Kayden Coleman’s Birthright
How He Found Black Birth Joy as a Trans Father
Season 2, Episode 1: Kayden Coleman’s Birthright: How He Found Black Birth Joy as a Trans Father
A powerful season two launches with Kayden’s story, a Black trans father of two daughters who reclaimed his birthright during his second birth. After a series of hurtful experiences during his first birth, Kayden discovered doulas who educated him and empowered him to voice his desires when he gave birth to his second daughter. In the midst of it all–including social media hate from others and poor care from medical professionals, he shares how he ultimately found joy in creating life and became a viral advocate for reproductive rights of other trans males. Listen in!
- A directory of LGBT+ Friendly Clinics in the US
- Queer Doula Network: A directory of queer full spectrum reproductive support providers.
- TransWIN (Trans Wellness Information Network): A database where trans community members can add providers and leave reviews by navigating to a provider’s profile page.
- Birthing Advocacy Doula Trainings (BADT): A Black-owned, queer-run doula training organization which includes a directory of doulas.
- Learn more about Nadine Ashby of Doula4All at https://www.doula4all.com.
- Catch up on episode extras from season 1 on BIRTHRIGHT’S YOUTUBE PAGE!
- Interested in having a doula for your pregnancy, birth or post-partum period? Here are resources for finding Black doulas and other perinatal specialists of color: National Black Doulas Association, The Bridge & Sista Midwife Directory.
- Learn more about having a safe and empowered birth by downloading the free ebook: Birth with Irth: A Mini-Manual to Pregnancy and Childbirth for Black People
- Subscribe to be notified for new episode releases every Wednesday! Love Birthright? Leave a rating and review.
- Get full episode details and transcripts on www.BirthrightPodcast.com
- Follow Kimberly Seals Allers on Twitter on Instagram: @iamKSealsAllers
- Birthright is funded by the California Health Care Foundation and the Commonwealth Fund.
Birthright Season 2, Episode 1: Kayden Coleman’s Birthright: How He Found Black Birth Joy as a Trans Father
Kimberly Seals Allers 00:06
Welcome to Birthright, a podcast about joy and healing in Black birth. My name is Kimberly Seals Allers, and I’m the founder of the Irth app and your host. This is where we celebrate the ways we find joy in our birthing experiences, and ultimately, reclaim our birthright. This episode is about the beauty of transitions and the joy of inclusivity. I’m joined by Kayden X Coleman, a transgender father, also known as Papa seahorse. After his birth stories went viral once in 2015, and again in 2020, Kayden became the face of black transgender pregnancy, he openly shares his stories, navigating the health system and life as a black, gay transgender man via social media, and he has dedicated himself and his platform to being a voice for trans masculine individuals. Kayden provides workshops educating healthcare providers, individuals and organizations on trans masculine fertility and birth, including offering sensitivity training. You may have even seen him featured in a Lexus commercial or on the Today Show. His voice, his presence, his story, has lessons for us all.
