29 December 2008 ~ 0 Comments

(Book) Labor of Love: The Story of One Man’s Extraordinary Pregnancy by Thomas Beatie

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What a surprising read. I remember hearing about this and being surprised, to say the least. Then I read more and thought “well, it’s a woman living as man, kinda sorta, but it’s a man… wow, that’s confusing”. I first will say that I think reproductive organs should, in fact, have some say in your gender, but at the end of the day, who really cares? If Thomas feels more like himself as a man, did it legally (pretty intense step for someone to take I would think), then more power to him. He isn’t hurting anyone. His wife, Nancy, seems happy to be with him, his kids will only know that he loves them.

Do I agree with him? I dunno – but do I have to? Does it truly matter what you or I think? I have tremendous respect for he and his wife for talking about their unique circumstances. I would gladly shake his hand and consider him a good neighbor. He seems like a genuinely good guy who is trying to make his own way in the world, like the rest of us.

I was amazed at how well written this book was. I lived in Hawaii for several years in the mid-90s and he took me back there again, to the beaches, to the roads of Honolulu, to the outstanding beauty. But more than that, it felt honest. I never thought he was glossing over anything, not even about his own family. This was written from the heart with a lot of feeling.

My heart does go out to Thomas and Nancy, and I hope the hub bub of their recent announcement of another baby dies down quickly. I understand and respect their decision to go public, but I also worry about the crazy people in this world. Even people I consider friends have said things that made me do a double-take.

While I’ve always been ultra liberal, some of this story pushed even my own boundaries, but ya know… at the end of the day, it doesn’t matter. He’s happy, she’s happy. What business is it of mine, really?

Give it a read, it did give me some unique insight into Thomas. An extraordinary story for sure.



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Synopsis

Thomas Beatie electrified the world in April 2008 with his announcement that he was seven months pregnant and due to give birth in July. The news made headlines across the globe, but it’s only one chapter in a fascinating saga. Labor of Love reveals Beatie’s unique life experiences: his less-than-idyllic childhood in Hawaii, his feelings of being a young man trapped in the body of a woman, his fight to conceive a child, and the obstacles surrounding the delivery. This astonishing narrative permits an intimate look at a family that refuses to let other people’s definitions of family deter them from creating one on their own terms. Labor of Love is much more than the story of a unique pregnancy and birth — it’s a beautiful and controversial love story about going against the tide, a powerful statement about the evolution of family and identity in the new millennium.

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