Trans Father Scott Moore’s Baby Photos Inspire Awws, Bigotry

Scott Moore, dubbed “the second pregnant man” by the media, just gave birth to his baby Miles, and TMZ got photos, which we came upon via Bossip.  Scott and his husband Thomas were both born women. The couple already has two other children, 10 and 12, from Thomas’s first marriage to a woman who has since passed away. They’re legally married as Moore still has his female ID. It’s worth noting that obviously Scott is not the world’s second pregnant man, hey there’s even a great documentary called Transparents about the real experiences of transgender parents! Go watch it!

The new baby is adorable, as babies often are. The couple looks happy and Scott is wearing a cute hoodie. And the Internet is, apparently, disgusted. And subsequently we are disgusted at the Internet.

Back in January, when the news of Scott’s pregnancy was announced, Pam’s House Blend ran a piece on a radio show’s transphobic reaction to the news. The author of the post also asked TransMentors International’s Michael Brown for his opinion on the issue. Here it is:

I can tell you that trans men are divided on the issue of trans men giving birth. Many are incredibly angry, others are c’est la vie.

I know that many transmen have kids, all along for decades, when in all stages of transition. They didn’t have to become a media “sensation” overnight, they simply chose to conceive a child and that’s great.

I’m on the side of — if they’re a man, then don’t get pregnant. BUT — if they do, don’t take it to the media. Keep it low profile. Every individual has a right to govern their own body, including having a kid.

But being out in the news is not good right now, with society needing so much education and very susceptible now that “trans” is becoming a household word.

This whole situation pisses me off…. and maybe part of that is because they were obnoxious against trans MEN. I’m sorry, but us guys are least known in the trans spectrum, and about the only time we get anyone noticing us is either because of a hate crime (Brandon Teena), porn (Buck Angel) or PREGNANT men.

Although TMZ (which we would link to, but we try to avoid consorting with the devil and so you’ll just have to trust us) introduces the new photo shoot with the troubling but relatively innocuous (for TMZ)“Confusing? Perhaps. Adorable? Absolutely” — well, the commenters really just take it from there. And although we may not completely understand the decision to take this story to the press, these commenters ARE SO F*CKING TRANSPHOBIC AND HOMOPHOBIC. Really world, really?

About 95% of the comments are some variation on comments expressing these ideas: “THATS NOT A MAN!!! IF HE HAVE A VAGINA, OVARIES AND A WOMB! THEN HE’S NOT A TRUE MAN!!”

Some are concerned about Miles’ comfort at various extracurricular activities:

Just think how horrible school, teachers conferences, scouts or any normal healthy activity will be for the kids!!!! Even the childhood joy of birthday parties will be difficult for the kids, if they even are invited or have one. The children are innocents. The “parents” are selfish, short sighted and SICKOS!!!!!

Even the gays are openly transphobic:

I’m gay and this is really sad even to me. This woman is not a man. If she has a vagina and is still shooting out kids, she is a woman. If she had a hysterectomy and had her vagina crafted into a penis and THEN had a baby, I would be impressed but now, not so much. I feel like the transexuals have a right to change what they want about their bodies, but don’t expect me to join in on your psychosis.

Throwing in “fat” and “ugly” for good measure:

Whether anyone here believes in God or not… I’m glad to see that 90% of us agree that this freak is not a man, but an ugly, fat, lesbian woman. I feel sorry for their precious baby.

Hypotheticals abound:

This isn’t a man. Never was, never will be. If I have surgery to make me LOOK like an alien, and then I have a baby, does the headline read “Alien has baby”? I think not.

This pressing question comes from the commenters of Bossip, which actually includes maybe 10% positive comments, as opposed to TMZ’s 1%:

I don’t care about peoples personal lives and who they choose to love and have kids w/ but all I wanna know is… why are most lesbians overweight (even though these two are now transgender/men). I never see a nice trim and small lesbian couple. Do they all just want to be fat? Has anyone else noticed this?

Oh, sigh. Obviously she never saw The L Word (which also had plenty of transphobia to go around).