Kayden Coleman 01:23
Hi, my name is Kayden Coleman, and I am a transgender father of two daughters. And this is my birthright story. Well, I experienced a lot of traumas, there were a lot there were a laundry list of things that contributed to the trauma that I experienced, navigating as a trans man giving birth. You know, some of them being just something as simple as misgendering. Me, despite me, you know, letting people know ahead of time who I was, what my pronouns were. And, you know, as far as telling me that I am not supposed to be in a space because the space is only for women. They don’t think that we’re normal people. They think it’s, it was astounding how many people would believe that we’re pedophiles, and that we’re having kids to start some sort of trans army, or some LGBTQ army. And I was like, I can take this moment, and I can leave it here. Or I can take this moment, because I gained the platform. And at that point, I could take this moment and actually make something of it. So with my first child, I didn’t actually find out I was pregnant with her until I was five and a half months long, I found out at five and a half months along, I had surgery, top surgery in March of 2013. And, you know, I had to stop my hormones to have the surgery, which I now found out is absolutely not a necessity. But that’s neither here nor there. Here we are. And, you know, I had thought that testosterone had read and rendered me infertile. That’s what doctors were telling me. And that’s what doctors are still telling people to this day, that is false, as we can tell. So, I’m going through life, you know, trying to live my very best life without, you know, breasts. I’m like, you know, my birthday came. I’m, you know, getting on roller coasters, turning up at the club, having a great time. Having a great birthday, I went and got knuckle tattoos and everything I was living, I was out there. And suddenly I start to feel really tired, really tired all the time. And I’m in and out of the doctor because I had thyroid issues. So we thought it was that my vitamin D was low. So we thought it was that they never thought to check for pregnancy, though, which I found to be strange, because if you were a cisgender woman, if you go in with a stubbed toe, chances are they’re going to ask you if there’s a chance you can be pregnant. And do you want to take this pregnancy test? I know because I lived the life before. So I’ll never forget it. I started to feel like I had to pee all the time. Thought I had diabetes, didn’t have diabetes. They’re telling me I’m crazy. I’m feeling crazy, but I’m getting late, mainly in my stomach. And I’m like, What is going on? So I remember it was one day after work. I was working in retail where we had to stand all day because capitalism and I came home and I was like, hey, you know, do you think he gave me a massage, to my husband. He was like, sure I laid down and it felt like there was a pillow or like maybe the sheet was bunched up under me. So I got up and I smoothed it out, laid back down. That feeling was still there. Now. I don’t know what it feels like to be pregnant. But I jokingly said to my then husband I said hey, we should go get a pregnancy test. He ran up the street to CVS and picked one up and I took it very nonchalantly. I didn’t think that was even a thing. Soon as I peed on the test, it came back pregnant. And I’m going to curse here. So If you need to bleep just let me know. I remember I opened the door, he was laying on the bed watching RuPaul drag race and I said, Elijah, we’re so fucked. And I took at least five more pregnancy tests. I tried the digital ones I tried all because we were just in shock. And then, you know, I went to the doctor, and, you know, the man he felt on my stomach. And he was like, yes. So I would say you’re about 21 and a half weeks long, and I was like, wait a minute, because I just knew it was like, maybe a month, a month and a half, two months tops. So you know, at that point, it’s not like abortion was an option. So we had, you know, a few months to figure out how to bring a baby into the world, which was a lot, a whole lot. The next phase, honestly, I went from not feeling pregnant, to super pregnant. There was no like, in between. It was like I woke up the next day, I had pubic symphysis and my nose spread across my face. I was just pregnant. That’s literally, that’s how it went. I had never had a baby before. So I didn’t know that there was even a selection process, right? I just went with whoever my primary care provider referred me to. And I assumed being that my primary care provider was also a transgender man. And I was going to an LGBTQ clinic that they would send me to someone who was trans competent, I assumed incorrectly.
Kimberly Seals Allers 06:36
This has long been a struggle. Today, an estimated 1.4 million Americans, close to 0.6% of the population of the US identify as transgender. And while much of the media storm around the trans community has been about bathroom access, and trying to define gender, there is a very real issue of competent and respectful health care for the trans community. In pregnancy or not, this has been an undecidedly and perhaps unsurprisingly, not part of America’s history. In fact, it was Berlin, Germany and the Institute for Sexual Science, where a doctor named Magnus Hirschfeld developed therapies and performed surgeries, and is often considered the father of transgender healthcare. Hirschfeld was one of the first to offer his patients the means to achieve sex change, either through hormone therapy, sex change operations, or both. It is the oldest Western Institute studying LGBTQ identities and was destroyed by the Nazi regime. It would be another century before Christine Jorgensen, a former Army clerk became the first American to have a sex change operation in 1952. But at the time, the lack of quality transgender healthcare in the US meant that Jorgensen had to travel to Denmark to get the treatment she needed. Sadly, when it comes to trans competent care, America remains well behind.
