Trevor MacDonald, right, poses with breastfeeding expert Dr. Jack Newman during a recent trip to Toronto. (Trevor MacDonald/Milk Junkies)He credits La Leche League Canada (LLLC) and breast milk donors with helping him feed his son.
But when he asked LLLC if he could become a volunteer group leader, he was denied. The group's policy states that a leader is a mother who has breastfed a baby, and men can't be LLLC leaders.
MacDonald wrote on his blog, Milk Junkies, that the rejection was "certainly different from what I've experienced with my local LLL group."
On his blog, MacDonald explains how he became a transgender man who breastfeeds in this way:
That skepticism was expressed in the comments of our story."Ok, so, I took testosterone to transition, and had a chest surgery. But when my partner and I got together we decided we'd really like to have a family. We thought about adopting, but realized it might take a very long time. So, I talked to my doctors about it and asked if it would be safe for me to carry a child [I always emphasize the doctor/safety part of the story, especially around potential skeptics], and they said to stop taking the testosterone and it should be fine. I got pregnant, and had the baby. He's our biological child."
- "I'm a pretty tolerant understanding dude but this completely weirds me out, sorry. I honestly don't blame this breastfeeding group for their decision," said FieldMedic.
- "I'm fairly progressive but have to draw the line when things go too far beyond what we we're naturally given by Mother Nature," said Arctic Dude.
But MacDonald found sympathy in the comments, as well.
- "How small-minded of La Leche League Canada! When did heterosexism enter their mandate? Shouldn't it be about the health benefits of breastfeeding and promoting them wherever possible? Shame on La Leche! I am disgusted, along with many other non-transgendered and transgendered Canadians," said milarepa.
MacDonald says he is starting his own online, queer-friendly breastfeeding support group with a lactation consultant. But he can't be a leader in the group that helped him in the first place.
Do you agree with the decision by La Leche League Canada? Should LLLC update its policies to accommodate situation like MacDonald's? Let us know what you think.
(This survey is not scientific. Results are based on readers' responses.)
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