Only recently have we learned just how many transgendered people live among us. The answer is perhaps more than you think. Some accredited studies suggest that at least one tenth and possibly as many as a third of all individuals alive today identify as a different gender to that which they were wrongly assigned at birth. Under Obama, after centuries of persecution, transgendered people were finally gaining the support and love they needed to become fully integrated into today’s more tolerant society. Alas, Trump’s election has set back their cause several hundred years. Fortunately, all hope is not yet lost.
The British Medical Association, recognizing the large number of transgendered people today, issued important guidelines on how to refer to pregnant people. In a nutshell, on no account are we to refer to expectant individuals as ‘pregnant women’.
According to the BMA “... Gender inequality is reflected in traditional ideas about the roles of women and men. Though they have shifted over time, the assumptions and stereotypes that underpin those ideas are often deeply-rooted … A large majority of people that have been pregnant or have given birth identify as women. We can include intersex men and transmen who may get pregnant by saying ‘pregnant people’ instead of ‘expectant mothers’.”
Sitting on top of its ‘high-horse’ and writing in derogatory terms that are barely disguised, the UK Daily Telegraph added ‘It recently emerged that a Briton who was born a girl but wants to become a man has put surgery on hold in order to have a baby. Hayden Cross, 20, is legally male and had hormone treatment but not yet had sex-change surgery. There are no other known cases of a transitioning person becoming pregnant in the UK. (BMA) also advises against using the terms “born man” or “born woman” in relation to trans people, as these phrases “are reductive and over-simplify a complex subject“.
“Heather Ashton, from the transgender support group TG Pals, said: “We know that biological females are the pregnant ones but trans people are parents too, and this is massive step forward to prevent discrimination against them. The fact that the terminology is changing can only be a positive thing for everyone who wants to be a parent and has the right to be a parent.”
Sometimes one reads something that is so self-evident with no need for additional explanation. We count the BMA statement in this. In recognizing transgendered people’s fundamental right if not always the ability to bear children, the BMA deserves our applause and deepest gratitude.