Kayden Coleman 08:05
With my second pregnancy, so I was on Medicaid for that birthing, Medicaid. And, you know, the provider list is not very long as it stands. So the way I went about it this time was also through community. I was living in New York City at the time. And, you know, they had a very similar group to the one that I reached out to in Philadelphia, but I just kind of posted in there and I was like, does anybody know of any trans competent OBGYN and I got referred to the place that I ended up going to, when I call it I was so surprised, pleasantly because the lady who answered the phone, her name was Sophie, she, you know, I purposely didn’t let them know, I was trans to begin with. I just didn’t like, you know, hey, this is my insurance. I’m looking for care. I just found out I’m pregnant. And she took all my information and didn’t flinch or anything, because most people would have been like, so, sir. Are you calling in for your wife or what’s going on here? She put my information down. And at the end of this at the end of our conversation, she very quietly said, Are you a transgender man? And I was like, Yes, I am. And she was like, Okay, Mr. Coleman, you know, come on in, came in. She was so wonderful. Never forget her. Never, ever forget her. And unfortunately, the providers weren’t as competent. And I ended up being sent over to a perinatal facility, which was even worse. And because it was the height of COVID, I didn’t have a choice. I had to go where I went. So long, very long winded answer to your question, which the answer’s no, I did not have trans competent care.
Kimberly Seals Allers 09:49
Yes, so many barriers, because there’s being trans. There was being trans and black. And then there’s being trans and black and pregnant. A triple burden. So Kayden, how do you think navigating all these barriers impacted your birthing experience?
Kayden Coleman 10:07
After my first pregnancy, I went through a really bad span of postpartum depression, PTSD and anxiety out on the heels of my experience giving birth, it was very, very, very traumatic. And I was a part of a group on Facebook that had nothing to do with birth, literally nothing to do with birth. But I was kind of like flailing in the wind. And this this particular group was for queer people who resided in Philadelphia was, which is where I lived at the time. And, you know, I kind of just reached out and was like, does anybody know anybody who can, you know, help me out here, you know, I have this newborn child. And there’s this, you know, you know, dark cloud looming over my head, I also was looking for care at the time for, you know, daycare at the time as well. And I remember, I wish I could remember their name, Jay. Jay was their name. They were an aspiring doula. And there was another one who came over and her name I will never remember because she literally only came over one time, but I’ll never forget her presence. And she came over and she sat with me, and my then husband, and basically put a name to everything that I was going through. That you know, in a way that doctors just don’t. My postpartum care when it came to my provider was little to none. She came over and she was like, you know, I’m just gonna sit with you. And you can just if you need to rest, you can rest. And, you know, I was like, wow, what is this angel person? I didn’t know what was going on. They were just, like, the level of like, compassion and care that they had was, was crazy to me. I was just like, wow, I didn’t, I did not know that this was a thing. I’m not gonna lie to you. Being a Black person growing up, we don’t really talk about doulas and things of that nature. We just don’t. I remember when I told the father of my second child that I wanted a doula for that pregnancy. He was like, what is that some voodoo stuff? And I was like, I had explained to him what that was. It was kind of the same for me. I was like, What is a doula? I actually found what a doula was or even a birth worker, I really just thought there was people who delivered the baby and the people who were there with you when you go to the doctor kind of thing. So with my second pregnancy, one of my stipulations, if you will, was that I wanted to have a doula.
Kimberly Seals Allers
That’s a great stipulation. So, did you have your doula?
Unfortunately, I was pregnant during the height of COVID. So having a doula just did not work out in the cards for me. But I still kind of had a, I still kind of had people I could reach out to if need be. And then, maybe a few weeks prior to giving birth to my second daughter, I ended up going live on Instagram, and her name is badass mother birther onInstagram, she popped into my live. And as a result, like so many other people, doulas popped into my life and they like bombarded me in the best way with all this information that I needed for when I went in, you know, to give birth, because I was having I was already I knew I was gonna have a C section. They gave me all of this information. And it helped me what I walked into, though my daughter came a month early, I walked in, you know, armed with all of this information. So you know, doulas basically saved my life, for lack of better words, because I don’t know where I would have been without them.
