Genderless Baby Storm Stocker Ignites a Firestorm with Parents, Media

genderless baby, storm stocker, gender neutral baby, transgender baby

A Toronto couple has ignited a media firestorm after deciding to conceal the sex of their baby, Storm Stocker. Inspired by the 1978 book X: A Fabulous Child’s Story by Lois Gould, Kathy Witterick and David Stocker have decided to hold off from letting the world know their baby’s gender and have only allowed their two older sons and midwives look beneath Storm’s diaper since the New Year’s Day birth. For the parents, this is an opportunity to explore gender freedom, and allow their child to develop free from the potentially harmful pink and blue stereotypes. Their email announcing the birth stated, “We decided not to share Storm’s sex for now — a tribute to freedom and choice in place of limitation, a standup to what the world could become in Storm’s lifetime.”

What do you think about allowing a baby to be 'genderless'?

  • 784 Votes I think it is great! A baby doesn't care about gender, and it's a great way to buck harmful stereotypes.
  • 329 Votes I think this is a bad idea - this child should not be a guinea pig for its parents social beliefs. Babies should come out of the womb wearing pink or blue!
  • 138 Votes I'm not sure how I feel about this

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genderless baby, storm stocker, gender neutral baby, transgender baby

Some child development experts are saying that Witterick and Stocker have inserted their
child into a psychological experiment that could be “potentially disastrous”. However, others are commending the couple for attempting to raise Storm outside of the social gender constraints. Director of training in child and adolescent psychiatry at Massachusetts General Hospital, Dr. Eugene Beresin says this sets a child up for not knowing who they are. “To raise a child not as a boy or a girl is creating, in some sense, a freak.” Beresin believes that this type of upbringing sets a child up for “bullying, scapegoating and marginalization.”

It is unclear how long the parents will mask Storm’s sexual identity – if they continue to conceal this information, it’s certain the debate will resurface. Personally, I’m not sure what the big deal is all about – I think the world would be better off with less frilly pink newborn dresses, plastic guns for toddlers, and other such stereotypical gender prescriptions at an early age. Being a mom of a 3 year old boy, I personally think that most boys and girls come into this world with naturally different dispositions and temperaments, but they certainly don’t need gendered toys and clothes to exacerbate these differences – they should be allowed the freedom to explore their own interests without the constraints of gender stereotypes. And why does the world feel like it needs to know the gender of this particular child, anyway? It is no-one’s business but the kid and his/her family. That’s my opinion, what is yours?

What do you think about allowing a baby to be 'genderless'?

  • 784 Votes I think it is great! A baby doesn't care about gender, and it's a great way to buck harmful stereotypes.
  • 329 Votes I think this is a bad idea - this child should not be a guinea pig for its parents social beliefs. Babies should come out of the womb wearing pink or blue!
  • 138 Votes I'm not sure how I feel about this

View Results

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via ABC news via the Toronto Star

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19 Responses to “Genderless Baby Storm Stocker Ignites a Firestorm with Parents, Media”

  1. Jennifer Chait says:

    I think this is lame. I agree that typical gender stuff shouldn’t be forced on kids, but these parents have taken the lazy way out. For example, my son wanted a doll and stroller at age 3. My MIL freaked saying, “That’s how you get gay adults – letting boys play with dolls.” Because of course, my son’s gender is known, my option was to stand up to that stupid idea or not say anything. Obviously I stood up to MIL dumb idea and my son got that doll and stroller. Later when he wanted “boy” toys he got those too. Having everyone know Cedar’s gender hasn’t stopped us from allowing him to be him vs. someone he’s not.

    These parents, instead of running social experiments on their unsuspecting child, and hiding from the issues, could, in fact discuss these issues with said child and other people they know.

    It doesn’t help to break down any stereotypes by hiding. How is hiding useful? Not to mention that by hiding and being sneaky, these parents HAVE placed this child in a role not of his/her choosing. That’s just as lame as forcing pink or blue.

