Masculine Birth Ritual is a podcast about Masculine of Center (MoC) queer and trans people nurturing life through pregnancy, birth, and parenting. The podcast features pregnancy and birth stories of people creating life outside the gender lines. We also engage in conversations with birth workers about best practices for working with MoC people and artists, researchers, and spiritual leaders about the collective imagination and histories of nurturing masculinities.
Welcoming Whatever Being Came
Our final episode is an interview with new Papa, yoga and Buddhism teacher Jacoby Ballard. We talk about the Germination Proclamation he and their partner put out to friends and family, gender and parenting, and preparing to welcome whatever being emerged during birth.
"I really learned from putting out our Germination Proclamation that really it was like an instruction manual for our families and communities for how to love us in this moment. That was really helpful to everyone from uncles to comrades to see. I think that would be helpful for any parent despite your gender or sexual orientation/identity. It was putting forth a manifesto of how we wanted to be in the germination period and how we wanted to be parents and how we want to ask our communities to rally around us. Since then, people really have shown up in the ways we asked them to. I think even if we hadn't given them clear directions even our most beloved and closest friends might have had some missteps."
Ask Those Questions
In this interview, Rachel L. Kaplan and I talk about their experience with preterm birth. A friend of Rachel's recently pointed out that there aren't a lot of queer voices being heard about the neo-natal intensive care unit (NICU), and even fewer from masculine of center folx -- so she suggested Rachel check out Masculine Birth Ritual. Rachel is an Assistant Professor at the University of California, San Francisco and takes off the professor hat to describe some of the personal challenges of a traumatic preterm birth followed by three weeks in the San Francisco Kaiser NICU.
Meeting people where they're at
Our interview today is with Amanda Hayden. Amanda is a certified lactation counselor, social worker, and full-spectrum labor & postpartum doula trained through Ancient Song Doula Services practicing with the NYC Doula Collective. She works a doula and provides counseling and programming support for trans and gender-non-conforming people who are family-building including adoption, family planning, and building relationships. In this episode, we talk about the personal complexity of gender and how they approach ritual and support work with trans and GNC pregnant people and families.
Show notes, transcription, and contact:
I Would Like It If You Would Listen
In E13 I talk with Charlie King-Miller about Charlie's experience giving birth in a hospital setting, trying to get listed as "father" on his baby's birth certificate in Colorado, and how he navigated care when he felt that providers weren't listening.
Show notes at:
We Give It So Much Cultural Power
In E12 I talk with Greta LaFluer. Greta is an Associate Professor of American Studies at Yale University. They're the author of a book called The Natural History of Sexuality in Early America. In this conversation, she and I talk about western medical ideas about gender and approaches to birth in this period, the ways that genderqueer and Masculine of Center people are found (or not found) in the colonial archives, how legacies of white supremacy and violence are historically tied to white genderqueer AFAB masculinities, and the way sex and gender were understood in the 18th century colonial U.S.
It's Not Gender Weird, It's Just Weird
In this interview, Rae Goodman-Lucker and I talk about his experiences in preparing for pregnancy and birthing two children. She shares about her struggle to get doctors to believe the severity of his pregnancy fatigue, how he planned a community ceremony in preparation for pregnancy, and her perspectives on pain management during birth that are derived from queerness. Our kids are playing around us as we talk for this recording, so there's also some really cute moments of parenting in action.
Show Notes: masculinebirthritual.com/episodes
Instagram, FB: @masculinebirthritual
As a midwife and a queer, non-binary person who hopes to grow a baby someday, I find this podcast so relevant and important! I hope there are many episodes to come.
This podcast is providing much needed perspectives and resources for the community. Thank you to Grover and the guests featured for being vulnerable, honest, and open while sharing their unique experiences, feelings, and advice for those of us on this journey.
This podcast is providing excellent resources and conversations to those who are queer and building families, and also others who want to compassionately understand the galaxy of experiences people can have as they journey through pregnancy, birth, postpartum, and parenthood.