In this day and age when an ultra sound will tell parents the sex of their baby before its born I am surprised by one family’s decision to keep the gender of their child from the rest of the world.

Now don’t even ask me how they managed to keep it from the doctor/midwife who delivered the bundle of joy (or from city where they obtained the birth certificate), but according to the mom, Kathy Witterick and the dad, David Stoker, no one but a close family friend and their two sons (who are 2 and 5 BTW) know the gender of the new bundle of joy welcomed into their home on New Year’s day and they plan to keep it that way. Huh?

Yep, it seems their oldest son has been mistaken for being a girl due to hairstyle and clothing choices. According to the limited information I can find, these parents don’t want to pigeon-hole their children so their older sons are encouraged to choose clothes from anywhere in the store. Okay, see, I have no problem with chidren playing dressup. Little Boy Blue grew up with two older sisters. He wore his fair share of skirts, makeup and hair accessories, but only in our home. I wouldn’t have let him head off to school in one of those outfits because kids can be cruel. Besides, my girls weren’t allowed to wear makeup in elementary school, it wouldn’t have been fair if their brother did. LOL!

Okay, okay, I’m sorry. I shouldn’t joke. But here’s my take on things. We’re born with certain plumbing. It’s nature. Yeah, things get screwed up now and again, but I want to stick to normal everyday indoor and outdoor plumbing with working pipes. That plumbing system comes with a particular kind of wiring, which means we’re programmed to act and react to the world around us a certain way. Yeah, there are girls who make car noises and play with trucks and young boys who would rather change the outfits of their Star Wars figurines than blow up the world, but I really think they’re the minority. I never dictated what my kids played with and I had gender neutral toys, but I can tell you for a fact, my girls played with dolls and my son crashed any two cars he could get his hands on.

The fact is no matter how hard we try, we are who we are. Hiding our true identities from the outside world isn’t going to change anything. Part of our identity is tied up in rolemodeling our parents. And whether Mr. Nina is doing dishes or I’m mowing the lawn, our children identified with how we interacted with each other. Um, again, it’s natural. It’s how parental units teach their offspring how to survive in the world.

So this couple has named their child “Storm” and I know they want him/her to grow up being able to choose how (s)he dresses and which gender to fall in love with without judgement or recriminations. I just don’t know if this is necessarily the best way to go about changing attitudes. And how long do they hope to keep this a secret? At some point the child is going to need to use public bathrooms and changing rooms. Seems to me it could get a little uncomfortable trying to use a urinal without the convenience of the right equipment. And I know for a fact that my great aunt wouldn’t be too pleased having an 8 year old boy strolling into the lady’s changing room because he wanted to get in touch with his feminine side that day.

So what do you think? Is it possible to raise a child without a gender? And really, when it comes right down to it, will they be changing any attitudes through this process?

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