As a trans guy, I almost made peace with the fact that I could never have children

I was about six when I knew I was trans. I spoke to my mum about it but she didn’t accept it she told me I was being silly and of course I was a girl look at how pretty I was. I was very confused and hurt by the things that she said to me but I decided she must be right after all why would my own mum lie to me?

I didn’t have an older brother so it’s not like I was trying to be like him. Both of my parents were present and active in my life. I guess you could say my upbringing was pretty idyllic. I didn’t want for anything as a child. However, there was this yearning in a pit of my stomach – it plagued my dreams it occupied my thoughts it took over my life. I didn’t know what being trans was but I knew that I wasn’t a girl.

After I left uni, I decided I needed to speak to somebody about being transgender. I went home and spoke to both of my parents. I told them in no uncertain terms that I was trans and I needed to do something about it. My mum started crying. My dad clapped me on the back and said “welcome home son”. He told me that my mum would come around eventually. I really hoped that was true.

I spoke with a therapist who suggested the family come in for a chat. My parents agreed. There were lots of tears and discussions and it turned out, the reason my mother was so upset is because she wanted grandchildren. After an extended period of family therapy, my mum decided she would rather I was happy above all else.

I began hormone therapy and fully embraced my identity as a man. I was told by my GP that the testosterone I was taking would make me infertile. It was a sacrifice I was willing to make. My relationship to my body has evolved over time. I’ve always been particularly lean with narrow hips and a small chest. This meant transitioning was very easy for me. I decided to not have surgery at all for the time being. My body was quickly changing in a way that made me feel comfortable. My voice has dropped my body hair had thickened and my facial hair had come in really good.

Three months on HRT, I was starting to truly feel like myself and I started seeing M. I told M quite quickly that I was trans. He accepted it with no question. We were madly in love and moved in together quickly. We had started to talk about our future and I told M that my doctor told me I would be infertile as a result of the testosterone. He said he didn’t care and if we wanted children, there were many ways to go about it!

After 6 months together, M proposed to me. It was the sweetest thing – we were at a planetarium looking up at the stars. Once the show ended, I looked around and M was on one knee, ring in hand, asking me to be his husband. Of course, I said yes! I told him that I needed to call my parents. As we left the planetarium, I was greeted by a stretch limousine. Both our parents were inside!

We went for dinner at a fancy restaurant and started immediately planning our wedding. We wanted a small affair with no more than 50 people. Somewhere remote. Before the end of the year – It was February. We decided on a Christmas wedding. The rest of that year was a blissful whirlwind. Our wedding approached quickly and as we both said “I do” we cried tears of joy.

Our honeymoon was a trip around the world. We started three days after our wedding. First stop, Paris! We kissed atop the Eiffel Tower. Took a river boat along the Seine. Watched a show at the Moulin Rouge. After Paris, we headed to Luxembourg. When we reached our hotel, I was feeling unwell. I spent the first two days of our stay in bed. On our third day, we went on a wine tasting tour. Three glasses in I had to excuse myself and was violently sick. I told M he should stay and I got a cab back to the hotel. I don’t know what prompted me to do it but when I got to the hotel, I went to a nearby pharmacy and grabbed a pregnancy test. I took it when I got back to our room and sat watching the stick change. It was positive. I was shocked. I went back to the pharmacy – convinced the test was broken. I bought a different brand. That, too, was positive. I sat on the bathroom floor and cried. This wasn’t supposed to be happening.

I must have fallen asleep because the next thing I remember was M shaking me awake, the two pee sticks in his hand. He looked confused but excited. I told him I thought I was pregnant.

We cut our trip short and flew back home. I went to my doctor who ordered a blood test. I was, indeed, pregnant! He told me I should cease using my testosterone immediately and he ordered a bunch more tests. We both called our parents. A whirlwind of emotions swept through us all.

Two weeks after that positive pregnancy test, we made peace with the fact that the two of us would become three very soon.

Excitement, joy, and apprehension intertwined as we navigated the complexities of pregnancy within the context of my identity. We faced so many challenges, from medical settings that didn’t always understand or respect our identities, to the emotional journey of my body going through changes I had not really experienced before now.

We celebrated each milestone, cherishing the prospect of parenthood. We started decorating the spare bedroom. Picking out baby clothes. Thinking about names. But fate had other plans. In the midst of this transformative experience, I started to bleed heavily. M rushed me to the hospital where we were hit with the devastating news of a miscarriage.

The loss was a complex and deeply emotional ordeal. I found myself grappling with emotions that were both universal and unique to his identity. I mourned not only the loss of a child, but also the loss of a connection to my body that I had worked hard to redefine. In this time of heartache, my journey of self- acceptance took on new dimensions, as I faced the challenge of reconciling my trans identity with the experience of pregnancy loss.

 

What hurt the most was the lack of support available to me. I reached out to countless pregnancy loss organisations. All of whom wanted to speak to my “wife” about the loss and provide her a space. I could not be in community with women who had gone through the same things I had. This compounded our loss and meant that moving forward was difficult.

When I eventually found The Queer Parenting Partnership, it had been a year since our loss. M and I had held on to each other, somehow willing the other to survive this. I emailed Kim but didn’t disclose the fact that I was trans. It felt too good to be true that someone was able to genuinely accept that this was our experience as two men – with no woman or mother involved.

Kim was easy to talk to but it still felt like I was sharing someone else’s story. After a while, I told Kim that I was a trans guy. They took on that information as if it was as unremarkable as if I’d told them I had two feet. They asked if I wanted anything different and I said no. I just wanted to feel seen and heard. Kim supported M and I separately and together. They even held a Zoom discussion with us and our parents – helping all of us navigate the heartache together. Kim had supported us through creating a memory box, honouring our baby and keeping the nursery as it was. We are now at the stage where we are planning our second baby.

Miscarriage is hard enough as it is. LGBTQ+ parents shouldn’t have to spend a whole year looking for the right kind of support to navigate their grief.

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The Queer Parenting Partnership was launched in 2020, in response to the shocking lack of birth and parenting support services for LGBTQ+ people in the UK.

Everyone is welcome at The Queer Parenting Partnership.

Our values are of equality, fairness, power, love, community, laughter and fun. We aim to build a community for queer families to learn and grow together and to celebrate our presence in the world.

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