Krys Malcolm Belc’s visual memoir-in-essays explores how the
experience of gestational parenthood–conceiving, birthing, and
breastfeeding his son Samson–eventually clarified his gender
Krys Malcolm Belc
has thought a lot about the interplay between parenthood and gender.
As a nonbinary, transmasculine parent, giving birth to his son Samson
clarified his gender identity. And yet, when his partner Anna adopted
Samson, the legal documents listed Belc as
the natural mother of the child.
By considering how
the experiences contained under the umbrella of motherhood don’t
fully align with Belc’s own experience, The Natural Mother of
the Child journeys both toward and through common perceptions of
what it means to have a body and how that body can influence the
perception of a family. With this visual memoir-in-essays, Belc has
created a new kind of life record, one that engages directly with the
documentation often thought to constitute a record of one’s
life–childhood photos, birth certificates–and addresses his deep
ambivalence about the before and after so prevalent in trans stories,
which feels apart from his own experience.
Mother of the Child is the story of a person moving past societal
expectations to take control of his own narrative, with prose that
delights in the intimate dailiness of family life and explores how
much we can ever really know when we enter into parenting.