Nadine Ashby 13:49
My name is Nadine, my pronouns are they, them. I’m a queer, trans birth worker, birth educator and doula educator. I’m also the founder of a doula educating group called The Birth revolution, which is a queer and trans led anti racist birth work training. When I was growing up, my mom was somebody who was really trusted amongst her friends and amongst our community here in the St. Paul Minneapolis area. And so when people would have babies, they would ask her to come to the birth and she didn’t have childcare. So she just brought me along. And so since I was in elementary school, I’ve been going to births and, you know, patent backs and holding legs and just getting in where I fit in. And so then that led me to go to college and major in biology, and I was gonna I was pre med, so I was going to be an OB. And then I ended up having a baby of my own. After I graduated, and I saw the magic of midwives, and doulas, and that completely shifted my view about birth work, and the importance of the midwifery model of care, and the importance of having a non medical birth professional with you, in your birth time to help you advocate and teach you how to advocate for yourself, because I thought I was pretty good at it. But when you get in it, things are a little different. And so that led me to become a doula. And I took lots of trainings and, and things and I looked back at my time, kind of the cultural way that I was brought into birth work, and how a lot of my education didn’t really line up with my transness, or my queerness, or my blackness, it was always something that was left out.
Kimberly Seals Allers 16:01
Interesting. So Nadine, where would you say we are now as a culture in terms of acceptance and inclusivity? For the trans community?
Nadine Ashby 16:11
Yeah, I would say, We’re in sort of a transition place right now, where people are starting to awaken and see trans people more visibly, trans people are becoming more visible. And some people are pushing against it and saying, no, they don’t want to believe that we exist and are deserving of rights. And some people are leaning into it and doing the work and trying to learn how to best support trans people. And I also see so many trans people coming to the forefront of this work. And saying, you know, we support each other better than anybody else can. So that’s been beautiful to see. But it’s definitely in a transition place. We’ve come, we’ve come a long way. We still have way, way, way more to go. But we’ve definitely come a long way. And so going into the birth space, having to try to pass or try to conceal who you actually are. And then when people do find out who you are being the, you know, the bud of that kind of discrimination was common practice. And there really wasn’t a lot that people could do to hold providers accountable to actually take care of trans people. So I mean, the numbers weren’t counted. There was no real research out there to prove that things were happening outside of trans people sharing their own experiences. But it was terrible. Trans people were turned away. Trans people did not get equitable health care.
IRTH AD/Kimberly Seals Allers 18:16
Did you know that less than 15 minutes of your time can help make black birth safer for us all. Irth as in the word birth, but we drop the beef abayas is the first of its kind nonprofit rating and recommendation platform for black and brown women and birthing people to find and leave reviews of their OBGYN birthing, hospitals and pediatricians. My name is Kimberly Seals Ailers. And I created the Irth app because I wish I had it when I gave birth. I learned the hard way that reading the doctor and hospital reviews at mainstream sites, which were overwhelmingly from white parents, was just not helpful to me as a black single mother at the time. Irth is by us and for us. And in less than 15 minutes, you can complete the structured review of your birthing experience. Also tell us about your prenatal postpartum and newborn care. So we can inform and protect each other. We turn Irth anonymous reviews into meaningful data to work directly with hospitals, payers and providers to improve our care now. When it comes to safe, respectful and dignified care, we got us. Download the free Irth app now and leave your reviews. Follow the Irth app on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.
