The La Leche League, an organization that helps people breastfeed, has rejected the application of a trans man who wants to be a La Leche League leader. Despite having had chest surgery, he worked with his local La Leche League group to be able to breastfeed his child. He argues that his experience would make him invaluable as a mentor not only for other trans men who want to breastfeed but for all kinds of queer breastfeeders and women who are breastfeeding after breast reduction surgery.
The rules of the La Leche League originally said that a La Leche League leader was a mother who had breastfed her children. Obviously, the requirement should be “has breastfed their children,” not “is female and has breastfed their children”– the La Leche League just didn’t foresee that some men would breastfeed when they wrote the policy. Unfortunately, their hardheaded adherence to policy instead of being flexible about unexpected circumstances has led them to be sexist in extreme.
In particular, I’d like to mark one phrase from La Leche League’s letter:
According to LLL philosophy the roles of mothers and fathers are not interchangeable.
…Err, what? A mother is a parent who is female; a father is a parent who is male. A father is fully capable of doing anything a mother could do, from helping with homework to taking their children to the hospital. Most fathers can’t do some things because of biology (cis men can’t breastfeed children or get pregnant), but some fathers can do any fucking thing– including breastfeeding.
Contact La Leche League here and ask them why they’re being discriminatory.
Fun fact: cis men can, in the proper circumstances, lactate. Do you guys think that’s cool? I think that’s cool.