Can Thomas really be Considered the first Pregnant Man – No

Much has been made of the increasing number of “pregnant men” across the globe. The ubiquitous, albeit useless, question here is whether or not these are actually men. The joke is that there is any debate over this question at all! While science has make some pretty impressive strides in gender reassignment surgery, the truth is that, while a person can be made to appear to be of the opposite gender, they may even feel they are of the opposite gender, with the exception of a miniscule percentage of the world population (those with ambiguous gender assignment and genitalia) we are all pretty much stuck with the genetics with which we were born. Have you ever wondered about those tv shows like NCIS or CSI? The medical examiner studies the bones and remains of some hapless victim undiscovered for a couple of years or more and declares, “A female (or male) about 20 to 25 years of age”.

It’s not all Hollywood and, though not in an hour or less, a medical examiner can, in fact, determine the sex of the remains. How can they do that? How do they know? Males and females have gender specific assignments in the propagation of the species. The body structure, not to mention genes and DNA, point very specifically to one gender or the other. The very fact that you have a animal of the species homo sapiens in a gestating state, in and of itself, indicates that being is female. (For those who would want to argue: seahorses are not homo sapiens, though many a woman in the throes of labor would love to be able to share the ‘joy of childbirth’ with her spouse).

But what about the humorously labeled ‘gender reassignment’ surgery? Yes. What about it? Let’s say I grab a box of Miss Clairol off the shelf in the grocery store and take it home.  Blonde at birth, with a little help from Clairol, tomorrow I walk out of the house with dark brown hair.  To the unknowing eye, I may well look to be a brunette, and for the purposes of identification, I may well be identified as a brunette. But the truth is, underneath all the ammonia and hair color, my genetics say I am a blonde. To add to the illusion, let’s say I purchase a pair of brown contact lenses to conceal the hazel/green orbs underneath. Will that make my eyes any more brown or any less green? Of course not.  Any six year old can tell you that. I can even spend the rest of my life denying my blonde roots but saying it ain’t so won’t make it so. So what is the debate here?

 If I am a female and I have gender reassignment surgery, does that really change my gender? I may well look different on the outside but inside my body is still the same. I cannot really have my gender reassigned as though I were ten years old and accidentally placed in a class of second graders instead of fourth or fifth graders. I cannot go to the principal’s office and get paperwork to allow me to be reassigned to the correct fifth grade class. Nor can I, believing the powers that be erred in assigning me to one gender or the other, go to a surgeon and  say, “I was put in the wrong class. Fix it.” Life doesn’t work that way. Nor should it. The appearance of gender may well be manipulated but the gender is still specific. The genetics are still uniquely male or female.  This is not to say many of us may find ourselves more strongly attracted to a person of our same sex over someone of the opposite sex. Whether you put your faith in a higher being who created us all or ascribe to the chaos theory that we were all some great cosmic accident, I believe it was meant to be this way. I believe, whatever power to which you ascribe, we were not all intended to be the same. Were that the case, we would all be Stepford wives and husbands and we could mix-and-match with equanimity. Were that the case, all flowers would be roses, or lilies, or rhododendrons and all trees would be oak, or elm, or weeping willow. But, since that is not the way of the world then, perhaps the variant gender attractions are all part of some greater plan. (The least of which might be to help control global population!)

I don’t have all the answers and, usually, every answer I reach only brings with it more questions. But, one thing I do know unequivocally and with absolute certainty. Having gender manipulation surgery to make you look like a male doesn’t make you a man and, if you are a human and you’re pregnant, you are a female. What does this mean for Thomas and Scott and Rubin and all the other sexually modified people? It means that, regardless of one’s self-image, regardless of the outward appearance, regardless of their sexual preferences or what they choose to call themselves, their gender simply cannot be changed. That ‘s just the way it is, folks.