(Image: Kaci Sullivan / SWNS.com)
A transgender dad is believed to be the first person to give birth while living as both a woman and a man.
Kaci Sullivan gave birth to a health baby five years after having his first child while living as a woman.
He underwent a C-section after seven days in labour and gave birth to Phoenix four years after beginning his transition from female to male.
Business student Kaci, 30, conceived with partner Steven last February after taking a break from taking male hormones.
He already had one child, five-year-old Grayson, with his ex-husband who he gave birth to while living as a woman.
Now Kaci, from Wisconsin in the United States, has decided to speak out to break the stigma around trans parenthood.
He said: “The moment the baby came out and I got to hear them cry was indescribable. It’s incredible to think that I had made this little human. After 26 weeks of morning sickness and seven days in labour it was such a beautiful moment.
“We are just so happy and grateful and enjoying spending time together as a family. The baby is delightful, loving and sweet.
“The connection I’ve felt to them throughout my pregnancy has been an incredible privilege and the last nine months have brought my partner and I so close together.”
The couple will raise the 8lbs 9oz baby as ‘gender neutral’ and will not reveal its sex until it is old enough to decide for itself.
Kaci added: “Some people have been perturbed by the idea of me giving birth but I don’t engage or respond to them. If I see those comments I just get rid of them.
“They will try and find our safe space and violate it with their opinions, but they are jerks. I don’t waste my time or energy by giving them anything in return.
“Because I don’t see pregnancy as inherently feminine, and because I don’t subscribe to make-believe gender roles, I wasn’t threatened by the idea of pregnancy. It didn’t make me feel any less masculine.”
Kaci, who runs the TransLiberation Art Coalition, promoting activism in art, was assigned the female gender at birth.
But he always struggled with his identity, a problem that was made worse as he suffered abuse which began when he was just four.
He met his first husband at 19 and tied the knot in 2010, but by his early twenties was battling severe depression and began to drink excessively.
When Kaci fell pregnant with his first child in July 2011, he hoped becoming a mother would make him feel more feminine – but was left in a dark place when it didn’t.
He said: “Throughout the experience, I prayed to connect with womanhood, to identify with what was happening to my body, but I couldn’t.
“I felt so hopeless and lost. I wanted to die. I fell into such a dark place and I was terrified to bring a baby into that darkness with me.
“But the moment they put him in my arms it was bliss. Immediately I loved him like I had never loved anything or anyone and I felt such a surge of duty to him.”
Three months after Grayson was born, Kaci came out as transgender and says he “felt like a tonne of bricks” had been lifted.
The revelation led to his marriage breaking down and many of his friends cutting contact, and he was forced to leave his admin job, but he says he felt “totally liberated”.
In 2013, at the age of 25, he began transitioning by taking male hormone testosterone and undergoing a double mastectomy.
Then in May 2014, Kaci met current partner Steven, who works in production, through online dating and they “hit it off straight away”.
A false pregnancy scare led to the couple deciding to try for a baby in 2016 after Kaci stopped taking male hormones for health reasons.
Six months later Kaci conceived naturally and went on to enjoy a healthy pregnancy.
Kaci gave birth to a healthy tot weighing 8lbs 9oz at 2.05pm on November 11, who he is now feeding with breast milk provided by donors.
He documented the journey with photos and a series of Facebook posts and a YouTube channel, My Trans Pregnancy, to create a resource for other transgender parents.
Kaci said: “As my bump grew bigger and bigger I got nervous going out in public because people would stare. They noticed my abnormal shape.
“There was a lot of anxiety but the most important thing for me was sending the message that pregnancy is not a gendered thing.”
Kaci, who says his baby will refer to him as ‘dad’, refuses to answer the question: “Is it a boy or a girl?” because he says it’s irrelevant.
“I wish people realized that they’re not asking me about the baby’s gender identity,” Kaci said.
“There is no way anyone could know that. They’re asking me what my baby’s genitals look like. This is a creepy question when we break it down.
“We don’t need to be sexualising little children. Nobody but your child should be revealing their gender.”
He and Steven will raise their baby as gender neutral, with non-gendered clothes and a wide variety of toys, so they can “express themselves in the way that feels right”.
Kaci added: “Our sex and gender identity have nothing to do with socially constructed gender roles. These are three entirely separate concepts.
“The architecture of your brain does not change depending on what color you are dressed in as a baby.”