The Toronto mom who made headlines for not telling anyone the sex of her baby is setting the record straight about baby Storm and her other children.
Writing in the Edmonton Journal, mom Kathy Witterick explains that she hasn't sworn her older children to secrecy regarding Storm's sex. Rather, "I, like many parents, have taught my children that some things are private matters, and when you want to share them, you need to do so honestly with sensitivity and consideration." She continues, "If I had to convince my children not to share Storm's sex (which I don't because my children simply are not interested at this point) — I would teach them that someone else's genitals and sense of how they relate to their gender is their private business, to be shared by them or in a context where safety, acceptance and sensitivity are paramount." This isn't completely clear, but it does sound like she's taught her kids to think about gender and identity both critically and sensitively, which is a good thing. Witterick also says,
None of my children are gender-free or genderless (and neither am I). [...] Storm has a sex which those closest to him/her know and acknowledge. We don't know yet about colour preferences or dress inclinations, but the idea that the whole world must know our baby's sex strikes me as unhealthy, unsafe and voyeuristic.
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Many will likely dispute this last point, as we're used to immediately knowing the sex of most people we come across. But trans advocates and others have long pointed out that we don't actually have the right to know what somebody else's junk looks like, and that our desire to know can actually be invasive. I remain concerned that Witterick's approach may have the paradoxical effect of overemphasizing gender in her baby's life — but I have to admit that her decision to challenge our reductive need to answer the boy-or-girl question is radical and interesting.
Baby Storm's Mother Speaks On Gender, Parenting And Media [Edmonton Journal]
Earlier: Can You Really Raise A Genderless Child?
Genderless Baby Looks Like A Boy. Just Saying.