Storm’s parents aren’t disclosing whether he/she is a boy or a girl. Canadians Kathy Witterick and David Stocker have decided not to state place limitations on who the child can be by not raising their child as either gender. The only people outside the immediate family who know the truth are a close family friend and two midwives. Not even the grandparents know the gender. And in case you’re wondering, there’s nothing wrong with the baby’s genitalia.
The couple has decided to afford Storm the chance to be seen for his/her personality rather than what’s “between the legs”. When Storm is able to share, it’ll be his/her decision to communicate it to the world.
When Storm was born, the couple sent an email to friends and family: “We’ve decided not to share Storm’s sex for now — a tribute to freedom and choice in place of limitation, a stand up to what the world could become in Storm’s lifetime (a more progressive place? …).”
Storm’s brothers, Jazz (5)and Kio (2), also get some of the liberties that the baby will grow up to enjoy. They are both unschooled and get to decide what they do for the day. They learn by asking questions and satisfying their curiosity. They get to pick their own clothes and decide how to wear their hair.
The idea to not release the baby’s gender came partially from a book by Lois Gould that Stocker found called X: A Fabulous Child’s Story. The book, published in 1978, is about raising not a boy or a girl, but X. There’s a happy ending here. Little X — who loved to play football and weave baskets — faces the taunting head on, proving that X is the most well-adjusted child ever examined by “an impartial team of Xperts.”
The response to Witterick’s and Stocker’s decision has come with mixed results. While the grandparents support their decision, they find it hard to describe Storm to their friends. Others state that this behavior is setting up Storm for bullying and taunting. Their longtime friend, Ayal Dinner, is supportive of their decision:
I think it’s amazing that they’re willing to take on challenging people in this way,” says Dinner. “While they are political and ideological about these things, they’re also really thinking about what it means and struggling with it as they go along. Although I can see the criticism of ‘This is going to be hard on my kid,’ it’s great to say, ‘I love my kid for whoever they are.’”
Responses from two experts, Diane Ehrennsaft and Dr. Ken Zucker, are a bit more cautious. Ehrensaft agrees with parents supporting gender-creative children but is worried that baby Storm will be seen as “other than other”, that is neither a boy nor a girl nor in between but a “neither/or”? Dr. Zucker thinks it’s a great experiment to see if Storm will decide on nature (the genitals he/she was born with), or choice. His response to the question of whether or not Baby Storm could face psychological harm is “One will find out”.
To read the Parent Central article go here.
Photo courtesy of Yahoo! News.