Trystan Reese of Portland has a baby on the way and is dealing with the normal effects of pregnancy, like heartburn after every meal and intense cravings for McDonald's French fries. But Reese's situation falls outside the norm, too, because he's a transgender man who is pregnant. And the 34-year-old has been very open about the experience, most importantly sharing that he considers his journey of growing his young family with his partner "just another way love shows up in the world." In a perfect expression of the diversity of loving families for Pride Month, Reese is rockin' his bump proudly and emerging at once as a true inspiration and a normal, loving dad and family man.
Reese and his partner, Biff Chaplow, adopted Chaplow's niece and nephew as 20-somethings thrust suddenly into parenthood back in 2011 — and the two dads knew they wanted to have a baby of their own eventually as well, according to a Hearst Digital Media video about their story posted to their Facebook page. Though Reese experienced a miscarriage at six weeks last year, the couple is finally about to get their wish. Their baby, a boy, is due in July — and his parents and siblings can't wait to meet him.
In the meantime, Reese is embracing his identity as a pregnant man, and said in another Facebook video:
I think my body is awesome. I feel like it's a gift to have been born with the body that I did, and I made the necessary changes so that I could keep living in it, both through hormones and through other body modifications ... I'm OK with my body being a trans body. I'm OK being a man who has a uterus and has the capacity and capability of carrying a baby. I don't feel like it makes me any less of a man. I just happen to be a man who is able to carry a baby.
Still, Reese works to keep himself safe when out in public, which often means layering up strategically when he heads to the grocery story, for example, according to CNN. After all, Chaplow joked that "it's obvious that this isn't just a guy with a beer belly," Portland's KATU 2 reported. It's a huge shame that society at large makes Reese feel as though he needs to cover up, because there's no doubt that so much about him and his family is simply beautiful and worthy of celebration anytime.
Reese stopped taking testosterone to help the pregnancy happen — making the decision, of course, medically possible. According to The Daily Mail, Reese and Chaplow tried for six months before Reese got pregnant again following the initial miscarriage.
"Every doctor that we spoke with said, 'Absolutely, this is possible; absolutely, this is a safe and healthy medical decision to make,'" Reese told KATU. "We know it's not traditional, but we hope that people will see that this is just another way how love shows up in the world."
Congratulations to the happy family — and thanks for showing the world that love is love is love.