Tanius Posey, a 31-year-old Black trans male and social media influencer, had been medically transitioning for six years when he began experiencing symptoms that he mistook for COVID-19. His doctor informed him that he didn’t have COVID — he was actually three months pregnant, something Posey didn’t even think was possible.
Posey began sharing his pregnancy journey with his hundreds of thousands of followers on the video-sharing network TikTok, and he has since started sharing his experiences chestfeeding his son, Za’nius.
Despite some negative feedback, Posey feels it’s important to share his experiences so that he can normalize trans parenting and help other trans people who may raise kids in the future.
Posey, who goes by the name transking30 on TikTok, calls himself a “seahorse dad.” The term, which references the fact that male seahorses give birth to their own offspring, is used in the trans-community as a term for fathers who gave birth to their kids.
Posey never thought that he’d be able to get pregnant because he had been transitioning for years on testosterone. Doctors had told him he’d need to freeze his eggs and fertilize them — possibly to have a surrogate deliver his child later — in order for him to have kids.
But when his doctor announced that Posey was three months pregnant, Posey had to immediately quit taking testosterone “which was hell,” he said in a recent interview with Truly, a media outlet that reports on “amazing true stories.”
Posey noticed that no trans men of color seemed to be sharing their pregnancy experiences on TikTok. He also didn’t see any trans men sharing their experiences with chestfeeding. So he began making videos about both, to normalize it and to help future trans parents who might benefit from his experiences. He admitted that it hasn’t been easy.
“I did not want to breastfeed [my son] at all,” he admitted to Truly. “What got me was I was worried about what society had to say about me feeding.”
While some of the negative comments on his videos were from transphobic trolls, others came from trans individuals who said he “wasn’t trans enough” or made trans people look bad for being pregnant and chestfeeding his own child.
Despite this, he continued sharing his journey.
“Just because I transitioned does not mean I strip myself from wanting to give my child the nutrients and the good little head start [that I can],” he said.
“There are plenty of us that are out and proud about it and carrying kids,” he said in one TikTok video, “but you’ve got to stop living under a rock and realize that it’s okay.”
Anti-LGBTQ+ bigots regularly mock queer parents for chestfeeding. But as more queer individuals become parents, the medical community is being forced to confront its own biases and lack of training around trans and non-binary people.
Posey’s journey shows how LGBTQ+ people can still support each other, offering compassion and education, even as the medical community takes time to catch up to reality.