Transgender Father Breastfeeding (It's Complicated)
Trevor MacDonald was born female. He is 27. At age 22 he began a transition from female to male by taking hormones and undergoing surgery to remove breast tissue for a more male-looking chest.
Recently he was still able to become pregnant, by temporarily stopping his testosterone dosage and had a healthy son, whom he wishes to breastfeed. He is a stay-at-home dad.
He is still able to produce a little breast milk but not enough to sustain regular feedings mainly due to his chest surgery. Currently he uses a feeding system of a bottle with donated breast milk, attached to a long thin tube which his son can feed on at the same time he sucks on the breast. During the latter stages of his pregnancy Mr. MacDonald sought assistance from a breastfeeding advocacy group called La Leche League Canada (LLLC).
MacDonald now wants to become a group leader within LLLC in order to help gay, transgendered and other special needs couples through the challenges of breastfeeding. He feels his binary understanding of motherhood and fatherhood combined with his leadership training and education (honors BA in poli-sci from UBC), would make him a wonderful group leader.
His application has been rejected by the group, who doesn't allow men to become group leaders. He feels this is wrong. He blog posts regularly under www.milkjunkies.net and published both his request letter and the rejection response.
Breastfeeding, beyond the nutritional debate, creates a bond between parent and child. Should it be the exclusive domain of women? Biologically one would say "yes." I suppose any dad could breast feed if it were just the act, and he had the assistance of the feeding tube, but few would. Trevor WAS a woman biologically, gave birth and now has taken on a father role and wants to breast feed with no breasts and not enough milk. That's his prerogative, as it is an organization's choice to set their own guidelines.
However, here is the clear case. Once again science and medicine is well ahead of traditional values. I suggest they catch up. LEAVE COMMENTS.
For other Larry Fedoruk blogs and features, click here.