It’s a social and sometimes sexual stigma that means people don’t want to see men who have children as people of lesser status.
How can they work in private practice or to gain other skills? Even if we do believe there are benefits from having children of different sex (which there may be), it’s a huge stretch to pretend that it’s no bigger a challenge for some to balance their life-blood with family life than it is for someone of the same sex. It’s not a problem for the same reasons it’s no problem for a person of any sex to have his lifeblood tested.
As more couples have children, it may become less normal. But isn’t that kind of the point? We’re trying to encourage couples, even those working in the same clinic, to continue to create healthier families without compromising their own lives.
That takes time and resources. But when we focus on “gender” in our policies and programs for both people with children and men and women struggling with family problems, we are making things worse.
We must encourage people to work on the issues. If they don’t, they will end up hurting themselves or their family. If people like me want to help them become healthy families, we need to give men and women who have children the same opportunities we offer people going through the same issues, but with a different emphasis on what’s good for them, and what’s good for the whole. We can help them take charge of a healthy family with someone they love, regardless of their gender.
I’m not alone in feeling like this needs to change. I have had family discussions with my children that reveal the frustration for many in the transgender community. I’ve seen their faces light up as they recount all the things in the life-blood that are important to them, that are essential to the well-being of their family, and how wonderful it’s been to see their peers succeed and to have a sense of purpose in their lives. But I am seeing people like my daughters and son. I’m seeing them struggle to see the world as their own.
As you can see, if there is a positive view of children in the “special needs” program at the clinic, it must be based on a positive assumption about parenting. A life-blood that can be managed with a minimum of hassle and time should not be considered a liability, because we all know people don’t want to see a kid with a serious medical illness in a wheelchair. A life-blood that is not required to bring attention to a child should be a tool to support the family, not a means to avoid something that will most likely never happen again.
It doesn’t need to be about your own sexual orientation. It needs to be about the child’s health.