Yuval Topper-Erez is on a mission to empower other gestational fathers. To offer more representation for members of the LGBTQ+ community, he recently shared photos of the birth of his third child, Tig, to empower others. In an attempt to capture his labor journey, Yuval enlisted the help of Tara Leach, a photographer in England.
"It was my fourth pregnancy, and I was awaiting my third child," he wrote on Facebook. "It was a tough pregnancy, physically and emotionally. . . . I thought it would just be a lovely memoir for me and perhaps my child, but when I saw the photos I suddenly got the sense that they need to be out there, as they represent so well two causes very close to my heart: normalisation of home birth and normalisation of trans and non binary people giving birth."
"I feel really obligated to speak up in a time when the rights of trans people are threatened in so many places."
Although Yuval wasn't ready to share his birth experience right after he welcomed Tig to the family, he eventually shared the moving photos in an effort to inspire others. "So first I [shared] them with my friends. And now I am ready," he said. "It has taken me just over a year to feel ready to share these with the world, and now I'm posting the album publicly. I hope, among other things, that this album will inspire birth workers and future seahorse dads (AKA gestational fathers). I know how meaningful images like this could have been for me before my first pregnancy and how meaningful it is for me to see images of fellow birthing trans and non binary people to this day."
Yuval welcomed Tig on May 8, 2019, at 5:55 a.m. after a "very rapid and intense labor." Fortunately, he had the support of two midwives — one of whom saw him through a miscarriage and a difficult pregnancy and postpartum experience — as well as a doula.
Given some of the recent headlines he's seen concerning the rights of trans individuals, he knew the time to share his story was now.
"I feel really obligated to speak up in a time when the rights of trans people are threatened in so many places," Yuval told POPSUGAR. "Just [last week] Hungary completely blocked the option of trans people to change their documents to reflect their gender, and in England members of the House of Lords are sending letters demanding that trans people not be allowed into changing rooms matching their gender. The pictures were my way of saying we have a right to exist, to make our choices, to love, and to be respected."
Scroll ahead to see powerful photos from Yuval's home birth.