A transgender father who gave birth and breastfeeds his baby boy responded to critics who claim that his parenting makes him less of a man.
Tanius Posey, 31, stated that from an early age, he felt like something was not right, but he couldn't quite put his finger on it. He was born female.
Six years ago, Tanius Posey realized he wanted to be male, with the help of a transgender co-worker, and he began medically transitioning.
Tanius Posey was surprised when he found out he was pregnant in the spring of 2021.
Tanius Posey's son, Za'nius, now one, was born in early 2022, and Tanius is proud to be a transgender father, often referred to as a "seahorse dad", as male seahorses carry their babies.
The 31-year-old Tanius Posey has shared his journey on TikTok, gaining over 928,000 followers and 10 million likes across his videos. However, it has also sparked backlash from negative comments, with some saying he doesn't belong on this planet and others claiming his son will die because he's consuming breastmilk that Tanius produced while taking hormones.
Recently, Tanius Posey responded to the criticism in an interview with Truly, and encouraged other "seahorse dads" to use what they have without feeling ashamed.
"I've got the parts to be able to [breastfeed]. Just because I transitioned does not mean I stripped myself from wanting to give my child nutrients," he said.
"I've got it, why not utilize what I've got? My child has to eat. I can't sit there and starve him. He's gotta eat and he doesn't take a bottle, so I've got to feed him."
Some of the negative responses Tanius has received include messages like, "You do not belong on this planet carrying a child,' 'Men don't carry babies,' and, 'Go ahead and go back to where you came from."
Some individuals have stated that Za'nius will turn out to be "corrupt" or unhealthy when he gets older.
"Somebody said he's gonna resent me once he finds out that I carried him, and he's gonna be so confused or whatnot because he doesn't have a mom and dad," Tanius explained.
Tanius reported that he has also received a lot of negative comments from members of the trans community, saying things like "You are not trans enough because you carried your baby," or, "You're making the rest of us look bad."
But the hate has not discouraged the TikTok star "I got a lot of backlash, it got the best of me real bad [at first]. But I'm like, maybe if I continue sharing I might be able to help the next individual.
"My response of the haters is that we gotta stop living under a rock, we've gotta open up our eyes and realize there's more than one way to live."
Tanius remembered the moment he found out he was three months pregnant, it happened when he went to the hospital because he wasn't feeling well.
He said he "certainly did not see it coming at all" because he was going through his transition.
He had to stop taking testosterone abruptly, which he described as "hell."
According to llli.org, transgender males may be able to produce some milk even after undergoing top surgery to remove their breasts.
If they have low milk supply, they can increase it using various hormones.
It is not specified which hormones Tanius is taking.
Tanius told Truly that he was initially hesitant to breastfeed his son due to concerns about the reactions of others, but he ultimately decided to do so after researching the benefits of breast milk for babies.
He shared that he began "sharing his journey" online because he felt like he didn't see many people like him on the web.
"I was just going on TikTok and I didn't really see trans people of color that were pregnant. I started filming my breastfeeding journey to normalize it," he concluded.
"To any other trans individual that is carrying a child or wanting to carry a child - it is OK.
"We've got the parts, it does not make us any less of a man. We are still a man, regardless of how society feels about us. Utilize the parts you got."