Thursday, April 24, 2008

Thomas Beatie and the FLDS

A Tale of Two Pregnancies

To this point, I've not commented on this blog about the pregnancy of Thomas Beatie, the transman from Bend, Oregon whose story became most public this past month. I did share my thoughts with the local newspaper - the link to that story is (mysteriously?) broken. And yes, I was probably surprised as anyone when I first saw the cover of "The Advocate". My first instinctive reaction, in all honesty, was "uh, oh...this can't be good for us". Shame on me. Thomas and his wife are expecting a child soon - good for them, and I'm prayerful for a healthy child - and there is no reason to expect anything else. In the article that we can't reference, Matt Foreman of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force said that many people go to extraordinary means to have children - as such, this is nothing different, nor unusual.

He's right. Fertility drugs, in-vitro fertilization, surrogate mothers, sperm donation...there are any number of "different" paths to helping us have children. I remember all the "jokes" (they really weren't funny) about the early "test tube" babies. Fortunately we don't hear those any more. Unfortunately, I have seen and heard some incredibly brutal comments about Thomas and the expected newborn. And given the intended theme of this blog, many have come from "religious" voices.

But those same "religious" voices are amazingly silent regarding the situation with the Fundamentalist Latter Day Saints near San Angelo, Texas. The children from their cloistered community have been removed for allegations of child abuse. It is said that many girls have been "forced" or "coerced" into "spiritual marriages" with much older men and that many, perhaps as young as 13, have become pregnant. Why are the alleged abuses of these children not being condemned as Thomas as been.

Go ahead. Google them (I won't post links). Concerned Women for America, Focus on the Family, Peter Labarbera, Traditional Values Coalition, Donald know who they all are. Take a look, see if you can find anything regarding the FLDS children at these places. I'll wait.

Ding! Time's up.

Nothing. Nary a word about what may very well be a "faith-based" organized child abuse cult. Why is Thomas' pregnancy - one that from all indications is from a caring relationship - to be condemned while the pregnancies of young girls - which may be the result of an abusive relationship - not be condemned?

Maybe it's because that, according to some scholars, the Virgin Mary may herself been in her early teens - perhaps as young as some of the FLDS children. Certainly it was a different culture in her time, and human life expectations were decidedly different. Today's "age of consent" may not have been practical or appropriate then, while today it is considered necessary. But are the present day religioso silent because to condemn the FLDS is to thusly condemn the Mother of the Savior?

Let me also be fair. Google GLAAD, the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation. They monitor media accounts of GLB and ostensibly T peoples and issues and offer criticism to those who demonstrate homophobic or transphobic commentary or portrayals. Search their site for "Thomas Beatie". Nothing. And the hostile media has had a field day at Thomas' expense.

Dear Thomas - I wish you and your family all the best. And there are those of us willing to offer our love and support publicly. Peace be with you and your family dear brother.

No comments: