Freddy is 30 and yearns to start a family, but for him this ordinary desire comes with unique challenges. He is a gay transgender man. Deciding to carry his own baby took years of soul searching, but nothing could prepare him for the reality of pregnancy, as both a physical experience and one that challenges society’s fundamental understanding of gender, parenthood, and family. This moving documentary follows Freddy McConnell’s pregnancy and birth, as he navigates fertility clinics, birth services, and a wealth of awkward, inspiring, telling conversations with family and friends. The experience remakes his relationships, his identity, and his future. Contains mature content. Director Jeanie Finlay was present. Due to unforeseen circumstances, Freddy McConnell was not present.
Jeanie Finlay is one of Britain’s most distinctive documentary makers. Her acclaimed films tell intimate stories to international audiences, whether inviting them behind the scenes of Teesside’s last record shop in her home town ("SOUND IT OUT"), to share the extraordinary journey of a British transgender man, pregnant with his child ("Seahorse") or onto the set of the world’s biggest television show ("Game Of Thrones: The Last Watch"). Her films, although varied in subject matter, are all made with the same steel and heart, sharing an empathetic approach to bringing overlooked and untold stories to the screen.
Freddy McConnell is a writer, podcaster and campaigner, based in Kent and working in London. He joined The Guardian as a trainee journalist in 2013. He was appointed deputy head of video for Guardian Australia in 2014, before returning to The Guardian in 2016 as lead video producer, focusing on social and breaking news. He also wrote a regular G2 column about transition and hosted the Token podcast. In 2016, he spoke to his friend and Guardian colleague Charlie Philips about documenting his experience of becoming a father as a transgender man. This conversation eventually led to the making of the feature documentary "Seahorse: The Dad Who Gave Birth" (Tribeca 2019), directed by Jeanie Finlay and produced by Oscar-winning Grain Media, in association with Glimmer and The Guardian. It is The Guardian’s first feature documentary project. He is now working freelance. His current work focuses on LGBT+ equality and trans visibility, with a special interest in family creation and parenthood. He is currently working on a podcast and on a children’s book, which has secured a publisher.
This partnership was supported through IU Cinema’s Creative Collaborations program. Curated by Sarah Knott of the Department of History, with support from IU Cinema, the Department of Gender Studies, Center for Documentary Research and Practice, Center for Integrative Photographic Studies, Center for Sexual Health Promotion, and The Kinsey Institute.