Transgender father shares his pregnancy photos of gender neutral child
While for many people the idea of a father given birth seems physically impossible, it has become a reality in America, where a man has given birth to a healthy baby four years after he began his transition from female to male.
Kaci Sullivan, 30, from Wisconsin, US, had already given birth previously during his time spent living as a woman, with him being the father of a five-year-old boy from a previous relationship. But he and his current partner Steve, 27, managed to conceive last February after Kaci took a break from male hormones for health reasons.
Despite receiving abuse online and in the street for having a baby bump, Kaci decided to go ahead with the birth and underwent a C-section in November after seven days in labor.
The proud father has revealed that he and Steven will now raise Phoenix as gender neutral until they are old enough to decide for themselves.
"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. 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."
"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," Kaci explained. "It didn't make me feel any less masculine."
Kaci says that he had always struggled with his identity, with the father revealing that he had been bullied throughout his childhood from the age of four.
"I was always an anxious kid who felt intuitively disconnected from myself - and in my dreams I was always a boy."
"I daydreamed almost constantly about what it would be like to be a boy. Puberty was traumatizing for me, and I cried the first time I had to put on a bra."
The now father-of-two tied the knot with his first husband in 2010, but he became severely depressed and ended up drinking excessively. When he became pregnant with his first child, Kaci hoped that being a mother would make him feel more feminine.
"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."
"I couldn't be this depressed and be a good parent to him. If I didn't come out and transition, I knew I would eventually succumb to dysphoria, depression and suicide."
"So, when the baby was three months old, I told my husband I was transgender. 'I felt like a ton of bricks had been lifted off my chest when I admitted it to myself."
Kaci's revelations led to his marriage breaking down and a lot of his friends decided to cut contact with him as well. But, undeterred, he began transitioning in 2013 by taking testosterone and undergoing a double mastectomy.
He met his current partner Steven online and they "hit it off straight away". After a few years of dating, the couple decided to try for a baby in 2016 after Kaci stopped taking male hormones due to health reasons. Six months later, Kaci conceived naturally and went on to give birth to Phoenix.
Kaci refuses to answer when people ask the gender of the baby, as he says that it is 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 sexualizing little children. Nobody but your child should be revealing their gender."
"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."
While Kaci and Steven will no doubt receive plenty of abuse from those who don't agree with the way they are raising their child, if the baby is healthy and raised in a happy family, who are we to judge them?