The pregnant man, take two

A 25-year-old Spanish male is set to give birth to twins in September. Watch out, Thomas Beatie!

Published March 23, 2009 9:21PM (EDT)

Watch out, Thomas Beatie! There’s a new pregnant man in town! And he's, like, totally more pregnant than you. Ruben Noe Coronado Jimenez, a 25-year-old Spanish man, announced to the local media this week that he is set to give birth in September -- to twins. According to an interview with Pronto, a Spanish magazine, he recently began the treatment to restart his menstrual cycle and underwent artificial insemination at a private clinic. He plans to raise the twins with his partner, Esperanza.

Although he is still legally considered a woman, Ruben will be changing his status to "male" before the babies’ delivery -- making him Spain’s first man to give birth. And like Beatie, Jimenez seems to know how to handle the media. He claims that he went public with his story so "people start to see a transsexual pregnancy as normal." He is "thinking of selling the pictures [of himself pregnant] because if [he doesn’t] do it, someone else will and they’ll make a fortune.”

It’s unlikely that the furor around Jimenez will reach the same level as that surrounding Beatie --given that Beatie’s story’s main selling point was the novelty of male pregnancy and his willingness to talk to the media. Now that Beatie is pregnant with another child, and has already cashed in with a memoir and countless TV appearances, much of the shock value has disappeared.

That’s likely to make many transgender activists feel relieved – many of whom felt that the media’s treatment of Beatie was disrespectful, and not particularly helpful to their cause. After this initial news cycle, Jimenez will probably fade from the limelight, and, barring any future men pregnant with triplets, the news value of male pregnancy will fade along with it. Let’s hope it does so without too much "freak show" snark from comedians and the news media -- and then we can all get back to focusing on more important things, like getting transgendered people the job protection they deserve. 

By Thomas Rogers

Thomas Rogers is Salon's former Arts Editor. He has written for the Globe & Mail, the Village Voice and other publications. He can be reached at @thomasmaxrogers.

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