Thursday, May 26, 2011

A Parenting Choice I Envy

Tons of people are talking about the Toronto couple who has decided to keep the sex of their 4 month old baby Storm a secret. Headlines covering the story tout that the parents are trying to raise a "genderless" child, but to me--they are empowering their child to choose their own gender.  As we know, gender isn't inherently tied to biological sex.  According to the Human Rights Campaign statistics on the amount of transgender people living in the U.S. vary and are incomplete, but the guess is around 1 percent of the population is transexual--which as they point out ignores the broader transgender population.

So if around 1 percent of the U.S. population is transexual, imagine how their childhoods were: feeling trapped in the wrong body. Having a penis but feeling like a girl or woman and vice versa. 

I really envy this family's decision because I can't imagine how hard it must be to maintain such a secret, espeically with the pressure of society pushing to know the sex of the baby.  Like the couple's other children, Storm should be able to express his/her gender despite their sex.  In the past, other parents have come out and told the stories of their children bending the gender boundaries, such as the beautiful book My Princess Boy.  If Storm ends up choosing to express his/her gender in a way that "counters" his/her sex, then so be it.  Just think--if no one knows Storm's sex, then Storm will likely face less teasing and criticism based on choices like clothing, toys, etc.

I won't be hiding the sex of my child once it exits the womb, but I admire this couple.  At the end of the day the moral of the story is about accepting our children for who they are and not trying to push them into confining societal standards of gender identity and expression or sexual orientation. 

No comments:

Post a Comment