Kayden Coleman 19:39
So actually, both of my pregnancies I had a C section. And in both of my pregnancies I had preeclampsia. So with my first daughter, the preeclampsia, I actually did make it to full term basically. I think she was due, if I’m not mistaken, it was on the 27th of January. She came to ninth so it wasn’t too far off. And the preeclampsia had gotten so bad, I also have sleep apnea. And it had gotten so bad that it started causing my body to swell up. I was already sleeping in the corner of a sectional, sitting straight up so that I could breathe while I was sleeping. And it had just gotten bad. So I contacted my doctor, she told me to come in to, you know, because they were going to go ahead and try to induce me. So I went into the labor and delivery unit, which was a trial, which was a battle. I’m gonna keep using that word. I like that word. That was a battle because they were like, Why are you two men going up until the delivery room finally got up there. And, you know, they received this pretty well, I did ask them right off the bat, if I could get a C section. Because, for me, the idea of giving birth any other way just did not resonate in my spirit. And I think my body knew that. So when I asked, the nurse told me that I could not get a C section, because quote, all of the women on the labor and delivery floor prefer to have a natural birth. And I was like, oh, okay, so they went, you know, we started the induction. And you know, they gave me Pitocin and put it in the cheek. This went on for a few days, the Pitocin part, they’re trying to get me to contract and dilate. I wasn’t dilating. Also, through this process, I did say I have preeclampsia. So I was on a magnesium drip, which meant that I was on a liquid diet, and I was not able to get out of bed. And also, this was a teaching hospital, which would have been fine. But they had upwards of 10 to 15 students in the room at the time, to the point where I just kind of took my robe off and I was laying there naked. And they were like Mr. Coleman what’s going on, I was like, Well, everybody’s gonna see everything anyway, so might as well be comfy. And you know, I couldn’t get up even to use the restroom, I had to pee in a bed pad poop in the commode, couldn’t wash myself up, couldn’t do anything. And this went on for five days. And on the fifth day, now I still have sleep apnea, Sleep Apnea did not disappear. So I’m not sleeping, I haven’t had a solid meal in five days. They tried. They didn’t, instead of calling like a pulmonologist or you know, somebody who actually knows how to work a CPAP machine, they just grabbed one from the ER and shoved it on my face and turned it all the way up, which caused even more anxiety. So by the fifth day, I had had enough. And the doctor came in and she told me that they were going to try Pitocin again. And I sat there and I looked at her like she had 18 heads and I let her walk out of the room. And I thought for a minute and I told my ex husband, I was like, you know, go get the doctor. And he did and I she came back in and I said I know, I hear what you’re saying about all of the women on this floor wanting a natural birth. But I don’t know if you noticed that I’m not all the women on this floor. I said at this point, you know, I keep telling you what it is that I want. You’re not listening to me. So at this point, either you’re gonna cut the baby out or I am your choice. And it was less than a half an hour later. I remember it was like 1230 At night I was on the table getting the epidural. I had the C section, everything went fine. They did not let me see her right away though for some reason she was fine. They kind of just like, let me peek. And then they took her. The only way I got to see her was my ex husband took a picture of her, which I also think contributed to my postpartum depression and PTSD and all that because the first time I was alone with her, I had the biggest panic attack and told them to get the baby out of the room. I didn’t care where they took her, just get her out. So yes, that was very, very difficult to navigate with my second pregnancy. Preeclampsia struck again, I actually had been in the hospital maybe a week prior to that for two weeks, while they monitored my blood pressure and tried to keep it down because I was not to term. And, you know, they had me coming in for follow ups after that to monitor, you know, her, and also my blood pressure twice a week. And I think it was the first or second time I went in there. I got in there and my blood pressure was like through the roof. And I had luckily been able to meet the high risk doctor. And you know, he came in and he was like, Yeah, you’re not going home and go upstairs. We had gotten to the point she was a month early, but we got to the point where it was safe to deliver her. So it was probably maybe an hour later that I was, you know, going through the C section. However, I went in there this time and I was like Yeah, nobody unless they’re essential is going to be in this room. My pronouns are he him my name is Mr. Coleman. I will be addressed as such if anybody is uncomfortable caring for me they need not be in this room. And once I give birth, I need to see my child. And as soon as it’s safe to see her, I need to be doing skin the skin immediately, as soon as humanly possible, I did have to get onto them about the skin, the skin because they were taking too long. And so I threatened them and told them that I would walk down there if I needed to. So they willed me down there. And it was, you know, there was a lot of times when I had to assert myself, but I felt very comfortable in asserting myself. And so it was a very different experience. I got to do, you know, skin to skin, I got to, and she was so tiny, she was only like four pounds when she was born. And so I felt like that was really important. And ironically enough, I did not experience postpartum depression, or anxiety or PTSD, with my second pregnancy. So yeah.
