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Pregnant Trans Man Dubbed A 'Seahorse Dad' Stops Hormone Treatment To Start Family

Pregnant Trans Man Dubbed A 'Seahorse Dad' Stops Hormone Treatment To Start Family
Bennett Kaspar-Williams and Malik Kaspar-Williams on their wedding day (Collect /PA Real Life)

This trans non-binary dad fell pregnant after finding love, now he is sharing their story and the important role his mom is taking in his life after her support, after “coming out to her three times."

Lawyer Bennett Kaspar-Williams was assigned female at birth and only realized he was non-binary trans person after becoming properly involved in the LGBTQ community in his twenties.

After falling in love with interior designer Malik Kaspar-Williams in the summer of 2017, the couple decided to start a family, with Bennett coming off his hormone treatment and falling pregnant in February 2020.

Like most people, he could not wait to break the news to his mom, Lori Kaspar.

“She was shocked, but very excited. I spent most of my adult life identifying as a butch lesbian, so when I told my mom I was non-binary trans person, I do remember her struggling to grasp what it really meant at first," he said.

“But, by the time she saw me the following spring she got it. By then I'd really started to become more muscular and had a full-on beard. Bless her, she's always taken my coming out in her stride. I've come out three times to her. Once as a lesbian, once as trans and once as a gay man."

Bennett Kaspar-Williams when pregnant (Collect /PA Real Life)

“Every time she has been so proud and supportive. That's really saying something for a baby boomer who's lived in Texas for 40 years," he said.

Self-designated “seahorse dad" Bennett, who is due on November 5 and is recording his pregnancy on Instagram, has stopped the hormone treatment he began in the summer of 2014, to start a family.

“In a way, because of lockdown and social distancing, I've avoided a lot of uncomfortable situations," he said.

“No one has questioned whether I'm male or female, pregnant or not. Any announcements to friends and family have been over video calls and via text messages."

“But the pregnancy itself has been pretty normal, there have been no complications. I document all the milestones on Instagram and keep my followers posted. The response has been super positive. I use the term 'seahorse dad' as a way for other trans people to find me and see that they can have a family of their own, too."

Bennett Kaspar-Williams' baby scan picture (Collect /PA Real Life)

Growing up, Bennett never felt any pressure to take part in “gendered activities."

“My parents never really bought into the whole activities for boys and activities for girls thing. When I was three, I decided I wanted to learn dance and my parents were like, 'Okay, cool,'" he said.

“A few months later I decided I wanted to take karate and they were the same. One day I could be a ballerina and the next I could be chopping wood at karate. That carried on throughout my childhood."

Bennett Kaspar-Williams at 28 weeks pregnant (Collect /PA Real Life)

Mainly friends with boys, it was only after starting puberty that Bennett realized he was different to his male pals.

“I remember turning 11 and being told I needed a training bra by my mom," he continued.

“A lot of girls at that age are excited and looking forward to becoming a woman, but it just reminded me I was different, and I felt upset about having to wear one. I'd get to school and take it off, then put it back on before I got home. But I didn't hate my breasts, or any other part of me growing up, I was just sort of detached"

Refusing to dress like other girls, Bennett would proudly wear flannel shirts and baggy jeans.

Dating boys and girls throughout secondary school, after turning 18 he started seeing women exclusively.

Bennett Kaspar-Williams at 24 weeks pregnant (Collect /PA Real Life)

“The older I got, the more my gender presentation defined who I could date. I started looking very masculine, like a butch woman. I had a vague attraction to men, but I didn't act on it. The people I dated during that time reflected how I looked," he said.

“I was a gay woman and that attracted other gay women."

Becoming more involved with the LGBTQ community in his 20s, Bennett started hanging out more with gender non-conforming people with a friend even coming out as transgender in 2003.

“I'd always thought the only way to express yourself as a masculine female was to be gay," he recalled. “My eyes were opened to this whole other world of gender expression."

“That was something that never went away – wondering if I'd be happier transitioning – but I didn't act on it for a long time."

Bennett Kaspar-Williams and mum Lori Kaspar (Collect /PA Real Life)

But, after turning 30 in October 2013, he finally started to explore the possibility of transitioning.

Just a month after qualifying as a lawyer, he made the decision to start his transition.

“I can't really describe how I felt at the time," said Bennett.

“I wasn't unhappy before, but I wanted to explore different options. I had my bar exams in July and didn't want to start transitioning while studying for them, as the tests are ridiculously hard. But in August that year I began testosterone therapy."

Bennett Kaspar-Williams' baby scan picture (Collect /PA Real Life)

Taking the hormone every day, it was only a matter of weeks before Bennett started noticing a difference.

