Trystan Reese isn’t your average dad. On July 14, the transgender Oregon resident gave birth to his first biological child: a healthy baby boy, Leo Murray Chaplow.
Leo has been long-anticipated by his fathers — Trystan and his husband, Biff Chaplow — as well as a plethora of Internet fans and supporters.
Many followed Reese’s journey as a pregnant man through his website, Biff and I, which he and Biff use to spread awareness and ease stigma surrounding the gay and transgender community.
Their story first went viral before the pregnancy, when the well known parenting podcast, The Longest Shortest Time, did a series on the couple and how they adopted their niece and nephew after a sister could no longer care for them.
Seeing the positive response, they decided to continue sharing updates through the pregnancy.
Now, baby Leo has arrived. He “eats like a champ, sleeps well, and gives us lots of cuddles,” the couple told CNN. “We are so lucky to have been able to welcome him into our lives and cannot wait to see who he grows up to be.”
Reese also had to face daunting social challenges, as strangers both in life and online grappled with the sight of a pregnant guy.
“I can feel someone looking at my face and searching for the remnants of womanhood,” Reese told the podcast of strangers’ reactions to his big belly. “They kind of squint their eyes a little bit and I can tell they’re trying to, like, take away my beard. They’re trying to transition me in their heads.”
“We find that behind the shroud of anonymity, people feel pretty empowered to tell us what should happen to us, to our children, to our family,” Reese said. “The reason why you have a kid is because you want to see more love in the world, and remembering how difficult that’s going to be, it’s hard.”
But the couple responds to the haters with humor and openness, and has plenty of fans to back them up.
“Everything about this is beautiful,” one commenter responded to a Facebook photo of the family’s newest addition. “Thank you so much for sharing your story. You deserve great happiness… I am grateful that you are making the world a better place through your children and by going public. You are amazing!”
“So we should all do this?” a woman named Marianne dubiously replied.
“Yes, you should transition to being a man and have a baby,” Biff responded.
Good luck with that, Marianne and congratulations to the happy parents!