No matter how far it seems we’ve come as a culture in erasing gender stereotypes, many little girls still dress in head-to-toe pink while baby boys often wear every shade of blue. One Toronto couple decided early on that their third child would not be defined by any one color...or gender.
Kathy Witterick and David Stocker, are raising their baby, named Storm Stocker, “genderless” for the time being (with only the child’s two older brothers and one close family friend knowing whether the baby is a he or she). A recent Parent Central report discusses the couple’s less than ordinary decision to keep their new baby’s gender a secret.
Mom and dad sent out this announcement to friends and family when their little one was born; “We decided not to share Storm's sex for now -- a tribute to freedom and choice in place of limitation, a standup to what the world could become in Storm's lifetime.”
The couple has said that they are hopeful they have given Storm some time to decide for him or herself which gender feels right before declaring it to the public. Witterick explains, “We thought that if we delayed sharing that information, in this case hopefully, we might knock off a couple million of those messages by the time that Storm decides Storm would like to share.”
Though Witterick and Stocker told family and friends about the gender of their first two sons at birth, they have taken measures to keep them free of gender stereotypes as well. Both children are allowed to choose clothing from the boys or girls section of the store. Oldest son, Jazz, often wears pink dresses and paints his nails.
Jazz is now of school age, but chose to stay home last year. Witterick explains how the process of visiting schools was difficult because of the way her son has chosen to dress. She says, “When we would go and visit programs, people — children and adults — would immediately react with Jazz over his gender.”
What do you think of this couple’s decision to keep their baby’s gender a secret?
Do you feel what they are doing will help their child avoid messages of gender stereotypes?