“I suddenly felt a lot warmer – like my body temperature had actually risen," he said. “I started feeling a lot hungrier and had far more energy."

“Every day I was working out and I could do things a bit faster, a bit better, a bit easier."

Bennett Kaspar-Williams and Malik Kaspar-Williams (Collect /PA Real Life)

“It reminded me of when Spiderman gets bitten by the bug and starts getting his Spidey powers," he said.

By the time he turned 31 in October that year, Bennett had come out as a trans person to his friends, family and colleagues.

“To be honest, no one was surprised," he explained. “For over a decade I'd been this very masculine lesbian."

Two years after beginning hormone treatment, in the summer of 2015, Bennett had breast removal surgery.

“It was really liberating. I had this feeling that it was something that I needed to do, but I never had a self-hatred of my breasts, like some trans people," he said.

“I had no dysphoria about certain body parts and still don't. But I never could have anticipated what a relief it would be to find them gone. It was a huge weight off my shoulders."

Bennett Kaspar-Williams and Malik Kaspar-Williams (Collect /PA Real Life)

“That's the end of the surgical road when it comes to my transitioning though – bottom half surgery is off the table. I have no dysphoria with that part of my body," he said.

Initially, still dating women after the surgery, Bennett soon felt confident enough to begin dating men.

Describing the gay dating scene as a trans male, he explained that people's responses were mixed.

Bennett Kaspar-Williams and Malik Kaspar-Williams (Collect /PA Real Life)

“Some people were totally trans competent and had dated trans people like me before. About half were positive about the idea but needed educating. Then there was a minority who were rude, asking what was going on between my legs," he continued.

“After a while it did get exhausting having to explain to each match about what it is to be a trans gay male, so I ended up including some literature on my profile like, 'Hey, I'm trans. Read this.' It probably sounded hostile, but it was my way of dealing with the situation."

And, after kissing a few frogs, Bennett met Malik through a dating app in the summer of 2017, with the couple becoming exclusive that November.

“Our first date was a phone call," Bennett laughed. “We spoke for hours and hours over several weeks. When we finally met, it felt like we already knew each other. We fell in love pretty hard, pretty fast."

Spending their first Christmas together in 2018, with all of Bennett's family at a cabin in Nebraska, Malik had an extra special festive surprise.

Bennett Kaspar-Williams and Malik Kaspar-Williams (Collect /PA Real Life)

“It was the first time a lot of my family had met one of my boyfriends," he continued. “Malik was a real trooper – everybody loved him. We'd finished swapping presents and he said, 'There's one more, you have to find it.'"

“I was looking and looking, and he said it was up higher. So I stood up and looked down at Malik and he had a ring box in his hand. I was so shocked, I had my hand over my mouth. Then I said yes."

The couple tied the knot in May 2019, in Palm Springs, California, with 40 of their nearest and dearest at a private home.

Bennett Kaspar-Williams and Malik Kaspar-Williams (Collect /PA Real Life)

And, the very same week, Bennett made the decision to come off his testosterone to increase the chances of him falling pregnant.

“We'd spoken about starting a family and we knew we definitely wanted to," he explained.

"But we weren't sure if I'd be able to carry a baby for us, after transitioning. I wasn't sure how I was going to respond to being off the testosterone, so I waited a couple of weeks before telling Malik."

With his menstrual cycle taking several months to return to normal, it was not until Christmas last year that the couple started trying to fall pregnant.

“Once my period became regular, we knew it was the right time," Bennett added.

Then, just two months into trying in February, the couple found out they were expecting.

“I had a load of strip tests and was taking them basically every day. After the second month, the pregnancy strips kept getting darker and darker, until Malik caved and bought a proper digital one for us. We were super excited, we couldn't wait," Bennett said.

Bennett Kaspar-Williams aged seven (Collect /PA Real Life)

Instead, Bennett has been using social media to keep people informed of his journey.

“Lockdown has meant going to a lot of check-ups on my own. Nurses and doctors have been brilliant. I think I'm their first trans pregnancy, but everyone has been very open and understanding. We know the sex of the baby, but we won't announce that until after the birth," he said.

Bennett Kaspar-Williams when pregnant (Collect /PA Real Life)

“There's something about society's obsession with finding out a baby's gender which is a bit too much. Once they're born, we will use the pronouns that correspond to their sex, but we will make it clear they don't have to accept those labels," Bennett added.

Meanwhile, Bennett may wait until they have had a second baby before resuming his hormone treatment.

“We like the idea of having a little sibling for the baby," he said. “It makes sense to do it sooner rather than later."

“So I'm a bit hesitant about going back on hormones, only to come off again six months later – I'm not sure my mental or physical health could take it. And with Malik, my transition and our babies, I really will feel complete."