Parents Reveal Child’s Gender After 5 Years
January 21, 2012 by staff
Parents Reveal Child’s Gender After 5 Years, Beck Laxton’s son ‘Sasha’ dressed as a fairy A couple who have spent five years keeping their child’s sex a secret have finally revealed it’s a boy.
Beck Laxton, 46, and partner Kieran Cooper, 44, decided to hide it from all but their closest relatives and raise him as “gender neutral”.
The couple say they wanted to ensure Sasha was not affected by the pressure of gender stereotypes.
And they only revealed he is a boy because they had to when he started primary school. He now attends lessons wearing a girl’s shirt and boy’s trousers.
Mum Beck said yesterday: “In the mother and baby group, I said, ‘I’m Beck, and this is Sasha’. And of course somebody asked straight away, ‘So is it a boy or a girl?’ I said, ‘I’m not going to tell you’.
“I discovered later I’d been described as ‘that loony woman who doesn’t know whether her baby is a boy or a girl’. And I could never persuade anyone in the group to come round for coffee.
“They just thought I was mental. I don’t think I’d do it if I thought it was going to make him unhappy, but at the moment he’s not really bothered either way.
“I just want him to fulfil his potential, and I wouldn’t push him in any direction. As long as he has good relationships and good friends, nothing else matters. All I want to do is make people think a bit.”
Beck Laxton with her son Sasha
Sasha dresses up
Web editor Beck and software designer Kieran, of Sawston, Cambs, even told midwives not to reveal Sasha’s sex to them until 30 minutes after he was born.
They encouraged him to play with boys’ and girls’ toys in their television-free home and he alternated between boys’ and girls’ clothes.
He often wears flowery tops at home but Beck said: “He wouldn’t say anything because nobody’s ever told him flowers are for girls. And I don’t see why they should be.”
Kieran added: “Sasha has cars and Lego – and he also has dolls. We wanted to challenge gender stereotypes so if Sasha wants to dress in girls’ clothes then so be it. But we are not forcing it.”
Dr Daragh McDermott, a psychology lecturer at Anglia Ruskin University in Cambridge, said: “It’s hard to say whether being raised gender-neutral will have any immediate or long-term psychological consequences for a child, purely because to date there is little empirical research examining this topic.”
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