Minh Khang and Minh Anh have become the first transgender couple in Việt Nam to naturally have a baby. Their daughter, Thiên An, was born two weeks ago at a hospital in Đồng Tháp Province.
Minh Khang was born a woman, and Minh Anh was born a man. Their wedding was held three years ago. Even though there are many challenges ahead, this young couple say they are ready for parenthood.
Việt Nam News reporter Minh Phương spoke with Minh Khang and Minh Anh about the difficulties they faced during pregnancy and their hopes for the future.
Minh Khang and Minh Anh have a joyful moment with their newborn baby, Thiên An. Photo courtesy of Trung tâm thẩm mỹ Bangkok
Inner Sanctum: You both used hormones to change your gender. What was your motivation to have a baby?
Minh Khang: Firstly, I love my wife and we both also really wanted to have a baby. So if my wife cannot get pregnant, why can’t I be the one to do that? I think that if I’m afraid of pain, afraid that other people will keep talking badly about us, then I don’t deserve to have children. To me, the love of a father and mother must be great enough to overcome all external factors.
Secondly, we also understand a child is the strongest bond for couples and will help the relationship grow stronger. Thiên An is the result of our love. People always think that relationships in the LGBT community are really fragile, so we want to prove that real love still exists in the LGBT community.
Inner Sanctum: Did you worry about the child’s health when you got pregnant?
Minh Khang: Yes, I did. Before giving birth, I had used male hormones for three years, so I was really worried when having Thiên An. I had many transgender surgeries using local and general anaesthetics, so I was afraid that it would affect the child’s health. Doctors also said that it might leave birth defects for Thiên An.
It is fortunate that Thiên An is now healthy and does not have any complications.
Inner Sanctum: What were the difficulties you faced with during pregnancy?
Minh Khang: Apart from worrying about if the previous surgeries would affect Thiên An’s health, my body ached more than usual during pregnancy. I also suffered from back pain, shortness of breath and chest pain. I really cannot count how many times I had to go to the emergency room because of those problems during pregnancy.
Inner Sanctum: How did you feel the first time you saw Thiên An?
Minh Anh: I felt very happy when we had Thiên An. That happiness cannot be described in words. Deep inside me, I was always worried about our newborn baby during the pregnancy.
But when I could look at her I shed tears of happiness.
Before Minh Khang got pregnant, I really wanted to have a baby. But it was just a dream. I could not imagine that one day that dream would come true.
Minh Khang: The day I went into labour was a very painful day. That pain came from many reasons. But when I met my daughter, I thought it was worth all the pain. At that time, my wife and I just hugged each other and cried happily.
Her parents hope Thiên An will be a resilient girl when she grows up. Photo courtesy of Trung tâm thẩm mỹ Bangkok
Inner Sanctum: Have you thought about having another child?
Minh Khang: We have, but I think Thiên An will be our only child. Because having a baby for a transgender couple like us is a big challenge to keep the baby and keep the baby healthy during the pregnancy.
Inner Sanctum: Do you think that when Thiên An grows up she will receive negative comments from people who discriminate against the LGBT community?
Minh Khang: When our child grows up, I will try to let her know about how hard it was for her parents to have her in our lives. I hope Thiên An will understand and accept our choices. I will teach her to respect people and those who are in the LGBT community. I expect that Thiên An will have sympathy for people in the LGBT community from an early age.
Inner Sanctum: What message would you give to Thiên An and people in the LGBT community?
Minh Khang: I only wish that when Thiên An grows up, she will become a resilient girl like her parents. I also hope that Thiên An will have good health and be with us for the rest of our lives. That’s all I desire, it is very simple.
To everyone in the LGBT community, I want to tell them to be confident to live their lives and be themselves. As long as they are nice people, live and contribute to society, they deserve to be respected no matter what genders they are. VNS