We Already Knew Men Could Get Pregnant

The media is going nuts over a man named Thomas Beatie who has become pregnant, but to anyone familiar with cutting-edge science or science fiction his situation is totally old news. Here's how it happened: there was this guy who used to be a chick, but when he switched over to the guy side he kept his uterus just in case. So he's a dude with a uterus. One day he and his wife decided to have a baby, but her uterus didn't work as well as his. So they let him carry the baby in that handy uterus he saved. (Yeah, he needed a sperm donor to get pregnant — humans still can't impregnate themselves.) Now he's a pregnant dude. Is that really so OMG SHOCKING? Anybody who has read John Varley, Charles Stross, or Ursula Le Guin can comprehend that one. Plus, this guy isn't even the first real-life pregnant man! Another guy has that honor.

Back in the late 1990s, Matt Rice got pregnant and had a baby with his male partner Patrick Califia. And of course there have been dudes with uteruses dating back to the early twentieth century. If you don't believe me, just read Pagan Kennedy's amazing biography of one such wombtastic guy, The First Man-Made Man, which is about the first transgendered male — ie, the first dude who could get pregnant (he didn't choose to do that, but led a pretty damn interesting life).

Throughout the past century, people have been writing about pregnant men in science fiction. The people in Ursula Le Guin's novel Left Hand of Darkness are, like the aliens in Enemy Mine, all one gender and therefore "men" can get pregnant. In Marge Piercy's novel Woman on the Edge of Time, everybody grows babies in artificial wombs but both men and women can nurse the infants when they're born. And of course you haven't lived until you've seen Arnold Schwarzenegger in the movie Junior, dressed in a peach-colored pregnancy suit and confessing, "My nipples are so sensitive."

Plus, as I mentioned earlier, trannies abound in Varley and Stross novels, so it wouldn't be OMG SHOCKING in their worlds if a chick became a dude but kept his uterus for further use. Plus, the genre of fanfic called MPreg, where familiar male characters get pregnant, has been around forever.

So say it loud and say it proud — dudes can has babies! And we already knew that!