Trans Teen Cole Carman Froze His Eggs Before Transitioning, And His Story Is Full Of Love And Support
I often get overwhelmed by the amount of horrible news I hear about every day — but this story? It's the best, and there's definitely a reason it's going viral. Several reasons, even. 18-year-old Bay Area trans teen Cole Carman froze his eggs before his transition, because he is wiser and more forward-thinking at 18 than I am at 30; and even better, his parents and his doctors have supported him throughout his entire transition, egg freezing and all. And if that wasn't already enough, Carman might also be one of the first teens to have undergone this procedure, which sets up a terrific precedent — one that encourages open communication about fertility preservation for all people planning to transition, no matter what age they are. See? See how much wonderfulness there is here? Grab a box of tissues, because you're going to need it.
Carman, who was assigned female at birth, began to realize that he was transgender at the age of 12 and began his transition last year. According to People, he had undergone top surgery and was about to begin testosterone treatment in January of 2015; however, before he began the treatment, his doctor brought up the question of whether or not he wanted to freeze his eggs first. Carman, who told People that he already knew he wanted kids, which made the decision a no-brainer — especially once he began doing some research into the egg retrieving process.
“This is an unusual [case] and probably one of the first, if not the first, for a teenager.”
Why is the fact that Carman froze his eggs so huge? For a couple of reasons. First is the aforementioned level of maturity and forward thinking (seriously — anyone who says that teenagers don't know anything and can't make needs to take a look at this guy); and second is the fact that, according to Yahoo! Parenting, it's only recently started to become routine for doctors to bring up fertility preservation with their patients pre-transition. Speaking to Yahoo! Parenting, Dr. Aimee Eyvazzadeh, a fertility specialist in San Ramon, Calif. who performed the procedure on Carman in May, commented on the difficulties trans adults who have already completed their transitions face with regards to having biological children:
Some transgender people who realized after gender assignment surgery that they wanted kids of their own had no chance, because they already had their reproductive organs removed. Others who didn't have bottom surgery still had difficulty, because after years of testosterone therapy, their ovaries would shut down and would not reawaken to create any viable eggs, or the eggs would be low quality.
Obviously these are issues that doctors need to be bringing up with their transitioning patients beforehand; hopefully Carman's story will bring more visibility to that need. Dr. Eyvazzadeh also noted that Cole's age makes the story particularly notable: “What I would say is typically you're seeing probably trans-males in their 30s who are trying to come off their testosterone and trying to freeze eggs,” she said to People. “This is an unusual [case] and probably one of the first, if not the first, for a teenager.”
Did you think the the story couldn't get better? Because guess what? It can. Let's not forget about Carman's parents, C.J. and Pat, who have supported their son every step of the way. C.J. and Pat had difficulty conceiving, which led them to adopt Cole when he was five and a half weeks old; as such, they were more than receptive to the idea of him freezing his eggs. They even funded the procedure, which, at $13,000, certainly isn't cheap. The cost of storing the eggs will be roughly an additional $3,000 for each year, though, which is why Dr. Eyvazzadeh has helped set up a GoFundMe campaign for Cole Carman to help cover the costs for the initial year.
Did you forget to grab that box of tissues earlier? If you did, maybe now would be a good time to go grab it. Here, while you're drying your eyes and blowing your nose, let's recap by taking a look at everything that everyone has done right here:
- Carman did all the research he needed to do in order both to figure out what he really wanted, and to make an informed decision about how to make it all happen.
- Carman's parents have shown their son unconditional love and respect, supporting him at every turn and in every way that they can.
- Carman's doctors brought up an extremely important issue with Carman that is frequently ignored; they also treated him like the adult that he is while they discussed it, instead of like a child who “doesn't know what he really wants.”
This? This is magnificent. Everyone deserves a huge round of applause. We need to hear more stories like this, because this kind of support? It's not nearly as common as it should be. This should be the rule, not the exception — and I'm not just talking about being able to freeze and store your eggs for later. I'm talking about the love, acceptance, and respect demonstrated by Cole Carman and everyone in his life.
For the record, Cole Carman knows he doesn't actually want to become a dad for another “eight or 10 years”; he'll begin attending California State University at Sacramento this fall, where he currently plans to major in kinesiology, according to Yahoo! Parenting. But his eggs will be there for whenever he decides he finally is ready to be a parent, and his parents will be all ready to become grandparents. And all that? Is pretty terrific.