perfectly normal pregnancies as men, but Chaplow was met with uncertainty.
"Initially he was pretty hesitant about the idea," Reese admitted.
"In fact, I believe the words he used were 'absolutely not, this is the dumbest idea you've ever had.' Mostly he was worried for my safety—what it would be like for a pregnant man navigating the world, both medically and socially."
After coming to terms with the idea, the couple spent hours researching, to find out if it was totally safe for Reese to give birth...
And so that's exactly what he did, and their son Leo was born just a few weeks ago.
Reese's hormonal therapy might change certain aspects of his appearance, but his uterus and ovaries work perfectly fine.
Reese slowly came off testosterone to prepare, which is similar to the effects of women coming off the contraceptive pill.
He described the whole thing as a "textbook pregnancy," with cravings, discomfort, and just a whole lot of emotions...
Thankfully, the couple had a healthy delivery.
"The conception part just happened, the two of us at home, the old-fashioned way. I'm really lucky, the people at Kaiser [Permanente] have worked really hard on their trans competency. I received incredibly respectful, knowledgeable, competent care throughout my entire prenatal process. I told my doctor 'it's my goal to be the most boring patient you've ever seen.' He, of course, laughed because I'm a pregnant man."
Reese insisted that he's not the first, and won't be the last to go through pregnancy as a transgender man...
Although the terminology surrounding pregnancy is rarely inclusive of the trans community, and that's something that needs to adapt to more modern times.
"It doesn't bother me," Reese said.
"I just accepted that I'm the one doing something unique. I know that most people, like 99.99 percent of people who give birth are women. I can't really bust into this world and then get mad at them for not really including me. I am the one doing something special. I'm the one who is sort of crashing their party. I thought the respectful thing to do was accept that the language wasn't always going to include me."
"I understand that we are not a typical or traditional family," he said.
"But I think back to when my grandmother was alive, she was the only woman in her entire city who drove a car. Women didn't used to drive cars and guess what? Now women can drive cars. Just because something has always been one way, that doesn't mean that's the right way or the best way or even the way that serves the most number of people. I would invite people to just see the many ways in which family has evolved over time. Look at our family and the love and respect that we have for each other. Continue to be open to thinking about all the different ways kids can come into this world and people can love each other."