- (Photo: Doreen Dotto/Wikimedia Commons)
A transgender man has shocked Israelis by becoming the first in the Middle East country to give birth to a baby, similar to a case involving a transgender U.S. man who had three children.
Yuval Topper, who reportedly stunned hospital staff in September when he showed up in the emergency room seven months pregnant, has recently given birth, the Israeli news site reports. Ynetnews did not reveal the sex of the baby, which was delivered at Sheba Medical Center.
Topper, 24, was born a woman and had a sex change operation three years ago, Ynetnews reports.
Topper is reportedly the first Israeli transgender man to become pregnant. He is married and has been taking hormones to help make him appear more masculine. Ynetnews reports that Topper had his breasts removed in the U.S., and chose to leave his reproductive organs intact.
Ynetnews noted in its report that in Israel about 1 of every 400,000 women undergoes a sex change operation, which usually results in "the removal of the female sex organs and construction of a penis."
Readers on Ynetnews have expressed skepticism about the report of a "man" giving birth, insisting that Topper is still a woman, despite the sex change operation.
Similar reaction occurred when American Thomas Beattie, dubbed the world's first pregnant man, revealed that he was conceiving in his wife's place since she had undergone a hysterectomy.
Beattie, born Tracy Lagondino, reportedly lives in Arizona with his wife and three children, who were conceived through artificial insemination.
Similar to Topper, Beattie had a mastectomy in 2002, but chose to keep his vagina, uterus and other female sexual organs, according to the Daily Mail.
Also similar to Topper's story, readers have expressed confusion as to how Beattie is a "man" while his female sex organs are intact, with some commenters proclaiming that "men don't give birth."
When Beattie appeared on "The Oprah Winfrey Show" in 2008, he insisted that he and his wife were just a "normal" couple.
Winfrey reportedly agreed, noting that the pair represented "a new definition of what diversity means for everybody, and redefining normal."
At the time, The New York Times reported on Beattie and the phenomenon of a woman legally declared a man giving birth. The Times noted some of the public's declaration that Beattie was still a woman, with one expert describing that response as "phobic."
Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick, a professor at the City University of New York graduate school of English, told the Times that such reaction "results from phobic response to changes in identities that for most people seem God-given and settled at birth."
The professor, also an expert on gender studies, added that some of that "phobic" reaction involves "people having to go through the stages of figuring things out."