What do you think? It’s a bit interesting; we assume Scott & Thomas chose to do the photoshoot with gossip rag TMZ because the payout was handsome and Robin Hooding it is the solution. But the ethics of selling baby photos are tricky.

We admit that the hatred stunned us; perhaps we live in a bubble. But here’s the thing, check out the reaction to Queerty’s coverage of the announced pregnancy in January — the commenters over there are similarly transphobic. The interesting issue raised by Michael Brown on the PHB post of positive vs. negative visibility isn’t discussed, rather people just sort of spew unrelated transphobia into the world wide web.

Kate Bornstein, Gender Outlaw Lady We Love, has noted, “Since transgenders in this culture are neither fairly nor accurately represented in the media, nor championed by a community, we develop our world views in solitude.” So what do you think? Does this kind of press coverage endorse or challenge current transphobic and homophobic cultural norms? Does the response surprise you? How should the queer press best talk about it?

IS IT A TIGGER BLANKET OR A CALVIN & HOBBES BLANKET I DON’T KNOW BUT IT’S A CUTE BLANKET

The backstory on Scott and Thomas, if you don’t already know it, is interesting:

Moore, born Jessica, told the paper he first realized he wanted to be a man when he was 11.

“When I told my family, they thought I was crazy, but they gradually realized I was serious and allowed me to start taking male hormones when I was 16 years old,” he said.

His parents eventually paid for him to have his 36DDD breasts removed, the paper reports, but he could not afford the high cost of full sex reassignment surgery.

Thomas, born Laura, underwent sex reassignment surgery last year. “We were so happy, we did what all gay men do when they get excited — we went shopping,” he told the newspaper.

Also:

“My son Logan was bullied, but now he just says to teasers: ‘You may have a problem with my two dads, but I don’t, so you’re not hurting me.’


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Riese is the 35-year-old CEO, CFO and Editor-in-Chief of Autostraddle.com as well as an award-winning writer, blogger, fictionist, copywriter, video-maker and aspiring cyber-performance artist who grew up in Michigan, lost her mind in New York City and mellowed out in California before returning to Michigan for reasons that are unclear to her now. Her work has appeared in nine books including "The Bigger the Better The Tighter The Sweater: 21 Funny Women on Beauty, Body Image & Other Hazards Of Being Female," magazines including Marie Claire and Curve, and all over the web including Nylon, Queerty, Nerve, Bitch, Emily Books and Jezebel. She had a very popular personal blog once upon a time, and then she recapped The L Word, and then she had the idea to make this place, and now here we all are! In 2016, she was nominated for a GLAAD Award for Outstanding Digital Journalism. Follow her on twitter and instagram.

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41 Comments

  1. 0

    OMG that baby is so cuuuutee!!

    Is it just me, or when TransMentors International’s Michael Brown says “I’m on the side of — if they’re a man, then don’t get pregnant. BUT — if they do, don’t take it to the media,” have a sting of gender/biological essentialism to it? Reproduction, or lack thereof, isn’t a gender marker for cisgender folks, why does it need to be one for transgender folks?

    PS – I hope I’m not the first comment again. I don’t want to bring AS down.
    PPS – I really really hope that’s a Calvin and Hobbes blanket.

  2. 0

    Best quote in there is from Logan, the son – trust the kids to get it right!

    Do the responses surprise me? That’s a resounding and depressing no. Although I do think people’s vitriol is exacerbated by internet anonymity as usual.

    I’m lucky enough to feel %100 comfortable in the gender I was born in, and to live in a society and age where I can do whatever I want, regardless of gender role, to a degree unprecedented in history.

    Just because I, and all those bigoted commenters, haven’t gone through the turmoil of gender dysphoria does not make it any less real or agonising for the people that have. Just because you cannot comprehend something does not give you a right to condemn it. This isn’t lefty liberalism, it’s called f*cking manners.

