Trans couple Hannah and Jake Graf gleefully announced today that they are expecting their first baby, and the hearts of Twitter users collectively melted all at once.
First falling in love back in 2015, the trailblazing trans activists have battled anti-trans groups and people in the name of simply existing, falling in love and starting a family.
Clinicians ‘said they had no statistics to show how successful it was likely to be’, explained Jake Graf.
Hannah, 32, formerly the highest-ranking trans officer in the British Army, left her position last year to clock-into a finance job and prepare to help raise a child.
Jake, 41, an actor and director explained how he’s so “excited” as the prospect of being a father: “I love little babies,” he said.
“Within a week of our first date Jake was asking if I wanted kids,” said Hannah.
“He wouldn’t have taken the relationship further if I’d said ‘no’.
“I did want children but I never thought I’d end up having them. I thought I’d never have a boyfriend, let alone get married.”
The couple are to be parents by April next year, after using a surrogate for Jake who froze his eggs before his gender-affirmation surgery when he was 36.
— Jake Graf (@JakeGraf1) December 14, 2019
‘I’d always dreamed of having children.’
He told the paper that he began hormonal therapy in his mid-20s, but stopped taking testosterone briefly in his mid-30s. During this time, he froze his eggs anticipating the day he would like to have children.
“I’d been on testosterone for a good six years and I was very happy living as myself,” Jake said “but I didn’t want to miss out on kids and there was only one way I could be certain of being a father.
‘So, I stopped taking testosterone for six months and went to a well-known London fertility clinic.
“They were very frank. They said they had no statistics to show how successful it was likely to be.
“They’d never done anything like it before.
“But they agreed to try to harvest some eggs and my dear mum, who had been super-supportive throughout my transitioning, paid the cost of the procedure — about £17,000 — because she knew I’d always dreamed of having children.”
Jake still hadn’t met Hannah at this point, but it’s safe to say he has a type.
“I’m quite short and artistic, rubbish at science and logic, and I wanted a sperm donor to balance that.” he said.
“So I chose a tall, sporty, brown-eyed engineer – I picked someone just like Hannah!”
Jake froze and fertilised five eggs, giving the couple options to have more children in the future. For now, one was inserted into an anonymous surrogate.
Hannah and Jake’s family and friends have been ‘entirely supportive and loving’.
However, trans people getting on with their lives often act as lightning rods for unsolicited transphobic criticism, such as Freddy McConnell.
A trans man who gave birth to his own child who entered a lengthy and high-profile court case to be named as the father on the child’s birth certificate that was bitterly brought to the public eye after a group of media organisations won the legal right to identify him in reports.
Conscious of criticism, the couple noted that their loved ones have been “entirely supportive and loving”, but have already faced a bubbling backlash to starting a family.
“We had a very upsetting message from an old schoolfriend I hadn’t seen in 20 years who said she felt surrogacy was ‘utterly wrong’,” said Jake.
“Yet, she was speaking as a mum fortunate enough to have three children, and we felt it wasn’t her business to comment.”
Hannah added: “The trouble is, people have strong opinions about surrogacy, as they do about people being transgender, without taking the care to understand.”
Jake explained: “We’ve even heard people say we want to raise a trans baby. Why on earth would we choose that for our child?
“We know how incredibly hard it is to be transgender and we want the exact opposite for our daughter
“Some people see it as an ideology we’re trying to force on others, but nothing could be farther from the truth,” Hannah chimed in.
“We’re just being the happiest version of ourselves we can be. And we also want to support other trans people.”
“If our little girl likes pink, she’ll have pink” Jake said.
“But if she prefers blue, that’s fine as well.’
They found their surrogate through the National Fertility Society.
“It’s a little bit like dating,” Hannah said.
“You need to have shared values and the same outlook, and I think our surrogate — who is a very warm, practical person with children of her own — got the sense that we were a happy couple who love each other; that we’ll be good parents.
“After all, that’s what all surrogates are looking for, isn’t it?”
Hannah added: “She is always careful to make sure I am referred to as the mother during appointments because when our surrogate has been referred to in that way, it has left me feeling superfluous.”
The happy pair also said that both were present at the clinic when their embryo was transferred into their surrogate.
Hannah said: “We were at the head end, I got quite emotional knowing that in the syringe were our hopes of being parents.
The couple previously told PinkNews that them both being trans has led to a greater understanding of one another, but stressed that their gender identity is just one aspect of their love.
“We just really clicked and you know, we click on a level that’s much more than being trans,” Jake said.
“The trans thing actually just makes certain things easier and when we’re having a dysphoric moment, that just kind of makes it easier and more relatable.
“But that’s not why we are, you know, together and why we’re in love.”
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