Ryan (non binary trans) and David (cis) are a queer couple with a desire to have children. What do they encounter during their beautiful but sometimes complicated journey to a child of their own? In an intimate correspondence they share their thoughts and feelings with each other, and with us. They take it in turns to tackle a specific topic.
We’ve been on our way to having children for a while now. So much has happened and we’ve experienced so much together already. When I met you I wasn’t really sure yet whether I wanted children. But now I’m sure that I want to do this with you. It has been scary and exciting to embark on this adventure with you. I never thought I could have a partner who’d be able to get pregnant.
I remember all too well when you took me to the gynaecologist department of the VU-medical centre for the first time, about one-and-a-half years ago, to check whether everything looked alright. I didn’t think that this visit could already bring up suspenseful situations. You were after all already used to visits to this department.
But when we were at the department’s reception the receptionist looked up at us surprised and said: ‘This is the gynaecologist department, you know that right?’. We tried to confirm that as normal as possible. She looked at us again and then quickly looked down at her computer. Again she asked us if we were in the right place. ‘Yes ma’am, we have an appointment here, we’re sure. Ramharak is already in your system.’ With a look of disbelief she looked up the name and concluded that it was correct. We were in a rush and quickly went to the waiting room.
If the receptionist was already surprised, the couples around us must be looking at us weirdly as well. I just didn’t look around me. Because another experience like that and I would want the ground to swallow me up out of embarrassment. I realised that the journey was just about to start, as every visible step towards children can apparently elicit shocked or unpleasant, disagreeing reactions.
You seemed to deal with it really well and you acted as if it was the most normal thing in the world how this woman reacted to us. How are you able not to get upset? In which moments are you insecure about the reactions from the outside world?
How wonderful that we’re embarking on this adventure together and share that wish to put a child on this earth. Somewhere I expected that this would be a breeze, but it has indeed been one-and-a-half years already after that first echo at the gynaecologist. I remember the moment you’re describing all too well. To the outside world we’re a queer or gay couple who go to the gynaecologist department, where usually a cis woman takes place, maybe even showing a little already.
How do I deal with that so well? Well, I’ve gotten used to go to places where usually mostly women come, like a gynaecologist department, and where people like me are looked at weirdly. It feels a bit like the comment I got the other day when I talked about my partner while making an appointment for a corona test. The person on the other side of the line automatically talked about you like a ‘she’ and ‘my girlfriend’. In those cases people assume the heterosexual norm as well. I think you will get used to correcting people soon, explaining the situation to them and that you’ll think: I’ll just let this go. I am insecure about whether the world is ready for masculine people like me who want to get pregnant. Maybe society isn’t completely ready for it yet at this moment, but with every person who chooses their own path the norm is stretched. And in a few generations of trans people who form their families in their own ways hopefully no one finds it weird to see a trans person at the gynaecologist department.