It's a ???: Parents Decide To Keep Their Child's Gender a Secret

   By drodriguez  Oct 17, 2011

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?

Make a Comment

melissawoodc by melissawoodc | Trussville, AL
Nov 10, 2011

They are using their child to make a statement. Let the kid be a kid and not a soap box for them to stand on! It's ok to be a boy, it's ok to be a girl. It's ok for a kid to grow up and be ok with the gender he/she was born with. I know in today's society that's not cool or trendy but it's true.

Bryelee by Bryelee | Dover, DE
Nov 04, 2011

I don't see what the big deal is. I just don't get why they are keeping the gender a secret. . If their family and friends know then it's not a secret is it? I don't think people really care and they are causing drama.

Chicago by Chicago | Libertyville, IL
Nov 02, 2011

Tell me what the matter is with being identified as a boy or as a girl.... these people are not doing their children any favors. These parents are mentally abusing their children. Poor kids.

nkward by nkward | Albany, NY
Nov 02, 2011

this makes no sense to me...

francieg by francieg | Flushing, NY
Oct 30, 2011

i think they are doing their child a major disservice.... and have set themselves up in a situation where their child will probably grow up resenting his parents!!!

hscottage by hscottage | MASON, OH
Oct 29, 2011

They are going to cause their child to be exactly what they don't, be an outcast. They could be setting this child up for bullying which is going to make him or her depressed. Sad. I bet their sons don't run off to the girls section to buy dresses, or they would be picked on at school for sure.

sharman421 by sharman421 | TALLAHASSEE, FL
Oct 28, 2011

Blithering Buffoons! I'm just saying! They are not discouraging stereotypes; they are encouraging weirdos. Do they really get a kick out of their offspring being cruelly teased or ridiculed. Hey, kids are cruel! Let's face it. and the names! Jazz and Storm? Really? Poor kids. I feel sorry for them. Their pseudo-scientific parents are unqualified to do this social experiment.

Chandeliere by Chandeliere | NORTH TONAWANDA , NY
Oct 20, 2011

Wow this is really sad. The older child is already labeled and can't even attend school, now this poor baby will spend his ungendered life explaining why this came about. For someone who didn't want their child stereotyped this couple labeled him as an oddity right off the bat. I'm afraid the poor thing will go through a very painful life. Sounds to me like the parents are looking for notoriety without regard for their child.

chriscl73 by chriscl73 | Bayside, NY
Oct 20, 2011

What don't understand it, it's either Girl or Boy...

adie1221 by adie1221 | COLORADO SPGS, CO
Oct 19, 2011

I think it is over the top. I can understand they want their child to decide what they want and such but you need to raise the child like its gender. There are different ways to raise each gender. Not to mention, to keep your family out of the loop, that is depriving them of their relative. I think its wrong.

lpendergrass by lpendergrass | lakeland, FL
Oct 18, 2011

This makes no sense!

greeneyedgirl96 by greeneyedgirl96 | Olean, NY
Oct 18, 2011

Wow!! I see counseling in all of these children's future! Not a fan! These children are going to find themselves emotionally distressed and disturbed when they get older. Why would parents intentionally do this to their children?

loganbug97 by loganbug97 | Preston Park, PA
Oct 18, 2011

I believe this is absurd!!! OF course they need to know their gender! I am all for not stereotyping, I have a daughter and a son and they are both allowed to act how they choose, however they do understand that there are differences and they can not use the same bathrooms when we are in public!! Pretty crazy that my preschool aged children are smarter than these people! How come you have to get a background check to adopt a cat but not have a baby??

stewysgurl by stewysgurl | Harviell, MO
Oct 18, 2011

Wow! Just when you think you've heard it all, something like this happens! I have a hard time understanding this couples over-the-top need to take on stereotypes. There are plenty of other ways they could "make their point" without involving their own child. Who are they to deny this baby of his or her own identity? A large part of that being who you are, what you are and where you came from.

chloeeeegirl by chloeeeegirl | East Lansing, MI
Oct 18, 2011

Who cares what your child is? It's a boy or girl down below regardless of whatever these people are trying to "protect" this child from. This poor kid is going to be so screwed up.