Thomas Beatie, the transgender man with the world's most famous baby bump, appeared with his wife, Nancy, on "The Oprah Winfrey Show" yesterday - explaining the hows and whys of his bizarre journey.
Beatie, 34, is six months' pregnant and on target to deliver a healthy girl ‑ which he is carrying in the womb he kept intact when he became a man 10 years ago.
There was speculation Beatie was pulling a huge hoax when pictures of him appearing to be pregnant turned up on the Internet.
But he and his wife, who live in Bend Ore., laid those rumors to rest on yesterday's "Oprah," which included a chat with their obstetrician ‑ who declared their baby "totally healthy" - an footage of the baby's ultrasound.
Thomas Beatie said he was born Tracy Beatie and lived as a woman until his 20s. He even competed in the Miss Teen Hawaii USA beauty pageant as a youth (be made it to the finals).
"Growing up I really didn't have a perception of myself [as a girl]," the bearded Beatie told Oprah Winfrey.
"When I was a teenager, I had an attraction to women, but it wasn't a sexual attraction," he said. "I was much of a tomboy who liked to play with Legos and go fishing ... probably up until puberty I didn't see anything wrong at all.
"When I turned 14, I started to grow breasts… and that was kind of a shock to me."
Beatie decided to switch sexes when he was 24 ‑ he had his breasts surgically altered - but opted to keep his reproductive organs.
"I wanted to have a child one day," he said. "I didn't know how, and I had no plan laid out. It was just a dream.
"I have a very stable male gender identity," he said. "I see pregnancy as a process. It doesn't define who I am."
Beatie said he was actually pregnant once before, about a year ago, but lost what could have been a "multiple pregnancy" due to complications.
After about a half‑hour of chatting, Winfrey brought up the question everyone wanted answered.
"Let's get to the penis part," she said. "Did you have a penis implant?"
"No. Amazingly, hormones are an incredible thing," Beatie said, explaining that his intake of testosterone enlarged his sex organs.
"It looks like a small penis... and I can have intercourse with my wife."
Winfrey asked the couple why they decided to go public with their story.
"We felt it was best we tell our story instead of other people telling the story for us," said Nancy Beatie, who has grown daughters from a previous marriage.
"If we have to, we'll go hide," she said when asked about being harassed. "It's something we knew could possibly happen."
Nancy Beatie, 45, said she didn't have any problem with Thomas getting pregnant.
"I can't have children. I had my womb removed," she said. He does [have a womb], so this is the way we're going to do it."
But Thomas said that his family wasn't very supportive of his decision to get pregnant - and that one of his brothers was glad when his first pregnancy ended.
"My brother said it was a good thing that happened, that [the baby] could've been a monster," he said.
Beatie said he has a distant relationship with his father who he claims forced him into a modeling career when he was still a female.
"He's a very traditional man and growing up, he really wasn't around the house," he said.
"My mom was a huge influence on my life…when she committed suicide, I was 12 and my father had to learn to be a father.
"My father calls me intermittently… he still calls me by my former name," he said. He calls me 'Tracy and Mommy.'
"I believe he loves me, but he can't see me in that way - and that kinda hurts."
Beatie hid he's writing a book, which he started when he was 17.
"Love makes a family," he said. "That's all that matters."