"Milk Junkies"

Transgender man opens up about breastfeeding his sons

Trevor McDonald with his son, Jacob. (Milk Junkies/Trevor McDonald)

A transgender man living in rural Canada has published a memoir about his experiences transitioning from a woman in his twenties, and then later giving birth to two children. The book, authored by Trevor MacDonald, is titled Where’s the Mother: Stories of a Transgender Dad. In it, MacDonald touches on a range of topics related to his transition and fatherhood. During his transition, he never underwent a hysterectomy, so when he and his partner decided they wanted to start a family, the necessary anatomy was still in place for them to have their own children.

MacDonald, 31, told The Guardian he’s never viewed gender in the binary terms that society has defined, but even those who were accepting of his transition fell back on the idea that giving birth is a strictly feminine endeavor when he revealed he was pregnant.

“There were people who immediately began calling me ‘mom’ and ‘she,’” MacDonald recalled. “One person told him simply: “If you’re giving birth, you’re a mother.” It was a notion that MacDonald disagreed with, but when he thought about the prospect of breastfeeding, he admittedly wasn’t so certain.

“I was worried that breastfeeding might feel gendered to me — I thought, am I going to be able to do that, or am I going to experience a lot of gender dysphoria?” He’d undergone surgery to have his breasts removed, but his body still produced milk and he was able to breastfeed — or chestfeed, as he puts it — both of his children. He even started a blog called Milk Junkies and chronicled his experiences. He found breastfeeding to be so rewarding, he entertained second thoughts about having had chest surgery — deep personal revelations he candidly wrote about on the blog. MacDonald discussed practical issues surrounding breastfeeding — like supplementing and breast pumps — but it was the vulnerable and unflinching posts, about him and his sons, now 5 and 18 months, that were resonating with people and picking up an audience. Soon, he found himself besieged by questions from readers.

Read the full story at The Guardian.

Related:

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A.J. Kearns, Australian transgender man, gave birth to daughter amid transition

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