A transgender man who gave birth and breastfed his child while he was still a healthy woman is now grappling with how to get his son to see him as his gender of choice.
Sabastion Sparks, 24, lives with his wife, 33-year-old Angel Sparks, and nearly 2-year-old son Jaxen in the suburbs in Atlanta, where the toddler often endures glares from strangers when he goes shopping with his family, CNN reported.
Sparks began transitioning to become a transgender man five years ago after a lifetime of feeling different, but didn’t have the surgery to remove his breasts until last month.
As Father’s Day approached, Sparks began contemplating what it means to be a dad and how to give Jaxen as normal of a childhood as possible.
Now that Sparks is comfortable in his own body, he believes that Jaxen will be able to pick up on that difference.
— CNN (@CNN) June 15, 2018
Sparks met his wife after he’d already made the decision to transition, but when they married in 2016, they decided that he would carry their child.
Sparks, who briefly stopped taking male hormone replacements to get pregnant, suffered one miscarriage before Jaxen was born. When they would go out in public, people would snicker, and one person even threatened to take the child away, reasoning that his life at home would be unnatural.
Angel, a multi-faith reverend, said these challenges were a test of the couple’s faith.
“I always say the most beautiful thing in the world gave me the most beautiful thing in the world,” she said.
After Jaxen was born, Sparks would sometimes have to breastfeed him in public, often drawing stares from strangers.
Sparks said he worries that the uncomfortable experiences will pass down to Jaxen but hopes that his decision to remove his breasts will be a positive thing for the family dynamic.
“My son won’t see breasts on his dad,” Sparks said. “He won’t be as different from me.”
The couple splits parenting duties equally, virtually ignoring typical gender roles.
“He looks to me for nurturing,” Angel says. “He looks to dad to play ball.”
The Sparks are looking for a bright future for Jaxen and plan to raise him with love.
“People think trans people can’t be good parents, and that’s not true,” Sparks said. “Trans parents are just like any other parents.”