  2. progman says:

    Its no one’s business what the gender identity is of this baby, and as for the parents being accused of inserting their own social “experiment” onto their child, that’s what all parents do, that IS the job of parenting. They only want to give the child the chance to decide their own itself.

  3. GetALife says:

    Isn’t it a wonder? People die on the streets and in the military daily, people of all ages, sexes, and types are abused/harassed daily with no one batting an eyelash…and a matter of personal and rightful decisions has ignited a fire storm of controversy. You people are sick in the head and seriously need to re-evaluate your priorities.

  4. rgm says:

    this is wrong. i don’t want to sound like an anti-gay or anything (which i’m not) but by natural law each living organism is born with a predefined gender and a “natural role” that’s how evolution works. somethimes there are exeptions (an they are exeptions, nor good or bad but exeptions to the rule” and you have to asume a childs gender by fact until otherwise noted… for example you don’t asume your child is going to have 6 toes by fact. if your baby has a penis he is a boy, that’s it, later on he may be straight or gay but he will be still a male unless he wants to be a transgender but that will be later on in life and the odds are that he will be a male

  5. JoAnn Stone says:

    WONDERFUL. COURAGEOUS. My mom hated all the fuss over gender-color so she dressed me in yellow.

  6. anitaz says:

    que estupides ,

  7. 1000tourmelines says:

    Every single human born is a social experiment. He/she is a unique combination of genetic code parental attitudes, economic factors, social and physical environment. Even within the same family, no two get the identical upbringing. So what’s all the screaming about this one family? Concerned people’s attention could be better turned to the families where abuse is taking place – That would be useful.

  8. echo says:

    Children at such a young age do not understand gender. What are these parents really trying to achieve. Gender is determined in the brain no matter what genitalia they have. For a parent to ask a child what sex they want to be is a big mistake. It is set in concrete in their brain it is not a choice. Stupid parents. What they are really asking is would the child prefer pink or blue. sounds more like a publicity stunt to me. suppose there is money for them in this story. they are definately not responsible child bearers.

  9. greenyoga says:

    its a boy….i can tell by looking at him. otherwise, i agree. let him be want ever he wants without parents and friends giving him GI joe dolls.

  10. mollyellen says:

    To me, the whole purpose of this ‘experiment’ was negated as soon as the siblings were notified of his/her gender. Other kids have the mostv value laden Interaction with Storm, they are already aware of gender and, I believe, will treat him/her according to their, already well-defined, gender expectations. Besides, what young sibling is gonna keep this ‘secret’ and for how long?
    Also, it’s just annoying and wrong, in my opinion, to call a child ‘it.’ no one will remember to always use its name instead of common pronouns, so I just think it’s lame also..
    Can we say, “Trying too hard?”

  11. queef says:

    I was born with a penis, when i was three years old i took all my sisters barbie dollas and stripped them naked and lined them up on my cradle and trick to have intercourse with them. i am asian so it almost worked. nonetheless i am proud to be an american and when i have a son i will name him rebecca.

  12. Youngfrog says:

    I have no problem with what the parents are doing. Babies don’t care about these things. As Storm grows, the issue should naturally resolve itself. I don’t think the parents are expecting it to last into adulthood, after all.
    My only question is grammatical, as in how to refer to Storm. There’s no appropriate, genderless pronoun. The only ones we have are he, she and it. I don’t like the baby being called “it”. I haven’t read much of the “firestorm”, but I haven’t seen how this is being addressed by the parents. Has it been mentioned?

  13. Jay-r says:

    why did the parents name the baby Storm? is it because of Storm from the x-men?

  14. Rachel H. says:

    I think it’s fine for now. I just wonder how long the parents intend to keep this going.

  15. UlrikeDG says:

    The media has hyped this beyond its actual extent, and indeed the article above is inaccurate. They aren’t raising the child to be “genderless”. They are keeping the baby’s gender to themselves for now so that people can get to know him/her as a PERSON before they start judging him/her based on his/her GENDER.

