'Genderless' Child Ignites Firestorm in Canada


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Hum

TORONTO -- ?So it?s a boy, right?? a neighbour calls out as Kathy Witterick walks by, her four month old baby, Storm, strapped to her chest in a carrier.

Each week the woman asks the same question about the baby with the squishy cheeks and feathery blond hair.

Witterick smiles, opens her arms wide, comments on the sunny spring day, and keeps walking.

She?s used to it. The neighbours know Witterick and her husband, David Stocker, are raising a genderless baby. But they don?t pretend to understand it.

While there?s nothing ambiguous about Storm?s genitalia, they aren?t telling anyone whether their third child is a boy or a girl.

The only people who know are Storm?s brothers, Jazz, 5, and Kio, 2, a close family friend and the two midwives who helped deliver the baby in a birthing pool at their Toronto home on New Year?s Day.

?When the baby comes out, even the people who love you the most and know you so intimately, the first question they ask is, ?Is it a girl or a boy??? says Witterick, bouncing Storm, dressed in a red-fleece jumper, on her lap at the kitchen table.

?If you really want to get to know someone, you don?t ask what?s between their legs,? says Stocker.

When Storm was born, the couple sent an email to friends and family: ?We've decided not to share Storm's sex for now ? a tribute to freedom and choice in place of limitation, a stand up to what the world could become in Storm's lifetime (a more progressive place? ...).?

Their announcement was met with stony silence. Then the deluge of criticisms began. Not just about Storm, but about how they were parenting their other two children.

The grandparents were supportive, but resented explaining the gender-free baby to friends and co-workers. They worried the children would be ridiculed. Friends said they were imposing their political and ideological values on a newborn. Most of all, people said they were setting their kids up for a life of bullying in a world that can be cruel to outsiders.

Witterick and Stocker believe they are giving their children the freedom to choose who they want to be, unconstrained by social norms about males and females. Some say their choice is alienating.

The moment a child?s sex is announced, so begins the parade of pink and barrage of blue. Tutus and toy trucks aren?t far behind. The couple says it only intensifies with age.

?In fact, in not telling the gender of my precious baby, I am saying to the world, ?Please can you just let Storm discover for him/herself what s (he) wants to be?!.? Witterick writes in an email.

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]SK[

Oddballs.

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+John.

Don't use your damned kid to reinforce whatever **** poor principle you're trying to establish.

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+Dick Montage

I worry that a child raised without any defined gender is going to have problems later in life.

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djnv2010

poor Storm, Jazz and Kio...stuck with ridiculous names by "hipster" parents...obviously their is a hermaphrodite situation going on... :whistle:

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ahhell

God I hate new age hippy douchebags.

:angry:

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TheLegendOfMart

I worry that a child raised without any defined gender is going to have problems later in life.

The flip side of that is what if they raise it as a boy and in a few years time it turns out its personality is that of a girl and vice versa, surely its going to do more harm then than it is now.

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TrueMonolith

guess they really believe in gender identity.

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Geoffrey B.

at first i though this was about a truly genderless baby, not a gender hidden child with nutball parents.

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Stonkwell Bogtrotter

Idiots

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thechronic

This will only hurt one person, and that is the child.

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Allan

I read this about two weeks ago ... it's disturbing for sure.

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vincent

The flip side of that is what if they raise it as a boy and in a few years time it turns out its personality is that of a girl and vice versa, surely its going to do more harm then than it is now.

Exactly, i agree with what they're doing.

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+Dick Montage

Pushing their own non-conformist agenda is not a bad thing per-se. Doing it using their child is.

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Hum

Who thinks Storm will turn out gay .... :unsure:

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Ayepecks

I have no problem with an individual of any age identifying with the social norms of the opposite gender. That said, there's no reason for parents to basically use their children as science experiments -- as they're clearly doing, judging from the message they sent out to their friends and family.

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Rudy

Kinda silly :/

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Steven P.

Idiots

+1

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carmatic

i dunno, but didnt parents dress girls AND boys up as girls back a long time ago? like all the children wore dresses and had long hair, it wasnt until just a couple of decades ago that boys started dressing like men

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Hum

i dunno, but didnt parents dress girls AND boys up as girls back a long time ago? like all the children wore dresses and had long hair, it wasnt until just a couple of decades ago that boys started dressing like men

Short hair for men, was the norm, at least from the 1920's to the 1960's.

Before that, you'd have to go back to the Civil war, the old West.

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Shock Doc

Maybe it is actually a hermaphrodite, meaning "it" has both male and female reproductive organs, which the parents could be hiding.

Well I hope it's a hermaphrodite, either that or the parents are complete nut jobs for failing how to see how this could potentially screw up a child's mind and childhood.

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Salty Wagyu

If it really is genderless then I'm intrigued in how "it" is going to the toilet.

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De.Bug

at first i though this was about a truly genderless baby, not a gender hidden child with nutball parents.

+1

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carmatic

Short hair for men, was the norm, at least from the 1920's to the 1960's.

Before that, you'd have to go back to the Civil war, the old West.

ah ok... so its almost a century old already

i dunno, but this story kind of brings up memories of all those unpleasant times i had when i was young from all the pressure to 'be a boy' , like daily masculinity contests between the other boys in my school which consists of everything from arm wrestling to full out fistfights... couldnt even sit down and have a meal in the canteen without being heckled by the other boys challenging me to do things like stick my hand up the vending machine and not get electrocuted or pull some stupid prank on a teacher which would be sure to get me in trouble, and that was when they were feeling friendly...

as a result from that i had a few years when i pretended to be homosexual so that the other boys would leave me alone... im just so glad i dont have to go to school and meet them anymore

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Hum

Maybe it is actually a hermaphrodite, meaning "it" has both male and female reproductive organs, which the parents could be hiding.

Well I hope it's a hermaphrodite, either that or the parents are complete nut jobs for failing how to see how this could potentially screw up a child's mind and childhood.

I'm fairly sure that it is a boy.

Would be great fun if everyone who sees Storm, would say, "what a cute little boy", or "how is your son doing".

I bet that would irritate the parents into admitting the sex. :laugh:

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