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PORTLAND, Ore. - An Oregon man is preparing for the expansion of his family next month, when he is due to give birth to his first child.
Trystan Reese, 34, of Portland, is transgender. He and his partner, Biff Chaplow, were already parents to Chaplow’s niece and nephew, who the couple adopted six years ago.
Now Reese, who was born biologically female and chose to keep his reproductive organs when he transitioned, is pregnant with a baby boy, according to KATU in Portland.
Reese told the news station that the doctors he and Chaplow sought advice from gave the green light for the couple to have a child. Reese, who has been on male hormones for about a decade, had to stop the medication when the couple began trying to conceive.
“We know it’s not traditional, but we hope that people will see that this is just another way how love shows up in the world,” Reese told KATU.
The couple told KATU that their children, Riley and Hailey, are excited to have a baby brother. The family first caught the public eye after being profiled on the parenting podcast “The Longest Shortest Time.” The show describes the family’s podcast series, titled “The Accidental Gay Parents,” as an “audience fave.”
The show is hosting a Facebook Live Q&A event with the couple on June 16.
Chaplow and Reese, who suffered a miscarriage about six months before he became pregnant with their unborn son, said they have complete support in the pregnancy from friends and family but have dealt with negative comments online, where Reese writes on Facebook about his experience being pregnant.
They use extra caution when out in public, Reese told KATU.
“Nobody is so rude to say anything,” he said. “I try to layer when I go to the store to stave off any negativity that would happen.”
“As pregnancy has progressed, it’s obvious that this isn’t just a guy with a beer belly,” Chaplow told the news station.
In a video he posted to the couple’s Facebook page, Biff and I, in March, Reese talked about how he reconciles being pregnant with his gender. He also explained that while a lot of transgender men and women feel an urgent need to radically change their body to align with their gender, he is content with his body the way it is.
“I think my body is awesome. I feel like it’s a gift to have been born with the body that I did, and I made the necessary changes so that I could keep living in it, both through hormones and through other body modifications,” Reese said.
He said he is all right with being a man who has a uterus.
“I don’t feel like it makes me any less of a man. I just happen to be a man who is able to carry a baby,” he said.
The majority of the responses to the video were positive, though there were a few people who voiced opposition to the pregnancy. One commenter insisted that Reese is a woman.
“Your poor baby, born to a mother who thinks they’re a man, therefore that child will never have a mother,” she wrote.
Another commenter said that only women have babies and that “how you choose to live does not alter biology.”
Several people who commented on the page commended Reese and Chaplow’s willingness to share their story, saying that it helped them to understand the couple’s experiences.
“Thank you for sharing this insight,” one woman wrote. “I am working hard to think of gender less as black and white and more as a spectrum, and this gave me a clear example of how this is true.”
“I’m not going to lie, but at the beginning, (it) was very hard to understand,” a male commenter wrote. “However, now that I’ve read more, I just want to say congratulations for the beautiful gift of carrying a child. I’ve always wondered now that would feel, so I’m very happy that you are experiencing it. All the best for your beautiful family.”
Other commenters practically squealed with delight for the couple, sharing smiley emoji and hearts.
“Love your video. Thanks for making it,” one woman wrote. “I love your body confidence, too. Good luck with your pregnancy.”
“Thank you so much for sharing such a personal experience,” another woman told the couple. “You’re an inspiration.”