For most of us, as soon as a pregnancy is announced, the gender guessing game begins. And while some like to keep the sex of their baby a secret until the child is born, one couple has taken a decidedly different approach on revealing the sex of their offspring.
A Canadian couple from Toronto have decided to keep the gender of their four-month-old baby a secret in order to raise what they call a 'genderless' child. Storm will be raised as neither a boy nor girl and will choose a sex when he or she grows up.
Kathy Witterick and David Stocker have only revealed Storm's gender to close members of the family, including their two young sons, one friend and the midwives who delivered the child.
After Storm was born on New Year's Day, the parents sent out an email to the rest of their friends and loved ones, writing: "We've decided not to share Storm's sex - a tribute to choice in a place of limitation, a stand up to what the world could become in Storm's lifetime ( a more progressive place?...)."
The couple told the Toronto Star about the flood of unsupportive comments they have received. Friends expressed their fears of how Storm's genderless nature would make the child vulnerable to bullying in the future. Another concern was that they thought the couple were actually taking away the newborn's right to choice, by forcing their own ideology on the tot.
Defending their decision, Kathy said, "With the baby, even the people who love the most and know you intimately, the first question they ask is, '"Is it a girl or a boy?"' David added, "If you really want to get to know someone, you don't ask what's between their legs.'
Kathy and David feel strongly about releasing their children from the constraints that society poses on males and females and want them to make their own decisions about how they act and look.
Their sons Jazz, five, and Kio, two, have the freedom to dress themselves and decide when they want to cut their hair. Kio's favourite colour is purple and older sibling Jazz has long hair, he likes pink.
After being mistaken for a girl and home schooled because of how people would, "immediately react with Jazz over his gender" the couple decided to raise Storm genderless.