Freddy McConnell

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Freddy McConnell
BornSeptember 1986 (age 37)
Other namesAlfred Reuben McConnell
Alma materUniversity of Edinburgh
OccupationMultimedia journalist
Known forTransgender rights advocacy

Alfred Reuben McConnell (born September 1986) is an English multimedia journalist who writes about transgender rights in the United Kingdom. He is best known for being a transgender man who gave birth. The experience leading to his giving birth is detailed in the 2019 documentary Seahorse that premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival.

Education and career[edit]

McConnell grew up in Deal, Kent. He studied at the University of Edinburgh and graduated with a 2:1 undergraduate degree in Arabic. In 2011, He worked for the NGO Skateistan in Kabul, Afghanistan for a period of six months. While in Afghanistan, he transitioned publicly, and was accepted by his colleagues as a man.[1]

In 2012, McConnell decided to enrol in a short-term American immersion programme for Arabic. This programme was through Middlebury College over the summer of 2012 in San Francisco, California.[2]

McConnell now works as a multimedia journalist for the Guardian.[3]


From a very young age, McConnell experienced gender dysphoria. McConnell realized he was transgender in 2010 at the age of 23.[3] He started his transition in 2013 with testosterone replacement therapy. A year later in 2014 he underwent a double mastectomy. He considered undergoing a hysterectomy, but elected not to because of his interest in possibly having children.[4]

In January 2017, under the Gender Recognition Act 2004, he applied to obtain a gender recognition certificate to be legally recognized as male. His application was granted and he received his gender recognition certificate April 11, 2017.[5]

While he was choosing his new name, he decided he wanted to pick a name with family history. He chose his first name from his great-great uncle Frederic William McConnell. His middle name comes from his great-great-great uncle Reuben Poland.[6]

Pregnancy and Seahorse documentary[edit]

McConnell stopped testosterone replacement therapy in September 2016 to start the process of becoming pregnant. On April 21, 2017, he was artificially inseminated and became pregnant with his son. He gave birth in January 2018.[5]

In 2019, McConnell recorded the experience of receiving artificial insemination and of his subsequent pregnancy in the documentary film Seahorse, which made its debut at the Tribeca Film Festival in the same year. The film was directed by Jeanie Finlay and made in association with The Guardian.[5]

Court case[edit]

McConnell gave birth to a son, publicly known just as SJ, in January 2018. When attempting to register the child's birth, the Registrar denied McConnell's petition to be listed as the child's father on the birth certificate, though allowing McConnell to use his current name. In September 2019, McConnell lost an application for judicial review to be described as father or parent on the child's birth certificate. Reports suggest that English common law requires those that give birth to be described as mother on the child's birth certificate, despite McConnell's possession of a gender recognition certificate under the Gender Recognition Act of 2004. The President of the Family Division of the Administrative Court also denied a declaration of parentage filed by McConnell. The president declared that McConnell was legally the child's mother and thus possessed parental responsibility of the child accordingly. Because of this decision, McConnell could not be listed as the child's father on the birth certificate.[5] This decision was later upheld at the Court of Appeal in April 2020.[5]

Four British newspaper publishers, Telegraph Media Group, Associated Newspapers, News Group Newspapers and Reach PLC, successfully applied to have an anonymity order affecting the case removed in July 2019.[5]

Life after court case[edit]

McConnell co-hosted the podcast Pride and Joy which aired on BBC in 2020. In this podcast, he discussed queer people having children.[7][non-primary source needed]

His first children's book, titled Little Seahorse and the Big Question, illustrated by Rosalind Beardshaw, is set to release in July 2022.[7][non-primary source needed]

McConnell announced his second pregnancy in August 2021,[8] with plans to give birth in Sweden in order to be listed as the child's father, rather than mother, on their birth certificate.[9] His second child was born in the UK in January 2022 via emergency c-section.[10][non-primary source needed] McConnell has not publicly shared the sex of his second child, referring to them with they/them pronouns online. His children are referred to by generic nicknames on social media in order to protect their privacy, the eldest being known as "Shrimp" or "SJ" (The initials, McConnell revealed to stand for "Shrimp J", with J not standing for anything), and the second child as "LB" short for "Little Bird", neither nickname refers to the child's legal name respectively.


  1. ^ "Trans life: fond memories of coming out in Afghanistan". the Guardian. 12 March 2015. Archived from the original on 18 November 2021. Retrieved 18 November 2021.
  2. ^ "Why I would choose an immersion course over a language degree". the Guardian. 6 January 2015. Archived from the original on 4 December 2021. Retrieved 18 November 2021.
  3. ^ a b "Transgender man loses court battle to be registered as father". the Guardian. 25 September 2019. Archived from the original on 19 October 2021. Retrieved 9 November 2021.
  4. ^ "The dad who gave birth: 'Being pregnant doesn't change me being a trans man'". the Guardian. 20 April 2019. Archived from the original on 8 December 2021. Retrieved 9 November 2021.
  5. ^ a b c d e f R (Alfred McConnell) -v- The Registrar General for England and Wales and others [2020] EWCA Civ 559
  6. ^ "Trans life: how I plucked my new name from the family tree". the Guardian. 14 May 2015. Archived from the original on 9 November 2021. Retrieved 9 November 2021.
  7. ^ a b "Freddy McConnell (@freddy.mcconnell) • Instagram photos and videos". Archived from the original on 28 May 2020. Retrieved 4 January 2023.
  8. ^ "After a Year of Trying as a Single Dad, I'm Finally Pregnant Again". Archived from the original on 15 December 2022. Retrieved 6 September 2022.
  9. ^ "As a Trans Person, I'm Forced to Go Abroad to Give Birth". Archived from the original on 7 December 2022. Retrieved 6 September 2022.
  10. ^ McConnell, Freddy [@freddy.mcconnell] (17 January 2022). "Five days, LB. Five days since this" – via Instagram.

External links[edit]