When Rafi Daugherty of Denver went to the hospital for the birth of his first child, he posted a sign on the delivery room door. “I am a single transgender man having my first baby,” it read. “I use he/him/his pronouns and will be called ‘Abba’ (Hebrew for father) by the baby. Papa, Dad, Daddy, Father…are also ok.” Rafi, 33, wanted hospital staff to be prepared for what they were about to see: a man laboring in bed. “I didn’t want them to assume that I identified as female because I was having a baby,” he said.
After eight hours of labor, Rafi was holding his 7-pound, 10-ounce daughter: Ettie Rose, named, in the Jewish tradition, for Rafi’s maternal grandmother and great-grandmother. Since bringing Ettie home from the hospital, Rafi’s days have been filled with frequent feedings — unable to nurse, he gives his daughter donor breast milk — and diaper changes and stroller walks around his Denver neighborhood. FULL REPORT