    Regarding the trend of transphobic responses from queer quarters, I half get the feeling that some of it is fueled by jealousy. Do you ever think that some (just some!) gay people actually get off on being discriminated against, because some people just like playing the “woe is me” card, and using oppression as a handy excuse for other things in life?

    As homophobia decreases inch-by-inch, this excuse lessens. Trans folk tend to have to live in a much worse shit storm – are some gay people annoyed that they are getting out-miseried by a different minority?

    If that sounds utterly crazy, it’s because I truly cannot think of another reason why queer people would be so horrifically bigoted, because it just makes no sense.

    • 0

      the thing about gays discriminating against other people – I think that of course sometimes we do feed off the discrimination we have to face. on the other hand, belonging to a minority doesn’t make you a better person per se. it’s not an excuse and it’s not garanteed that it makes for a good personality. we all have these friends, exes and god knows we’ve all been those people ourselves.
      people like to make others feel that they are different, and people need groups to belong to. read: biphobia in lesbian community.
      and obviously, transphobia.

  3. 0

    I think it’s just that people seriously don’t get it. in terms of social cognitive theory gender identification is something that affects virtually every aspect of people’s daily lives. it’s still the primary way people get differentiated, along with race, but for whatever reason failure to immediately identify a person’s race doesn’t wig us out nearly as much as failure to identify gender. By no means does this excuse making hateful, bigoted comments especially from behind the protected fortress of anonymity that is the internet comment thread, but it can help explain for example transphobia from within the queer community. Whether or not you know what it feels like to be marginalized, you still have the same subconscious reaction to gender identification. Usually. Throw in some more shades of gray like transgender childbirth, and we’re all just totally bewildered.

    I personally don’t get it, but I don’t understand what it feels like to be so certain I’ve been born with the wrong body, and I won’t pretend to be able to fathom how heavy it must be. I consider myself lucky I’m just gay. So good on them for managing their own lives and their own bodies. I wouldn’t hope for less from anybody.

  4. 0

    the sickest thing about these comments is that the people who post this, blaming the parents for being selfish, on day will be the REALLY SELFISH people who are to bully these kids.

    it’s not the parents bullying their kids, the parents are the ones who will comfort their children when they’ll be bullied by all those people hating on the trans-parents right now.

    it begins there, right now. If they would take the children as they are and say they don’t understand the parents and don’t like the way they’re living their lives, fine, but the children aren’t their parents and therefore not to blame for this, there would be oh so little bullying left.

    because it’s those partens teaching THEIR children what other children are worthy inviting to birthdays or having playdates with.

    (it that makes me so upset. and people never notice. never ever.)

  5. 0

    Ugh, online commenting. I just read this post on the NYT about news sites, at least, thinking about trying to move away from anon commenting. (http://www.nytimes.com/2010/04/12/technology/12comments.html)

    I have some hope that we can reshape the internet to have some personal accountability and thus create a new decorum of civility online. I hope that’s what the future will bring. Real people interacting, building real community, and furnishing real dialogue – instead of page after page of the lowest, most thoughtless zings imaginable.

    I’m truly saddened when I juxtapose the thoughts of the energy resources dedicated to parsing and hosting endless comments of the “u fucking ugly cum sucker” sort and all the good we could do in this world by harnessing that energy (of the commenters and of the network) for something else.

    • 0

      I’m more worried about the fact that people think these things are okay to say on any level, anonymous or not. If people become accountable for their actions on the internet, yes, they might be a bit more polite, but I think that there will also be a lot of things that are not addressed, and a lot of people who will lose access to open forums because of a need for anonymity.

      • 0

        There are definite downsides to reducing anonymity on the Internet, too. But there was a time when we got through life with less anonymity. I’m not saying it was better then – context was clearly different and you can’t compare this one variable across the two times on the same plane – but the degeneration (I realize this implies something was better before) that has happened on the Internet as it stands is not healthy for society. I think it is actually making it seem more ok/appropriate/normal to say such things even off the internet and in places with less anonymity. E.g. people yelling racist, homophobic remarks in the halls of Congress because they are upset about a bill being passed; illogical ad hominem attacks are approaching the norm even in a house that is supposed to embody reasoned discourse.

