The sad part about this story is that people will think it’s a joke. It’s not.

Thomas Beatie, profiled in the current issue of Advocate, is transgender, legally male, and legally married to his wife Nancy. Nancy is unable to conceive because of severe endometriosis and a hysterectomy 20 years ago. Thomas has had chest reconstruction and been on testosterone therapy, but kept his reproductive organs. When the couple decided they wanted to have a child, Thomas stopped taking testosterone, and was able to conceive without even needing fertility drugs.

They have not found much support among doctors and other healthcare professionals. They went through nine doctors before finding one to help them. I’ve known butch, but female-identified lesbians who have found it difficult to deal with society’s expectations of what a pregnant person should look like. I can only imagine what Thomas and Nancy are experiencing.

Nevertheless, the universal joy of pending parenthood comes through in Thomas’ words:

How does it feel to be a pregnant man? Incredible. Despite the fact that my belly is growing with a new life inside me, I am stable and confident being the man that I am. . . . I will be my daughter’s father, and Nancy will be her mother. We will be a family.

Thomas knows, however, that his family raises larger questions: “our situation ultimately will ask everyone to embrace the gamut of human possibility and to define for themselves what is normal.”

As I see it? Loving parents are normal. Everything else is variable.

Best of luck to Thomas, Nancy, and their growing family.