Just in case you were wondering where CNN stood on transgender issues, our favorite media outlet has decided to politicize Father’s Day by featuring a “father” who gave birth to and breastfed her son.
The Twitter caption for the story says it all: “He gave birth. He breastfed. Now, he wants his son to see him as a man.”
And by golly, CNN is going to give her that opportunity.
“Like many new dads, Sabastion Sparks knew parenting would come with serious challenges,” a profile on Sparks, published Friday on CNN’s website, reads.
“But most new dads didn’t give birth to their child. They didn’t breastfeed them. And they don’t endure glares from strangers when they go shopping with their wife and their toddler son.
“Sabastion, 24, is a transgender man who lives with his wife Angel in suburban Atlanta. Assigned the female gender at birth, he began transitioning five years ago. It’s a process that felt more complete last month when he had surgery to remove his breasts.”
One can’t help but notice the “Assigned the female gender at birth” part. Was there a department of assigning? Maybe a sorting hat? Can we not just say that Sparks was born female and that this was a function of nature? Apparently that’s just too controversial in this day and age, but a Father’s Day article about someone who isn’t and can never be biologically a male isn’t.
— CNN (@CNN) June 15, 2018
“I’m going to be a better father being comfortable in myself and him seeing that confidence in me,” Sparks told the network.
“But when it comes to lessons learned as a toddler, there are some things Sabastion wants to teach Jaxen, father to son. One of them is how to pee standing up — something Sabastion does with the help of a detachable prosthetic,” CNN reported.
“I can’t wait to be there for my kid,” Sabastion said. “The more my body resembles his, the better he’ll understand.”
Angel, 33, “was designated male at birth but had transitioned years earlier.”
“Like many transgender men and women, they had been taking medication to increase the testosterone or estrogen in their bodies. So to make a baby, they briefly stopped taking their hormone pills. The couple conceived their son the conventional way,” CNN reported.
Sabastion is not biologically male in any sense of the word; she does not have a Y chromosome — she hasn’t even “fully transitioned” through surgery, so even those who think such a thing would transform her into a male cannot make that argument.
However, CNN writes that “Not all transgender people choose to have surgery as part of a gender transition, and Sabastion knows looks shouldn’t matter. But he worries that the scornful way some people treat him could get passed down to Jaxen. That’s not what he wants for his son.”
This is clearly an opinion piece masquerading as hard news.
There are a range of opinions when it comes to transgender issues, and I understand that there’s a time and a place to educate people about them. I don’t castigate CNN for presenting them. My umbrage, instead, comes due to the fact that they chose to do this on Father’s Day. They’ve chosen this occasion — where we celebrate fathers and the role they play in their child’s life — to make the point that Jaxen’s mother is his father and his father is his mother.
You know what? Let’s start using other holidays this way. MSNBC can use Mother’s Day to start re-running the “kids don’t belong to their parents” campaign. We can start using Christmas to rail against the Crusades. Maybe bring Dr. Sanjay Gupta on during Easter to have him opine about how likely a man who was crucified rising from the dead three days hence would be. (“Well, Wolf, I just don’t see it happening. There’s no precedent in medical literature.”)
And, as for Ramadan … oh wait. No. Nobody’s going to touch that one.
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