Queer 1 and I initially set out to write about each of our perspectives on how we decided who would carry our baby into this world. We quickly realized, knowing we each have our own relationship with our body, that there was never a decision to be made. Fortunately, we know each other’s limits and they happened to match up, VERY well.
I was born female, am non binary and never want to be pregnant. Queer 1 was born female and REALLY wants to be pregnant. While that much has always been known to both of us, it has taken some work on my part to be okay with not wanting to be pregnant.
I pride myself on my resiliency and ability to do hard things.
My father often told me and my siblings growing up, we don’t get anything for free. Others will get handouts and we just have to have grit.
Now I’m sure that this advice was more a reflection of where he was in his career, but nonetheless it has been ingrained in me. I show up to take care of others and am not afraid of hard things. So admitting that I am genuinely afraid of what would happen to my mental health if I were pregnant is hard. I never say I don’t want to do a hard thing. Hard things can be done.
It has taken some therapy sessions to learn that it is okay to say “I just don’t want to do that” and a supportive partner who knows me better than I know myself to respond with “Okay then, we won’t ever do that.”
Part of what makes my brain short circuit when I try to picture myself pregnant is I’ve never seen it in real life. Sure, there are Instagram accounts and podcasts featuring androgynous, non binary or trans pregnant people, but it is still a faraway concept to me.
I already hate using public restrooms. What kind of looks of “gender panic” will I get if I’m pregnant and in public spaces?
The community space I frequent the most, our gym, no one knows how I identify. If I were pregnant, I think I would risk losing that feeling as a fairly safe space. While no one knows how I identify, I’m a regular by now and don’t often get the “are you a man or a woman” stares anymore. It feels safe, and I don’t want that to change.
I already have a VERY particular sense of what clothing feels like armor for my body and matches my style, there is just no way that “maternity” clothes could feel like armor. Would I just look like a dude with a big beer belly?
I’m 100% interested in top surgery (more on that later), not chestfeeding.
While there are incredible people like Trystan Reese (link), I’m still untangling pregnancy and femininity in my mind. Since I was a child our American society has taught me to value pregnancy as the quintessential thing that a woman can do and only in the last year or two have I let myself accept that while born female, I am not a woman.
Queer people don’t grow up as ourselves, we grow up playing a version of ourselves that sacrifices authenticity to minimise humiliation & prejudice. The massive task of our adult lives is to unpick which parts of ourselves are truly us & which parts we’ve created to protect us.Alexander Leon
I am non-binary.
And I am also a person who just doesn’t want to be pregnant.
That reason supersedes any other cultural expectations and it is more than enough to be valid.
I will be no less of a parent and the best thing I can do for our future child is to have all of the authentic pieces of me put together.
Check out Queer 1’s perspective on our decision about who carries and their relationship with her body here. And let us know how making the decision to carry has impacted you and your relationship with your body in the comments.