The one thing about medical technology is that it is constantly advancing, evolving and making things a reality that were impossible only a few short years before.
I stumbled across two articles that reminded me of an old joke that transwomen and transmen other used to say to each other.
We used to remark to each other it would be nice if we could just swap the gender specific body parts.
While the medical technology as of yet hasn't perfected a realistic looking and functional penis for transguys, the news is a little different for transwomen.
We've always had since the 60's SRS surgeons skilled in creating realistic looking feminine genitalia. Now if the news coming from research scientists pans out, a result of gynecological research being done to help infertile cismothers bear children, may also give transwomen the ability to give birth.
Lili Elbe, one of our pioneering transwomen, died 78 years ago from complications stemming from the rejection of her uterine transplant. She did so because she wanted to bear children
Lili's dream may soon become a reality for 21st century transwomen.
A New York surgical team is now interviewing candidates who will attempt to do the first human womb transplant in the United States. The technique was tried by a Saudi Arabian surgical team in 2000, but the womb was rejected after three months.
The procedure would potentially allow women who have had their wombs damaged or removed to develop a pregnancy and give birth. It may also give transwomen who desire to do so the ability to give birth to children as well.
Transman Thomas Beattie caught a lot of flack inside and outside the trans community in 2008 for stopping his testosterone shots so that he could bear children.
Never mind the fact he did so because he and his wife wished to become parents and his wife was infertile. In addition to their now one year old daughter, Thomas recently gave birth to a son on June 9, 2009.
But that Beattie drama got me thinking about our reproductive rights as transpeople and how they've taken a back seat to just living our lives.
Many of us back in the day didn't consider banking our sperm before we had our orchiectomies or SRS. Thanks to the restrictive HBIGDA/WPATH transition rules in place at the time, we never considered the possibility that one day you'd might wish to have children with some of your family DNA in them.
And who would have even contemplated the thought that transwomen would not only stay married to their cis spouses, but keep their neoclits and get busy being fruitful and multiplying? What are the odds of a transwoman meeting a ciswoman who loved you enough to marry you, simply wanted to bear your child or a transman doing so?
Somehow I doubt much has changed in the 2k's. I don't believe it's high on the priority lists of many 21st century transpeople either, much less is a discussion topic in our gender meeting groups.
Some will argue life's hard enough for us now. Why bring a child into this situation? Ask any parent raising them and they can give you infinite reasons why you should.
As these interesting medical developments unfold, maybe it's time for us to be proactive in this debate instead of reactive. You can bet your last hormone shot that the fundies and their haters are already looking for a way to demonize a process that will help millions of people.
It's time to get our arguments ready to counter whatever lies and out of context Scripture they come up with.
It's time to do some hard solid thinking about where we are in terms of reproductive rights issues as they relate to us personally and as a community.
It's time for us to ask the question, will 'being fruitful and multiply' not only become a reality for those of u who wish to do so, but what are the ramifications for the child we bring into the world as well?