        Maybe it’s too late to stop this trend; I’m for experimenting with new solutions on the Internet (and of course in schools, etc.) in case we can still turn this ship around.

  6. 0

    “This woman is not a man. If she has a vagina and is still shooting out kids, she is a woman. If she had a hysterectomy and had her vagina crafted into a penis and THEN had a baby, I would be impressed but now, not so much.”

    I have to agree with that. When I heard about the first pregnant man I was like OMG! How did he do that? Octomom, whatevs, but a MAN having a baby?!?! Then I found out that he was trans so I was like okay… Where is the story here? It is a person who has women genitalia and equipment, regardless of what they identify as, they are a woman.

    I am not judging or being transphobic. I have not grips with the person. You want kids, have them! I just don’t get the media. I fail to understand why this or any partially trans person having a baby is news?

    • 0

      Well, I certainly get your point about the media. It seems a bit attention-hungry or sensationalist to go to the media, especially TMZ, when you get pregnant in a situation like this. But I don’t know their justifications. Maybe they really needed the money to take care of their family.

      Howevs, that original comment — I just can’t get behind it, for a couple reasons. First of all, it’s mean spirited; you can tell by the tone.

      Secondly, it’s mistaking sex for gender identity. Scott gets to define his own gender as he sees fit. It’s not contingent on chromosomes, sex organs, or any biological trait. Biology defines sex, not gender (though even biology has it’s grey areas). Also a lot of trans people choose to not have bottom surgery. That doesn’t make them any less of a man/woman. Their self-identification is what matters, and if Scott says he’s a man, then he is. It’s really dangerous territory to start talking about whether he has a vagina or not.

      • 0

        Thank you for bringing up the sex vs. gender issue! That tends to be something a lot of people either don’t realize or don’t think about, and I think it’s a very important distinction.

      • 0

        Yeah, like I said my issue is not with him being trans, his sex, gender identity or whatever. I just don’t understand why the media deems this a story. There was no medical miracle break through. He has the natural equipment to carry and have a child.

        I feel like it kind of exploits and highlights something that most people have an issue with and/or don;t understand. And it doesn;t inform or enlighten people. Many people don;t understand trans as it is, then for that person to be gender identified man, but keep the sex female, and then want to carry a baby. It seems like the person is confused and perpetuates the notion that trans ppl are ‘mentally ill’. IMO

        • 0

          I hate that we have to be “perfect” in order to properly represent whatever minority we belong to. It would be great if people could see the nuance in situations instead of declaring everything black and white, or understand that individuals don’t stand for an entire category. But I guess that’s not how the world works.

          • 0

            *+1*

            Transmen still have to go for cervical cancer checkups. There is an entire Aboriginal Australian community of “sistagals” who are people born male that live and identify as women, take up the women’s roles in society, but do not identify as trans nor get surgery.

            However a person wants to identify themselves genderwise is up to them. I was reading something on Genderfork about how menstruation shouldn’t necessarily be a female-only thing – it happens to someone with a functioning pre-menopausal uterus (oversimplifying the science here) but the owner of said uterus could identify as male, female, neither, who knows or cares. How is it up to *us* to decide what a person identifies?

            A pregnant man story, even when the person isn’t necessarily 100% male from birth till now, is still notable – mainly for reactions like these. Scientifically it could make an interesting case study for whether testosterone can interfere with pregnancy when in the same body, and may open the doors to other men to carry a child. Sociologically it challenges preconceived ideas of the childbearer solely being male. In this case the news media is especially notable for respecting Scott’s identity by calling him a “man”, rather than denying that opportunity to him (even if the rest of the response fails).

            Also, as a kid that was made fun of horribly in school: people will make fun of anyone over anything. Even down to your *name* or some random attribute that changes day by day. Saying that people shouldn’t do ANYTHING because it would lead to the child being made fun of is just blaming the victim (or the victim’s family), instead of looking at why such name-calling happens in the first place.

