Transgender Man Gives Birth to Second Child
A transgender man has given birth to a second child, five years after having his first baby while living as a woman.
Kaci Sullivan, 30, is the first person in the world believed to have given birth both while living as both a man and a woman.
Sullivan underwent a cesarean section following seven days in labor and welcomed Phoenix, who will be raised gender neutral, into the world four years after beginning the transition from female to male. Sullivan conceived with partner Steven, 27, last February after taking a break from male hormones.
"We are just so happy and grateful and enjoying spending time together as a family," Sullivan said. "The baby is delightful, loving and sweet. The last nine months have brought my partner and I so close together."
Sullivan runs the TransLiberation Art Coalition, which is dedicated to promoting activism in art. He was assigned the female gender at birth, but always struggled with his identity, a problem that worsened with abuse that began when he was just 4.
He met his first husband at 19 and tied the knot in 2010, but by his early twenties was battling severe depression and began to drink excessively. When Kaci fell pregnant with his first child in July 2011, he hoped becoming a mother would make him feel more feminine, but was left in a dark place when it didn't.
"Throughout the experience, I prayed to connect with womanhood, to identify with what was happening to my body, but I couldn't,” he said. "I felt so hopeless and lost. I wanted to die. I fell into such a dark place and I was terrified to bring a baby into that darkness with me.”
That all changed when his 5-year-old, Grayson, was born.
"But the moment they put him in my arms it was bliss. Immediately I loved him like I had never loved anything or anyone and I felt such a surge of duty to him,” Sullivan said.
Three months after Grayson was born, Kaci came out as transgender and says he "felt like a ton of bricks" had been lifted.
Sullivan documented his second pregnancy through social media, specifically through the YouTube channel, My Trans Pregnancy.
"As my bump grew bigger and bigger I got nervous going out in public because people would stare. They noticed my abnormal shape,” Sullivan said. "There was a lot of anxiety but the most important thing for me was sending the message that pregnancy is not a gendered thing."
The couple, however, said they received criticism, both online and in public, throughout the pregnancy.
"Some people have been perturbed by the idea of me giving birth but I don't engage or respond to them. If I see those comments I just get rid of them,” Sullivan said. "They will try and find our safe space and violate it with their opinions, but they are jerks.”
Sullivan also said the pregnancy didn’t make him feel any less masculine.
"Because I don't see pregnancy as inherently feminine, and because I don't subscribe to make-believe gender roles, I wasn't threatened by the idea of pregnancy,” Sullivan said. "Our sex and gender identity have nothing to do with socially constructed gender roles. The architecture of your brain does not change depending on what color you are dressed in as a baby."