    If that causes us as observers to reconsider why we don’t let boys wear pink and why the first adjective we use to describe a baby girl is almost always “pretty” or a synonym thereof, so much the better!

  16. rovingreporter says:

    It doesn’t matter if they hide the gender or not, the important thing is to not ignore the child’s preferences. That’s how people achieve their full potential later by learning things when they are little that lead to bigger choices later.

  17. whatever says:

    This is ridiculous. One of these parents must have some sort of issues with their own gender identity if they think that they need to hide gender to be appreciated for true self or to be allowed to become the true self. I suspect someone has daddy issues. I wonder if the father of the child was expected to be extreme macho by his father and resented it or maybe he was raised by a mother who dressed him up like a girl and made him girly and he got made fun of. Maybe they are activists. Maybe they are hoping their child is gay. Who knows and who cares. I know one thing for sure though, and that is that there are certain things that you must teach your child or you are doing them a great injustice. I hope they get over themselves and society and just do what is right before this child is 2 because that is when they crucial window of learning opens up. Much of what a child learns they are to be is shown to them between they ages of 2 and 4. If you teach a child how to behave during that window and set boundaries as to what is expected and teach them confidence in their own abilities and GENDER ROLES, you have set their foundation and it should be just maintenance after that. I wonder if they listen to a lot of Lady Gaga. lol

  18. AmyM says:

    My parents NEVER forced gender rolls on me. Point of fact, I’m female. However my parents let me choose my own path. I HATED HATED HATED pink, dolls, frilly, lace or anything people generaly associated with little girls. My grandmother would try to put dresses on me and I would go ridged and start screaming at the top of my lungs. Eventualy she gave up.. thankfully!! My fave toys were alwasy cars, trucks, blocks, and I was an absolute sports fanatic. I BEGGED to go to football and baseball games all season. I played every sport I could possibly do… mulitple teams at once even. So… your thinking… this sports loving, skinned kneed, rough and tumble tomboy is currently fighting for the right to marry her life partner… RIGHT? Be honist… you thought that didnt you?? Well, my parents wondered … and relatives outright spoke in concerned hushes around family events. I dressed and acted like a boy. So they assumed…. that I was lesbian. Ok, they were half right. I’m bi. However, that being said: I’m now very happily married to my wonderful husband. I now (shockingly) am a simple housewife. I love 50s style dresses, I bake and cook like i was feeding an army (neighbors love me!)… who would have thought that the girl who grew up being able to dismantle an ATV engine and reassemble in a few hours would grow up to be even more feminine than MOST women these days. Who knew?! Seriously?! My parents credit my ability to stand up for myself and at hte same time to have the confidence to not be afraid of what people think of me to my childhood. They allowed me the freedom to explore WHO and WHAT I am. They never repressed me or tried to force me into a cookie cutter mold world… and yet… somehow… I ended up exactly the way that the family hoped. My cousins… alway forced into the ‘baby girl’ roll… none of them are married, none of them WANT anything feminine or to be mothers. Could it be they are rebelling from what they were forced to be? I belive so. My husband loves me the way I am and has already said that our children will be free to choose thier path in life. I am incredibly grateful to my parents for allowing me the freedome to be who and what I was meant to be, rather than trying to force me to be what socieity dictates that I must be in order to fit a socialy acceptable mold.

  19. Mo says:

    Obviously, you want to RAISE A STORM!
    Congratulations for succeeding.
    In a way.
    To a certain extent.
    I look at the face of this adorable baby here, and to me too, yes, this baby looks like A BOY. To my partner too.
    So I hope you all have fun playing this GUESS WHICH VULVA or BALLS GAME. I understand you parents need playing time. Perhaps, this kid is HERMAPHRODITE for real and you have decided yourself which sex you would give him/her???.
    Jus be aware that you are PLAYING at the detriment of this child suddenly treated differently from his siblings, to say the least. So it is a game.
    Thank you. It was fun playing. For a very short while. Guess who I am Mister Stocker, a man or a woman???

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