Trans Masculine Man Gives Birth, Sharing Journey Through Social Media

by Kevin Schattenkirk

EDGE Media Network Contributor

Wednesday December 30, 2020

Trans Masculine Man Gives Birth, Sharing Journey Through Social Media
  (Source:Danny the Trans Dad/Facebook)

Danny Wakefield recently gave birth to his first child. In an editorial for Newsweek, Wakefield, who identifies as trans masculine, discussed the process of fully realizing his own gender identity and his long-held desire to have children.

Trans parents have had to contend with misinformation and bias when consulting with medical professionals about the prospect of carrying their own children. For instance, a doctor told Jay Thomas and Jamie Brewster of Louisville, Kentucky, that they probably wouldn't be able to conceive — that Thomas "had likely gone through early menopause," and would have to be off testosterone for at least 18 months if they were able to conceive at all, as reported by NBC News. That turned out to be false information.

Even in scenarios where doctors and nurses are well-meaning, trans couples who conceive — especially transmen and those who present as more masculine-oriented — contend with being misgendered, often because pregnancy is culturally coded as feminine. While potential and soon-to-be trans parents continue to encounter issues surrounding gender and pregnancy, occasional lights at the end of the cultural tunnel emerge: Trans couple Myles and Precious Brady Davis, new parents to daughter Zayn — who was carried by Myles — learned in January that their home state of Illinois would accurately reflect the parents' gender identities on Zayn's birth certificate, as reported by the Chicago Tribune.

Wakefield came out as trans masculine in 2011, at age 25, and began the process of transitioning. Fortunately, he had the support of his family and was able to transition with relative ease. Wakefield says that one aspect that has helped with being more visible as trans masculine is that "people often read me as a cisgender gay male." This has allowed him to be more open, particularly on social media where he feels compelled to be visible for other trans people, saying, "If I had not stumbled across someone else's journey on YouTube when I was 25, I don't know if I would have had the words for my own identity and been able to start this transition."

Completing a degree in education and child development, along with having worked as a teacher's assistant and as a nanny, Wakefield knew "for my entire life that I've wanted children and I knew before I transitioned that I would want to carry at least one child."

Though Wakefield battled Hyperemesis gravidarum, a severe pregnancy illness, he confesses to being nervous about pregnancy. He "carried very large" with his child, Wilder, and suspects that would have shaped the reactions of people in everyday life to his pregnancy. "But being pregnant during a pandemic meant that I wasn't going out in public, so I had less fear around how the world was going to see my body," he told Newsweek, and this allowed him to focus more on his social media presence.

Though there had been moments of dysphoria — Wakefield had "been off testosterone for a year in order to carry Wilder — aside from the usual exhaustion accompanying being a new parent, "it's also so beautiful. Even though I'm so exhausted, I still find myself staying awake at night just to watch Wilder sleep because I just can't get over how beautiful this life is."

Kevin Schattenkirk is an ethnomusicologist and pop music aficionado.

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