Transgender father Trevor MacDonald, who breastfeeds his son with the help of a supplemental feeding tube, is reeling after a rejection from the motherhood support group that helped him overcome his challenges.
La Leche League Canada (LLLC) told the Winnipeg man that he cannot become a group leader because he identifies as a father, quelling his ambitions to guide other transgender members and mothers who do not produce enough milk.
MacDonald, who has undergone chest reduction surgery, initially struggled to breastfeed his child. He credits the LLLC with providing him the support and resources he needed to nurse.
The stay-at-home dad has trouble lactating and supplements his own milk with donated breast milk, which is fed to his baby through a tube.
'Since an LLLC Leader is a mother who has breastfed a baby, a man cannot become an LLLC Leader.' —La Leche League Canada
He now loves breastfeeding and chronicles his experiences in his blog Milk Junkies
, where he writes under the pseudonymous last name “MacDonald” to protect his family’s identity.
On Thursday, the 27-year-old dad posted his leadership request to the group as well as their rejection letter.
"I understand that LLL's current philosophy emphasizes mother-to-mother support, and that the idea of a breastfeeding dad is entirely new territory," he wrote, adding that the group has evolved over the years to help people in "controversial" situations.
He stressed the challenges he overcame in order to breastfeed and that he believes, "this background, combined with leader training, will enable me to effectively help others."
LLLC responded by thanking MacDonald for his interest and unique contributions to the group, but dismissed his request.
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“[T]he roles of mothers and fathers are not interchangeable,” a spokesperson for the organization replied. “Since an LLLC Leader is a mother who has breastfed a baby, a man cannot become an LLLC Leader.”