Kimberly Seals Allers 25:47
And there seems to be a transition, a shift, if you will, for you, as well as a birthing person. What made the difference between your first and your second birth?
Kayden Coleman 25:59
Well, you know, with my first pregnancy, I was young, you know, this was we’re talking eight years ago now. So I was in my mid to late 20s, I had just started transitioning maybe four to five years before that, I did not know, you know, it, the way that the medical system is structured, and especially for us as black people who, you know, oftentimes aren’t taught, you know, autonomy and where we stand in certain situations, the doctors seem like the authority. And it oftentimes feels like if you go against what they say that you’ll get in trouble somehow. There was also the thought process, there’s always that fear of being trans in a birthing space where, you know, a lot of cisgender people do not feel like we’re capable or worthy of being parents and they feel like we are, you know, somehow a threat or something to our kids. So you feel like you have to make yourself small, and kind of try to fly under the radar. However, that looks or whatever the case may be. I grew up since my first pregnancy. And I also had, like I said, that community of doulas who were like absolutely the hell not. You didn’t have to do that. You don’t have to do that. And when they say you, when they tell you to do this, you tell them this. And I walked in there with all of that, on my end, it really made me feel like stand up straight, head up, chin out, chest out, you’re here, like and that’s what I and that’s really what helped me having that extra bit of education. That’s why you know, whenever any trans guy comes to me now, that’s pregnant. The very first thing I say is, you know, congratulations this iis so amazing. Let’s get you a doula.
Nadine Ashby 27:50
Especially the right doula. So when you’re doing your interviews and looking for someone to support you and your birth time, it’s important to look for someone that above all else you feel safe with and you feel a connection with. And this could be a doula who’s gone to two births, or a doula who’s gone to 500 births. That kind of connection right away that you feel with somebody I think is the most important part of looking for a doula. But yeah, finding that doula who can help you advocate for yourself and asking them about their birth philosophy is really important. Every doula has a different way to approach things. Every doula brings different things to the table. So really understanding why this doula is doing the work that they’re doing? And what is this doula’s beliefs about birth? Also, what is this doulas experience working with trans people? You know, is this doula a trans person? Is this doula queer? You know? And does this doula center, trans and queer people in their everyday life? So I think those things are important.
Kimberly Seals Allers 29:13
Even more important when you’re battling a system that clearly doesn’t have competence for who you are Kayden, I’m curious, how did you take care of yourself?
Kayden Coleman 29:24
You know, that’s a good question. I don’t know. I think I just took everything in stride. I think I took everything as they came. I do feel that I think that word that you use battling was a very good word, a good choice of words. I felt like I was always having to arm myself. Every time I needed to go into the doctor’s office, and I think a lot of that attributed to why I had, you know, preeclampsia. My blood pressure was always high and like Mr. Coleman, your blood pressure. I’m like, I know because I have to be here. So a lot of it was you Taking time out for myself to rest, just trying to regulate my thought process and kind of just, you know, find different ways to calm myself down. I remember after one very tumultuous time, you know, I had my partner take me to the beach, which was great, but you know, that trip to the beach is kind of what contributed to my story. Getting out there again, I just wanted to take a picture. And I guess the picture struck a lot of people and got circulated. And, you know, here I am now, but just little things, finding little things that I found joy in whatever that was at the time, you know, whether it was eating, because, you know, for once in my life, I was actually enjoying food. And you know, during my second pregnancy, I found a lot of solace in cooking. So I would just try a lot of cooking and baking was our thing, we were trapped in the house. So we would just get a bunch of groceries and try new, you know, do different dishes and try to bake things from scratch. So that was kind of one of the ways that you know, I kind of just managed it was more or less like, surviving rather than thriving. But you know, doing the best that I could
Kimberly Seals Allers 31:09
Kayden, how did you find joy in your birth?
