Wed. Jul 17th, 2024

These days, using someone’s preferred name and pronouns is the best way to demonstrate respect and acknowledgment of their identity.

However, not everyone adheres to this practice, often clinging to outdated norms or disregarding individuals’ gender identities.

Bennett Kaspar-Williams, 37, welcomed their son Hudson into the world via cesarean in October 2020, with the support of their husband, Malik. Despite Kaspar-Williams identifying as male and using he/him/his pronouns at the time (they now identify as non-binary and use both he/him/his and they/them pronouns) encountered challenges at the hospital when nurses repeatedly misgendered them, referring to them as a mother rather than a father, as per the Daily Mail.

Kaspar-Williams began his transition in 2014 after realizing he was transgender in 2011. While he underwent top surgery, he did not undergo procedures on his lower body. The journey of pregnancy and childbirth was simultaneously fulfilling and challenging for Kaspar-Williams, who found himself disheartened by medical staff assuming his gender and mislabeling him as a mother.

Although Kaspar-Williams specified their gender on medical forms, the nursing staff continued to misgender them during interactions. Following Hudson’s birth, Kaspar-Williams has actively advocated for the recognition that childbirth is no longer necessarily tied to gender identity.

Expressing his distress over being consistently misgendered during childbirth, Kaspar-Williams highlighted the importance of disconnecting womanhood from motherhood. He shared his thoughts with the New York Post, commenting on the discomfort he felt when repeatedly addressed as “mom” despite marking “male” on medical paperwork.

“No one can ever really know whether having children is possible until you try — being born with a uterus doesn’t make conceiving or carrying a certainty,” the father said of their parenthood journey. “That’s why it’s so important that we stop defining ‘womanhood’ in terms of ‘motherhood,’ because it’s a false equivalency that all women can become mothers, that all mothers carry their children, or that all people who carry children are mothers.” 

Choosing to begin their pregnancy journey after separating bodily functions from gender notions, Kaspar-Williams’ story highlights the complexities of identity and the importance of respecting individuals’ self-identification.

What are your opinions on this story? Let us know in the comments!