To the people who have, one hears, been trailing my Twitter account in the hopes of finding something to accuse me of, and have in the service of this cause revived Natasha Hinde’s Huffington Post article on Uterus Transplant surgery for trans women. Although my position is obvious enough from the section of my answer that Ms. Hinde decided to quote, I thought I would post the full reply I gave her just to clear up any doubt on this…
[In reply to the question, “I’m writing a piece about uterus transplants which, in future, could allow transgender women to become pregnant. … Would this be something you’d ever consider?”]
I have seen this story a lot recently. It has raised tension among radical feminists for being arguably the ultimate in medical rape and appropriation (e.g. https://chekistocrat.wordpress.com/2015/11/16/trans-mummies/).
I can imagine compelling arguments for this being an inappropriate use of NHS resources, if it was ever implemented over here. Reassignment itself is fairly routine and reasonably safe, but this would certainly be expensive, experimental, and risky. The story of Lile Elbe [1882-1931, killed by a primitive and experimental form of this surgery] comes to mind…
I must admit, though, I would be very tempted. I would love to be a mother of whatever kind I can be, but my husband and I have had to rule out natural options: he is a pre-op trans man, and the idea of pregnancy is horrifically triggering to him. I can only imagine how much so. By the same token, I do believe that the experience of pregnancy and nursing would vastly improve the way I feel about my own body, but that is (I can accept) very selfish logic. A better focus might be on improving the availability of adoption and fostering options for loving LGBT couples. That is our most likely option, though we are aware being a trans couple will probably not play in our favour.
Still, it is a very compelling idea. Gender dysphoria may not be well understood, but it is a very visceral feeling. Some would call it morbid of self-harming, I think, but it is containable within its own weird parameters, as long as one is honest about it. Cal gets tattoos and piercings, I get electrolysis, and in ways like that we get to feel more in control of our bodies and our identities. But the limitations of medical reassignment are certainly very frustrating. We know we will never be “complete,” so to speak. We have often wished medical science would just invent that mind swap device from the awful last episode of Star Trek TOS, but that seems a little further away… [End of answer]
So, just for clarity’s sake, I do not think this is a good idea, I think even if it was viable it would be a selfish misuse of public medical resources, I refer the journalist to a Marxist Feminist / Radical Feminist source on the topic, and I steer the question towards a better, more realistic, and more socially useful alternative (Fostering or adoption). I attempt to do so without judgement or hyperbole. I suppose I could have just regurgitated the vitriolic, transphobic mantras which pervade many a discussion on such topics, but my belief is they are preaching only to the choir.