Liberal Couple Hides Gender of 17-Month-Old Baby Because of 'Unconscious Gender Bias'
The couple are both members of the Extinction Rebellion climate action group
A liberal couple is refusing to disclose the gender of their 17-month-old baby to their family and friends because they want to protect them from 'unconscious gender bias.'
Hobbit Humphrey, 38, and Jake England-Johns, 35, say they are dressing their baby in Anoush in both boys and girls clothes, so nobody knows its gender.
The couple, who are both members of the Extinction Rebellion climate action group, are demanding family and friends address their baby with gender-neutral pronouns, 'they' and 'them.'
According to one of the child's grandparent, they only knew the baby's gender after 11 months, when changing a nappy.
The couple appeared on BBC One's Inside Out explaining their decision was to prevent people from treating their child differently based on gender.
They added that their baby would be allowed to decide its gender and preferred pronoun at a later age.
Mr. England-Johns said:
"Gender-neutral refers to us trying to behave neutrally towards the child, rather than trying to make them neutral."
"We're not trying to make them be anything. We just want them to be themselves."
Hobbit Humphrey added: "So much of gender bias is unconscious. When I got pregnant, we then were discussing how we were going to mitigate the unconscious bias."
"And we figured that the only way we could do that was just not to tell people."
"To use the they/them pronoun for as long as we can, and create this little bubble for our baby to be who they are."
"Eventually, they will get told by somebody that pink is only for girls and blue is only for boys, and you can't play with that because you are a particular sex."
"That's still a thing that happens these days. We're just trying to protect Anoush from that."
The couple insisted their decision not to dress Anoush in boys' and girls' clothes has led to 'some pretty confused looks from old ladies in the park.'
England-Johns added: "We are quite good now at holding space for people's discomfort in us saying, ''Actually, we don't tell anyone, we're not telling anyone for now."
"Anoush is the most lovely little human. They're into everything; they're really active — just a delight."
Humphrey said: "It was tricky at first when not only were we new parents, but also new parents who had the problem of people getting upset about our baby being gender-neutral."
"But in the end, it has proven to be a really beautiful thing, and we've had a lot of important conversations from it."
"It has had the effect we wanted, of letting our baby develop its own interests regardless of gender. So, for example, while they love having a doll's tea party every morning, they also are really fascinated by motorbikes and machinery."
"Eventually once our baby is old enough, they can obviously decide for themselves what gender they want to be, but for now, we just want them to be able to grow up in their little bubble."