          • 0

            When you say other men do you mean trans or 100% born male, men? If it is the latter, I disagree. Why would we need to figure out if men can carry a child?

          • 0

            I might be wrong and so I certainly hope Tiara the Merch Girl replies. However, my understanding was that stories like this generate conversations that are beneficial to the LGBTQ community, especially the T/Q portion as it pertains to science.

            I believe TTMG was referencing transmen and the use of testosterone in the transitioning process and how that plays into pregnancy and the like. Perhaps, raising into question whether or not biological men, could in fact carry a child if they had the same biological anatomy as women. It’s no something we need to know, I think TTMG was simply making some interesting conversation and building on the scientific angle the comment took.

        • 0

          I understand one’s argument against the media’s interest and arguably obsession with what they often label as a phenomenon. However, I must say that while a pregnant transman may not seem like a phenomenon to you or other people, it’s noteworthy.

          I, also, understand what you say about how it brings the mentality of transpeople into question. Conversely, where do we normalize these things? Where is that dialog allowed to take place? Where can it be productive? Although, the media can often be a foe, it can also be a friend whether intentionally or unintentionally. There’s multiple sides to this. I’d encourage everyone to think about that as well.

    • 0

      Dear Autostraddle:

      Yesterday you had an article about biphobia in the media. Great article. And at the end, you said “In order to make sure that the comments section on this article is a healthy and welcoming place for our bisexual readers, please note that any comments that question the validity of bisexuality or sexual fluidity as a sexual orientation, question Autostraddle’s decision to publish pieces discussing bisexuality, or make essentialist claims about bisexual people (ex. bisexuals are cheaters, bisexuals turn out to be gay) will be swiftly deleted.”

      Then today, I read this, great article again, but no such disclaimer at the bottom, which is disappointing. I would argue that trans people have it harder than bisexuals, with even less visibility in the media, and trans issues need even more sensitivity. And comments like MsNJS’s above *are* transphobic, or at least cissexist, questioning the validity of Moore’s identity and making claims about trans people. MsNJS doesn’t get to decide someone’s gender identity the same way nobody gets to decide someone’s sexual identity.

      It’s great that most of the comments are positive and understanding of at least the basics of trans issues! Overall, the comments are way better here than on most other sites, I would bet. But if bisexuals get a disclaimer, let’s extend that to other groups that need it, too, please!

      • 0

        this is a really old article from four years ago that somehow got re-blasted to our social media channels today when we were fixing a bunch of old tags (namely, getting rid of the “transmen” tag because it’s “trans men” not “transmen”). I’m surprised that the article itself is okay, to be honest, let alone most of the comment section! if we were publishing this now, instead of four years ago when we were young and stupid and didn’t moderate anything, we’d obviously proceed differently, as you suggest.

  7. 0

    I feel like we all spend far too much time scrutinizing other people’s lives and categorizing everything. If these guys want to have a biological child, how else are they going to do it? We are born with certain parts, but a lot of gender is fashioned through society. Who are we to decide if people should not have biological children because they have chosen to identify as a gender that usually cannot produce offspring in that fashion? I am sure there are men out there who, if they had a uterus would carry a child. We need to stop trying to shove people into rigid molds and learn something from the situation.

  8. 0

    Delurking to say THIS IS WHY I LOVE THIS SITE. Because of discussions like these. I totally identify as a woman even though *gasp* I never want to have babies, especially not from my own vagina. And I have an awesome aunt who has adopted two children because she couldn’t have vadge-babies, and no one has ever told either of us that we weren’t women because of our lack of vadge-babies. Like, being a woman does not equal having children from your own vagina. And having children from your own vagina does not equal being a woman.

  9. 0

    So wait, did the fact that “he could not afford the high cost of full sex reassignment surgery” somehow factor in his decision to conceive a child? It seems like the NY Daily News article makes an odd transition here. Either that or I’m misreading it.

  10. 0

    you’d have to have an icebox where your heart used to be to not squee over those pictures. also, i love how homophobes are always going on about how LGBT couples can’t reproduce but when we do, they’re all like, “what is this, i don’t even…” methinks its the H8ers with the “identity crisis,” not good people like Scott and his adorable little behbeh. squee.

