An episode of ABC drama The Good Doctor is winning praise for a sensitive and authentic portrayal of a pregnant transgender man.
The TV series, which stars Freddie Highmore as a doctor with autism and Savant syndrome, broached new ground with its depiction of transgender parenthood.
The Good Doctor cast trans actor Emmett Preciado as Rio Gutierrez, as a gay transgender man who discovers he is pregnant while also battling a brain tumour in a recent episode.
In the process of dealing with the revelations, the pregnant man and his partner, played by Johnathan Sousa, take both viewers and the main characters to school after being unnecessarily quizzed about their sex life and identity.
How The Good Doctor deals with trans pregnancy storyline.
Speaking to Forbes, Preciado said: “I’ve dealt with the hateful comments for years of people telling me, ‘You’re not really a man, you’re still a girl.’
“And I’ve built very thick skin to deal with that. This episode, though, it was like a way for me to show people a little bit more of what I feel, to share a little bit more of my experience.
“My body doesn’t define who I am inside, and I feel like most people, even cisgender people, can identify with that.”
Preciado hailed a moment in the show where the character’s partner shuts down a suggestion that giving birth is “the most female thing” anyone can do, stressing: “It’s not female if Rio’s doing it.”
The Good Doctor actor continued: “I understand that I was born in a female body, but my brain and my soul is masculine; It is male… I loved how it was written, because it shows that just because this person is deciding to carry a baby, because they can, because their body was built for that, why does that have to be a feminine thing? Why can’t it also be a masculine thing or why does it have to be either/or?”
— The Good Doctor (@GoodDoctorABC) February 16, 2021
Emmett Preciado wants to inspire trans people.
Speaking to QueerForty, he added: “I just really hope that people have an open mind when they see this episode and that they’re going to try to at least put themselves in a trans persons shoes, even just for 45 minutes.
“I hope that this gives inspiration to the all the trans people out there, because they need to see that there’s hope and they can have happiness and success and that they can do anything that they put their minds to.”
In real life, many transgender men have carried their own babies, though their stories are often aggressively pursued by the media.
A British trans man recently waged an unsuccessful legal battle to get the word “mother” removed from his child’s birth certificate.