They’ve spent five years concealing their child’s gender. Now Beck Laxton, 46, and partner Kieran Cooper, 44, decided to reveal the gender of the child they call Sasha.
It’s a boy!
The couple decided to keep 5-year-old Sasha’s sex a secret before he was even born.
“I wanted to avoid all that stereotyping,” Shine from Yahoo reports Laxton as saying. “Stereotypes seem fundamentally stupid. Why would you want to slot people into boxes?”
The couple told a few friends and family members, but that was it. Whether they’re hand-me-downs or something he picks out, Sasha dresses in clothes he wants to wear. There are photos of the boy in a shiny pink girl’s swimsuit because “children like shiny things,” Beck says. “And if someone thought Sasha was a girl because he was wearing a pink swimming costume, then what effect would that have?”
Sasha also has plenty of dolls, although Barbie is a no-no because “she’s horrible.”
So, after five years of concealing Sasha’s sex, why the big reveal now? The little boy is starting school. Laxton hopes to set an example for other parents and make them think twice about buying gender specific toys and clothing for their children. And even though his classmates will view him as a boy, Laxton is still doing what she can. Instead of the standard boy’s uniform Sasha will wear a girl’s shirt with his pants.
The couple hopes their son will find his own identity instead of having it forced upon him by society, ultimately pursuing whatever career or sexual preference makes him happy. “As long as he has good relationships and good friends,” she says, “then nothing else matters, does it?”
We’re hearing about these stories more and more in the media. Last May a Canadian couple made headlines when they announced they would not reveal the gender of the 4-month-old baby they call Storm. And it wasn’t just their decision not to announce Storm’s gender that made news, but the fact that they’ve been experimenting with gender identity for years with their two oldest sons, Jazz and Kio, both of whom have long hair, wear nail polish and like the color pink.
Then there’s the Swedish couple who famously kept their baby’s gender a secret saying “We want Pop to grow up more freely and avoid being forced into a specific gender mold from the outset. It’s cruel to bring a child into the world with a blue or pink stamp on their forehead.”
What are your thoughts? Do most parents fall victim to society’s constraints about how boys and girls should behave? Do you think raising a genderless child is harmful more than helpful? And if it is harmful, is that because of the stereotypes society has placed on males and females? Are these parents pioneering a movement that could (or should?) gain steam?
You can read more about Sasha and his family by following mom, Beck Laxton’s blog.