Born a woman Evan always wanted to turn into a transgender man but there was also that burning desire to give birth. On hormones to bring about the transition, he gradually decided to give artificial insemination a shot. Repeated failed attempts did not stop his will. Finally the miracle happened and he has given birth to a child. His iconic picture of him chestfeeding his child has gone viral.
There have been write-ups on him by family in the TIME Magazine.
In an era where transgenders despite odds are fighting to enter mainstream, Evan’s story is one which gives hope to millions of transgender men to be able to be parents one day.
Hempel started taking hormones back in 2003 to physically become a transgender man. But the desire to give birth was rooted deep within.
Five years ago, Hempel and his partner, a woman, decided that he would stop his testosterone injections and try artificial insemination with donor sperm. Repeated failed attempts did not deter his will to be a mother. Hempel became pregnant in late 2015, and gave birth to a son in the spring. His sister, Jessi, details the complicated relationship in a recent TIME Magazine article.
“It was a gamble,” Evan tells TIME. “I didn’t know how I’d feel, but it turns out I just feel like it’s really cool that my body can do this.”
Evan, based in the Boston area opened up to friends, colleagues and family gradually only to get more support.
Those who did not know about him assumed pregnancy to be a Beer Belly.
“When I get insurance letters, they don’t say ‘sir’ or ‘ma’am.’ They just say ‘Dear Evan Hempel,’ and that’s just fine,” he says.
With a son arriving right on time. Evan is now chest-feeding – what transgender men call breastfeeding.
Jessi in her piece in the TIME writes Pregnancies like Evan’s—and the many that are likely to follow—will stretch our cultural perceptions of gender norms even further. Americans are just starting to open up to the idea that you may be born into a female body, but believe that you are really a man. But what if you are born into a female body, know you are a man and still want to participate in the traditionally exclusive rite of womanhood? What kind of man are you then?
Chromosomal abnormalities lead to some not being categorised under one specific gender.
A trans-woman comes with ‘XY’ chromosomes, which is typical for a male, but has no uterus.
And a trans-man comes with XX chromosomes, and has uterus and ovaries. Some may also possess certain male qualities like having a deep voice and some can even have under-developed male genitalia.
So, a trans-man with an XX chromosome has the possibility of becoming pregnant, as he may possess uterus and ovaries.
For a trans-woman there are many medical procedures involved to conceive.
Even as Evan celebrates parenthood his own unique way, we wish the family happy times ahead. Such stories surely give us a feel of it is about time that we accepted all genders equally and gave them a space to live in.