By Susan Brinkmann, OCDS
Broadcast television is trumpeting the story of a “pregnant man,” who is actually a woman who underwent transgender surgery, depicting this family is normal and using the story to question established definitions of man, woman and family.
ABC has featured more than nine segments this year on the story of “pregnant man” Thomas Beatie who recently gave birth to a baby girl. Beattie, born Tracy LaGondino, was a former beauty queen who opted to have her breasts removed but kept her female reproductive organs in order to become a “man.” She uses male hormones in an attempt to look more masculine.
LaGondino, who changed her name to Thomas Beattie, is now legally recognized as a man by the state of Oregon. She “married” a woman named Nancy and the couple made headlines last year when LaGondino became pregnant after being artificially inseminated. The couple, who is expecting again, is selling their autobiography Labor of Love and appearing on a variety of mainstream talk shows where their strange situation is being presented to the public as just another form of family.
For instance, during a show about the couple last March, Good Morning America news anchor Chris Cuomo said, “Oddity aside, biology aside, it is all about love of this child and as long as that’s present, everything else is really going to be normal.”
However, Barbara Walters recently jumped on the bandwagon by hosting a special appearing on 20/20 last week entitled, “What Is a Man, What is a Woman? Journey of a Pregnant Man.”
Her show addresses the definitions of man, woman and family through a lengthy interview with Thomas and Nancy Beattie during which time both Walters and the Beatties repeatedly stress that their “marriage” is normal. Walters insists that the Beatties, “are to all appearances a very ordinary family” and stresses that “Life in the baby’s home is pretty typical.” Nancy Beattie tells Walters during the interview, “we are just an ordinary, normal family. Nothing really different about us.”
Brian Fitzpatrick of the Culture and Media Institute, a media watchdog organization, finds this kind of laissez faire treatment of such a serious issue to be very problematic.
“The problem is, transgenderism is not a joke and it is not normal,” he writes. “It’s a real mental disorder, inflicting real anguish on real people.”
Changing sexes, known as Gender Identity Disorder, is not classified as normal by medical science, and this is the only truthful way the Beatie’s situation should be presented, he says.
“According to The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, fourth edition, the first criterion for diagnosing Gender Identity Disorder (GID) is ‘evidence of a strong and persistent cross-gender identification, which is the desire to be, or the insistence that one is, of the other sex.’ Adults with GID, ‘are preoccupied with their wish to live as a member of the other sex. This preoccupation may be manifested as an intense desire to adopt the social role of the other sex or to acquire the physical appearance of the other sex through hormonal or surgical manipulation.’”
Fitzpatrick goes on to point out that although some medical authorities believe in treating GID with “sex reassignment” surgery, others, such as the prestigious Johns Hopkins Medical School, have long ago stopped offering such “therapy.” The hospital’s former head of psychiatry, Dr. Paul McHugh, noted as early as the 1970s that people who received sex changes continued to suffer with various psychological problems associated with GID. This prompted McHugh to write in an article, “Surgical Sex,” that “to provide a surgical alteration to the body of these unfortunate people was to collaborate with a mental disorder rather than to treat it.”
Fitzpatrick says the reason why the mainstream media is unwilling to acknowledge that Beatie’s condition is actually a known mental disorder is because this is “an inconvenient fact for the leftwing activists striving to eradicate distinctions between the sexes and persuade Americans to accept families not headed by a husband and wife.”
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