Beck Laxton and Kieran Cooper decided early on to keep the sex of their child a secret from everyone, with the exception of family members and a few close friends. They dislike preconceived gender roles and stereotypes and wanted their son to grow into himself naturally. ""Stereotypes seem fundamentally stupid," said Laxton. "Why would you want to slot people into boxes?"
Now that their child is getting to be school-aged, they have finally decided to reveal that they indeed have a son. Steering him away from ultra-masculine clothing, they have otherwise encouraged him to pick and choose his own items to wear, including pink sparkly swimsuits.
On the right track
Some moms we asked thought that these folks were on the right path to letting their child choose how he felt instead of placing him in a pre-defined gender role. "I think it is a neat experiment to see how a child chooses to act without the gender roles introduced," said Cathy from Texas. "I think he would probably be pretty well adjusted as a 5-year-old."
It's the thought that counts
Other moms love the idea of not stereotyping a child based on his or her physical sex, but they also thought these parents went about it the wrong way. "I dressed my daughter in almost exclusively gender-neutral clothing until she was old enough to tell me (even by simply pointing) what she preferred," said Heather, mother of one. "By limiting this child's choices, such as allowing shiny pink swimsuits but disallowing 'hyper masculine' clothing, his parents are not giving him free choice at all. They are being complete hypocrites and are forcing him out of a gender role."
Dana from California agreed. "It is fairly hypocritical to say it is so he can chose what he likes, then ban quintessential boy clothing and allow super girly things."
No how, no way
Even more moms thought the whole idea was absurd and pushed the limits. "They didn't want him to be any different based on his gender," shared Charlene, mom of two, "but now with this article and his face plastered all over he sure is going to feel different. Way to go parents."
Tonya from Missouri felt the same. "It's almost like they were discouraging him from being a boy," she explained. "Boys are boys and they are awesome! Girls are girls and they are too. The whole thing is stupid in my opinion."
It's hard to say what the motives of the parents were, considering the international attention the idea of a genderless child has brought. Jenna, mom of two, said, "I wonder how big of a paycheck they received to finally reveal this information." And Gwenn from Ohio was suspicious as well. "The parents clearly have an agenda. It's not right to use your child as a sociology experiment or a political statement."
More on gender and sex
Decorating a gender-neutral nursery
Child's gender-bending Halloween costume sparks debate
Should you find out the sex of your baby?