Kayden Coleman 31:14
How did I find joy, I found joy in community. I had a lot of it in both of my pregnancies, I had a lot of people within the community, as far as other trans men who have been through the process. Later on, you know, after giving birth to my first daughter, I found a community of you know, birth workers and doulas. And that’s basically that’s really how I found joy. Also, just in the idea that though, neither one of my kids were planned, they were joyous surprises. I found joy in being able to create life and, and give birth to my own kids, despite being told by doctors that that probably wasn’t going to be a possibility after beginning my hormone therapy. So you know, I’ve always, I’ve never okay, so when I was growing up, the idea of having kids was never a thing for me. I never wanted kids. But I always wondered what my kids would look like, I wonder, I feel like a lot of people think that like, I wonder what a little me would look like. So being able to create two little me’s has always been like the source of joy for me, mentally trans people are out here creating spaces for joy for each other. And I think that’s one of the most important parts of this. I think that when we heal, we heal as a collective, we create spaces and containers for each other to do that healing.
Nadine Ashby 33:00
And so finding those spaces that make you feel held, and if there are any trans people out there who don’t have those spaces, and are looking for those spaces, and just want to Kiki, you can hit me up.
Kayden Coleman 33:17
I’ve learned that education is powerful, as we were just talking about. And I was like I can use my experiences, I’ve had enough experiences, I’ve had just the right amount of trauma to where it can really change some lives. I didn’t think it was going to grow as much as it has. But I’m ecstatic that it did. But my goal is to make it so that at some point, other trans people don’t have to experience trauma just to give birth just to do things that their bodies are capable of doing in the first place.
Kimberly Seals Allers 33:56
So how can birth workers and those who care about birth do better? What is the ask of the birth worker community?
Nadine Ashby 34:05
The ask is that when we’re talking about birth, that we acknowledge that it’s not just cis women who are having babies. There are trans men who are having babies. There are non binary people who are having babies, and especially when we have conversations about Black perinatal mortality trans people, and non binary people are completely taken out of that conversation. And it’s important that we all recognize that we can’t just take one slice of the story that we have to see the entire story. And when we do work to learn, stop and listen to the most marginalized among us, that encourages us all. That lifts us all.
Kimberly Seals Allers 35:08
Hmm. We close every episode of birthright by asking the question, what is our birthright Nadine? What is our birthright?
Nadine Ashby 35:18
Our birthright is to have joy in our pregnancies, have joy in our birth times and have joy in our postpartum times. It’s our birthright to have support and community who love us and hold us up. And it’s our birthright to be active participants in our health and in our birth times. And for our babies. It’s also our birthright to have safety for ourselves and for our children.
Kimberly Seals Allers 35:57
And Kayden, what is our Birthright?
Kayden Coleman 35:59
Our Birthright is to have equitable, inclusive, compassionate care as birthing people, not just throughout our pregnancy, but afterwards as well. I think we deserve to as people who are creating life literally to be able to navigate that in spaces that feel safe and welcoming.
Kimberly Seals Allers 36:32
Season Two of Birthright is funded by the California Health Care Foundation and the Commonwealth Fund. Birthright is produced by Motor City Woman Studios in Detroit, with Kimberly Seals Allers as executive producer, and Alexa Imani Spencer, as researcher and assistant producer. Our music is by Dantrel Robinson and we dedicate this season in his memory. And don’t forget to subscribe to birthright wherever you get your podcast. Give us a rating and review if you like what you hear, find episode notes and learn more at birthright podcast.com And don’t forget to Like and follow the Birthlight Podcast YouTube page for exclusive videos and extras. Follow me at @iamKSealsAllers on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook and please support our patreon account. Together. We are reclaiming our birthright one story at a time.
Kayden X. Coleman is a transgender dad also known as Papa Seahorse. He has two daughters, Azaelia and Jurnee. After his birth stories went viral—once in 2015 and again in 2020, Kayden became the face of Black transgender pregnancy. He openly shares his stories navigating the health system and life as a Black, gay transgender man via social media. He’s dedicated himself and his platform to bridging the gaps and disparities that exist in the health system/birthing worlds for transmasculine individuals. Kayden provides workshops educating healthcare providers, individuals and organizations on transmasculine fertility and birth. He also provides sensitivity training. In 2021, he was selected as an Out100 Honoree. IG handle: @kaydenxofficial