Trystan Reese, a 34-year-old transgender man, has given birth to a boy weighing in at 9 pounds, 6 ounces and bearing a great deal of joy.
"It feels great to have him be outside my body," Reese told InsideEdition.com Tuesday, and laughed. “I’m a narrow person and he’s a big baby.”
Leo arrived on July 14 and Reese, along with his partner Biff Chaplow, has been over the moon ever since.
The Oregon couple already has two children, 9-year-old Riley and 7-year-old Hailey, both of whom were adopted from Chaplow’s sister after she could no longer care for them, Reese said.
Hailey fell right into her role as big sister, wanting to hold Leo and change his diaper, Reese said. Riley is a bit more circumspect, and will appreciate his little brother a little more when he is old enough to play soccer, Reese said.
The transgender man says he never wanted a surgical transformation. Rather, he was content with hormone treatment. When he and Chaplow decided to try to have their own child, Reese stopped taking testosterone.
The couple decided to keep certain details to themselves — how the baby was born, for example, and how he is fed.
Both dads maintain high presences on Facebook. While their responses have mostly been positive, some are cruel, Reese said.
“We delete the ones that wish harm on our baby,” he said. “I’ve had people say they hope I give birth to a dead baby, because a dead baby is better than growing up in our family.”
President Trump’s directive last week that transgender people be barred from military service didn’t help.
Many people simply don’t understand the transgender community, Reese said. Trump’s rationale for the ban was that sex change surgery is extremely expensive and taxpayers should not have to foot the bill.
But “not all transgender people want surgery,” Reese said, just like himself. “Just taking hormones was enough for me to feel that I could live in this world.”
Without that treatment, Reese said he would have ended his life.
“It was life or death for me,” he said. “There was no way in the world I could continue [as a woman].”
His life, and the lives of his family members, is forever blessed by Leo’s appearance.
“Having a kid is about making life and light and bringing joy into the world,” he said.
Reese, Chaplow, Hailey and Riley are all very happy, he said.