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‘Pregnant man’ documentary in the works

A British studio has won worldwide rights to produce a documentary about Thomas Beatie, who was born a woman, but lives as a man, and gave birth to a daughter last month.
/ Source: Reuters

A British film and TV studio has won worldwide rights to produce a documentary about Thomas Beatie, who was born a woman but after surgery and hormone treatments lives as a man and gave birth last month in Oregon.

September Films, a division of London-based DCD Media Plc, beat out four other production companies in acquiring exclusive rights to Beatie’s story for the hour-long documentary, which it will produce for Britain’s Channel 4, the company said on Thursday.

DCD-owned distributor NBDtv/DCD Media will license the rights globally, and already has concluded sales in the United States and Germany, it said.

A company website said Channel 4, U.S.-based Discovery Communications cable TV group and NBDtv/DCD have together invested about $600,000 in the documentary.

One of Discovery’s channels, Discovery Health, is in the process of finalizing a deal for exclusive U.S. rights to the documentary, spokesman Chris Finnegan told Reuters.

Beatie, 34, who kept his female reproductive organs after initiating a transgender transformation about 10 years ago, was reported to have given birth to a girl June 29 at a hospital in Oregon, where he lives with his wife of five years.

Delivery of the baby, conceived through artificial insemination using donor sperm and Beatie’s own eggs, was confirmed by Beatie through People magazine on July 3.

Beatie first made world headlines -- and stoked public debate about the boundaries of gender identity -- when he went public with his pregnancy during a guest appearance on “The Oprah Winfrey Show” in April.

The thinly bearded Beatie has said he began his transgender transformation in his 20s, taking testosterone injections and undergoing surgery to remove mammary glands and flatten his chest. On deciding about two years ago to have a child, he halted bimonthly hormone injections and resumed menstruating.

He and his wife of five years, Nancy, 46, operate a T-shirt printing business together. They are legally married and Beatie is recognized under Oregon state law as a man.

Born Tracy Lagondino, Beatie has said he is writing a memoir about his conflicted youth in Hawaii, during which his mother committed suicide and he participated in Girl Scouts, beauty contests and martial-arts.

September Films said its documentary would explore Beatie’s childhood and struggle with sexual identity, his pregnancy, the birth of his daughter and their arrival home “to face the world’s media.”