Gender Reveal Parties

Gender reveal parties do nothing but reveal the close-mindedness of the parents.

Sure, you might get some “woke” parents who say “But you’re making a big deal out of nothing! Stop getting offended! I don’t care if my baby grows up questioning their gender! They can be a radish plant for all I care! I just wanna celebrate!”

And to the lazy, less compassionate minds, that’s a good argument.

But the fact is, a gender reveal party is a celebration of oppressive, outdated norms. It clearly says to your friends and family that you care more about limiting the potential of your child than cherishing their boundless future. It’s an act of conforming to what you think “needs” to happen in order for your family to appear “normal.” It’s a sickening display of authoritative control that tells your new baby there is a right way to exist in the world, and any variance from that will not be tolerated.

You have to understand: Kids pick up on so much. When I was 5 I absolutely knew it was “weird” for boys to play with dolls, even though I wanted to. I picked up on chuckles and side glances. I saw the raised eyebrows if I mentioned wanting to paint my nails. And the subsequent internalized shame continues to be difficult to shake. It’s not like I was ever smacked around for liking things I “shouldn’t,” but the more subtle balking was equally effective.

If you have any ounce of unaddressed bias against those who fall somewhere between or outside of a gender binary, that bias will make itself known to your children. Sure, your kid may fall comfortably within “boy and girl”, where blue and pink are somehow linked to the type of genitals you have, but if they don’t, they’ll quickly try to repress parts of their authentic selves. Even if you don’t outwardly condemn gender variance, the kid who’s surrounded by expectations of how they should feel will likely pick up on the fact that the most important people in their world are silent about it.

A gender reveal party starts off a possible lifelong cycle of self-hatred with a bang.

It’s a sign to everyone who knows you that you don’t give a damn about dismantling structures of hate: that you would rather set off smoke grenades than be an example for your child, who could very well grow up scared to be true to themselves.

If you throw a gender reveal party, then you have no leg to stand on when your kid cries themselves to sleep at night and longs to talk to you about it, feeling they don’t fit into this world.

If you’re reading this and thinking you’ll probably throw a raucous party to celebrate the “gender” of your baby (which, by the way, you don’t know yet, even if you see a vagina on the ultrasound), then I can’t do much to help you. I understand that your brain’s too filled with all the Facebook likes and comments you might get. There’s not enough room in there to care about the potential harm you’ll be causing not only your child but others watching your videos and affirming for themselves that they’re not normal enough.

Hope the cake’s good!

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