Known best as @transking30 on Instagram and Tiktok, Tanius Posey is a 31-year-old Black trans male influencer who had been in the throes of a six-year transition journey. When Posey began experiencing symptoms he attributed to COVID-19, he never expected his doctor to tell him that he was three months pregnant instead.
Two years later, Posey has wholeheartedly embraced his role as a parent to son Za’nius—despite the online backlash he’s received.
How pregnancy affected Posey’s transition journey
Dear Straight People,
Assigned female from birth, Posey knew something was off from an early age. He could never pinpoint exactly what it was—up until six years ago.
Realising he identified as male with the help of a transgender coworker, Posey soon began medically transitioning.
But his plans came to a screeching halt in spring 2021, when Posey discovered he was three months pregnant. Having been transitioning for years on testosterone, he “certainly did not see [his pregnancy] coming at all” according to Truly.
Doctors had told him he needed to freeze and fertilise his eggs in order for him to have kids, possibly via surrogacy. But after learning he was pregnant, Posey had to immediately go “cold turkey” on testosterone, which he described as “hell” to Truly.
Owning a platform as a trans man of colour
Boasting a Tiktok following of over 929K and 10 million likes, Posey began sharing his pregnancy and chestfeeding journey online as a self-identified ‘seahorse dad’. The label is used within the trans community to refer to fathers who birthed their children.
I did not want to breastfeed [my son] at all. What got me was I was worried about what society had to say about me feeding”Posey told Truly
However, after understanding the scientific benefits of breast milk for babies, he decided to push ahead.
Noting an absence of trans men of colour sharing their pregnancy or chestfeeding experiences on Tiktok, Posey documented his journey in hopes of normalising the lived realities of trans parents and helping those who might raise children in the future.
But not everyone on the Internet welcomed him. While there’s been an expected share of transphobic trolling, Posey was also criticised by fellow trans people as ‘not being trans enough’ or ruining their image for carrying and chestfeeding his own child.
Appalling comments he has received include ‘You do not belong on this planet carrying a child’, ‘Men don’t carry babies’ and ‘Go ahead and go back to where you came from.’
Some netizens even claimed Za’nius will grow up to be ‘corrupt’ or unhealthy.
“Somebody said he’s gonna resent me once he finds out that I carried him, and he’s gonna be so confused or whatnot because he doesn’t have a mom and dad.”Tanius Pose
Nevertheless, Posey remains committed to actively owning his identity as a trans parent. “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]. I can’t sit there and starve him. He’s gotta eat and he doesn’t take a bottle, so I’ve got to feed him.”
The importance of uplifting the LGBQ+ community
The idea of queer parents chestfeeding their kids has been a common source of bigoted mockery. But Posey’s journey has proved the need to enact systemic change within the medical community to treat trans and non-binary parents equally.
“There are plenty of us that are out and proud about it and carrying kids, but you’ve got to stop living under a rock and realise that it’s okay.”Tanius Pose
In the meantime, the LGBTQ+ community should continue to support and lift one another up through compassion and education. Posey wants to make sure no trans parent feels invalidated because of their identity.
“To any other trans individual that is carrying a child or wanting to carry a child—it is OK. We’ve got the parts, it does not make us any less of a man. We are still a man, regardless of how society feels about us. Utilise the parts you got.”Tanius Pose
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