• Transgender activist Norrie May-Welby calling for a debate on Mother’s Day term
  • Norrie suggested ‘Nurturer’s Day’ would be a better term with ‘men’ giving birth
  • Medicare data from 2018-19 showed that 22 transgender men gave birth in a year

A progressive activist has suggested Mother’s Day be renamed to reflect how transgender men are now classified as giving birth. Norrie May-Welby, who was born a male and had gender reassignment surgery at age 28, said the term ‘mother’ was not exclusive to females.

‘It’s not sex-specific. I think mothering is instinctual in all mammals, regardless of biological sex,’ the activist told Daily Mail Australia. Norrie, 60, won a High Court battle in 2014 to be identified as belonging to neither gender in New South Wales. In a unanimous decision, Australia’s highest court allowed the state’s Registry of Births, Deaths, and Marriages to register a person’s sex as ‘non-specific’.

Now Norrie, who was born in Scotland, is calling for a debate on the term Mother’s Day ahead of the special day on Sunday. ‘Mother’ is a verb. One can be mothering without being a biological birther,’ Norrie said. ‘And Mother’s Day, before Hallmark hijacked it, was Mothering Sunday, when one returned to the church one was baptized in. ‘

While not offended by the term Mother’s Day, Norrie suggested it be renamed ‘Nurturer’s Day’. ‘Of course language shifts with time and place, and it may become Nurturer’s Day, but that’s an extra syllable, and for now, I am happy with ‘Mother’s Day’,’ Norrie said. Norrie also had a dig at Prime Minister Scott Morrison, who converted to the Pentecostal faith in his youth.

‘Of course, with the ascendance of the Pentecostals in politics, it may become Legally Compelled Incubators Day, but I’ve got to hope that this criminal appropriation of women’s bodies does not become entrenched.’ Services Australia, which runs Medicare, has previously provided data showing 22 transgender men gave birth in 2018-19.

This made them among the 228 who had been pregnant during that decade. There were no recorded transgender men giving birth in the 16 years to June 2009, with only one case classified as ‘unknown’ in that time, in the figures showed. Services Australia is now more guarded about providing that data, with Daily Mail Australia on Friday referring to the Australian Bureau of Statistics which doesn’t collect specific data on the gender of those giving birth.

Last month Brendan Murphy, the secretary of the federal Department of Health, was unable to answer a question from Liberal senator Alex Antic about the definition of a woman. ‘No, well there a variety – it’s a very, it’s a very … it’s a very contested space at the moment, Senator,’ Dr. Murphy said. ‘I mean there are obviously biological definitions but there are definitions in terms of how people identify themselves, so we’re happy to provide our working definition on notice.’

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