  11. 0

    It’s so confusing. I wonder if there’s something wrong with me for actually liking people for being different, ‘normal’ people aren’t any fun and bore me easily. I officially do not understand people AT ALL.

  12. 0

    I don’t have much to add to the discussion that hasn’t already been said, but I will say that’s not likely to be a Calvin & Hobbes blanket because Bill Waterson didn’t license any of his art for merchandise.

  13. 0

    “about the only time we get anyone noticing [transmen] is either because of a hate crime (Brandon Teena), porn (Buck Angel) or PREGNANT men.”
    I think some of the hatred is a patriarchal reaction to the usurpation of male roles, thus the attraction to stories that appear to confirm the essential femininity of transmen (in the role of victim, sex object or mother). These are not the only kinds of stories of course (Dylan Orr comes to mind) but they do seem to be the ones that get the most attention.

    • 0

      I don’t think Buck Angel is seen as a sex “object”. He can and probably will fuck your shit up.

  14. 0

    I personally think that they are courageous in the first place, and I also absolutely think that a transman having a child is much more noteworthy than a lot of what the news tell me. (including very inaccurate weather forecast)

    The responses sicken me, but it is to be expected. Most of them keep on getting at the fact that Scott is still biologically a woman, therefore him birthing a child is normal. Well, I certainly don’t think this is the point here, though the title that TMZ gave is misleading in of itself.

    I just wish more people paid attention to the fact that they are a brave family that are willing to stand out to face the society at large. By the way, very adorable baby!!

  15. 0

    Hi I’m a 13 years old girl. I’m the girlfriend of Justin Moore cuzins of Gregg,Logan,and Miles which is Scott and Thomas sons. They r such a nice and sweet famliy. And transgender is not wrong to me and I want to till Justin came to my life so people who comment were rude and mean its there life and there happy so do not be rude and plus for the people that believe in God he would a shamed of u cuz it says love ur neghior as ur self even if u would not do wat this sweet men did so don’t judge them cuz u guys don’t no them well

  16. 0

    I’ve just watched “Dad’s having a baby’ on Channel 4, UK and would like to add my support to all the positive messages here. The most disquieting part is the knee-jerk reaction of those who they’re more normal, especially the religious people, mind-drained by fantastic ‘beliefs’ (I should own up: I’m an atheist). They, the Moores, seem to be a loving, caring and lovable family. I wish them the best of life.

  17. 0

    There is nothing more adorable than a dad nursing his baby… These are some of the cutest pictures I’ve seen in a while.

    (I don’t understand what the problem/big deal is? I thought we were cooing at cute family pics.)

  18. 0

    I don’t have anything to add to this that’s intelligent, except that the comments make my head hurt. Not the comments here, the ones mentioned in the article. And even from another trans man?? Like?? “Oh I think it’s bad & DONT DRAW ATTENTION TO IT THINK OF THE MAINSTREAM SOCIETY & THEIR POOR MISUNDERSTANDING SELVES THEY NEED THEIR HANDS HELD” ????????? And to be so outraged as to say that “PREGNANT [trans] men” get shown in the media?

    Like, if you think people shouldn’t have babies, whatever. Fine. Your feeling. But then to draw attention to it, just because someone else, who happens to be a trans man, wants to have kids, & does so? Isn’t drawing attention to your dislike for their choice more reprehensible than their decision to have a baby?

    The transphobia, from both mainstream society & the supposed queer “community”, doesn’t surprise me, unfortunately. I mean, you expect it especially from mainstream society. But then to realize that queers are just as shittily transphobic… it makes me feel like there isn’t a community. Because what kind of community shits on its own like this? Trans people are queer too; why do they get treated like less than human by other queers? It’s frustrating. It makes me angry. That’s all what really bothers me. How can we call it a “queer community” when queers are shitting on other queers for who they are?

    ugh sorry i’m done now

Comments are closed.