A transgender father who breastfeeds his baby boy after giving birth to him has clapped back at haters who told him that carrying and nursing his child makes him ‘less of a man.’
Tanius Posey, 31, who was born female, said he felt like ‘something was off’ from early on, but ‘never knew exactly what it was.’ Six years ago, he realized that he wanted to be male with the help of a transgender co-worker, and he soon started medically transitioning.
But when he found out he was pregnant in the spring of 2021, Tanius was left completely stunned.
Video: I’m A Dad – And I Breastfeed My Baby | MY EXTRAORDINARY FAMILY
His son, Za’nius, now one, was born in early 2022, and now, Tanius is proud to be a transgender father – something often referred to as a ‘seahorse dad,’ since male seahorses carry their babies.
The 31-year-old has continuously shared his journey on his TikTok account – gaining more than 928,000 followers and 10 million likes across his videos – but it has sparked a slew of backlash from nasty commenters, some of whom, have said he ‘doesn’t belong on this planet’ and others who claimed his son will ‘die’ because he’s consuming breastmilk that Tanius produced while taking hormones.
He recently responded to the criticism during an interview with Truly, while encouraging other seahorse dads to ‘utilize what they’ve got’ without feeling any shame.
‘I’ve got the parts to be able to [breastfeed]. Just because I transitioned does not mean I stripped myself from wanting to give my child nutrients,’ he said.
‘I’ve got it, why not utilize what I’ve got? My child has to eat. I can’t sit there and starve him. He’s gotta eat and he doesn’t take a bottle, so I’ve got to feed him.’
Some of the terrible responses that Tanius has received include messages like, ‘You do not belong on this planet carrying a child,’ ‘Men don’t carry babies,’ and, ‘Go ahead and go back to where you came from.’
Some people even claimed that Za’nius will end up being ‘corrupt’ or unhealthy when he gets older.
‘Somebody said he’s gonna resent me once he finds out that I carried him, and he’s gonna be so confused or whatnot because he doesn’t have a mom and dad,’ Tanius explained.
He admitted that he’s even received a lot of negative comments from people who are part of the trans community, telling him things like, ‘You are not trans enough because you carried your baby,’ or, ‘You’re making the rest of us look bad.’
But the hate has not brought the TikTok star down. He added, ‘I got a lot of backlash, it got the best of me real bad [at first]. But I’m like, maybe if I continue sharing I might be able to help the next individual.
‘My response of the haters is that we gotta stop living under a rock, we’ve gotta open up our eyes and realize there’s more than one way to live.’
Tanius recalled finding out that he was three months pregnant after going to the hospital because he wasn’t feeling well.
He said he ‘certainly did not see it coming at all’ because he was in the midst of going through his transition.
He immediately had to stop taking testosterone ‘cold turkey,’ which he described as ‘Hell.’
llli.org reported that transgender males ‘may be able to produce some milk’ even after they underwent top surgery to have their breasts removed.
And if they suffer from a low milk supply, they can increase it using various hormones.
It is not known what hormones Tanius is taking.
Tanius explained to Truly that he didn’t want to breastfeed his son at first because he was worried of how people might react, but he eventually decided it was best after doing research on the benefits that breast milk has for babies.
He said he started ‘sharing his journey’ online because he felt like he didn’t see many people like him on the web.
‘I was just going on TikTok and I didn’t really see trans people of color that were pregnant. I started filming my breastfeeding journey to normalize it,’ he concluded.
‘To any other trans individual that is carrying a child or wanting to carry a child – it is OK.
‘We’ve got the parts, it does not make us any less of a man. We are still a man, regardless of how society feels about us. Utilize the parts you got.’