Gender Neutral No More: Parents Reveal Child's Gender After 5 Years

The secret is finally out after five years that the child Sasha from the United Kingdom is in fact a boy.

His parents, Beck Laxton and Kieran Cooper, have kept the gender of their son a secret all these years to the public, refusing to reveal their child's gender to make a statement against gender stereotypes. Sasha's gender was revealed after he entered school.

"I wanted to avoid all the stereotyping," said the mother Laxton to U.K.-based Cambridge News. "Stereotypes seems fundamentally stupid. Why would you want to slot people into boxes?"

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Laxton, who is a self-confessed "radical feminist" who lives with her partner Cooper and his two young children, claims that identifying a child as either male or female is harmful because it limits the child's potential.

She refused to know the sex of her baby when she was pregnant, saying, "It's like opening your presents before Christmas, and I worry that people start making all these presumptions about what the child's going to be like, which is just stupid."

The couple gave their son a gender neutral name, and only told some family members and close friends what Sasha's real gender was. Sasha is allowed to wear a pink tu-tu, dress up as a fairy, play with dolls, and wear whatever he likes.

"All I want to do is make people think a bit," said Laxton, who refers to Sasha with the gender neutral description of "the infant" in her personal blog. "I just want him (Sasha) to fulfill his potential, and I wouldn't push him in any direction."

"As long as he has good relationships and good friends, then nothing else matters, does it? What's more important than being happy, and making other people happy? It's all that matters."

Sasha's gender neutral story is similar to that of a Canadian couple, Kathy Witterick and David Stocker, who also decided to keep the gender of their baby a secret. The couple had sent out an email last year announcing the birth of their baby, Storm, but also included the following note, "We've decided not to share Storm's sex for now – a tribute to freedom and choice in place of limitation."

At the time of the news, which broke last summer, not even the then 4-month-old's grandparents knew the baby's gender.

The couples explained that they hope their actions will make the world "a more progressive place."

But evangelical cultural commentator Chuck Colson wrote in a June 2011 column about the story, "We know instinctively that gender is part of our God-given, biological design. And we should realize that when we try to deny or suppress or alter that essential part of our being, it's not good for us – and especially not good for our children."

He added, "I'm not saying that all members of the same gender should be made to think and act the same way. What I am saying is this: Efforts to transcend or ignore gender are destined to be fruitless at best, harmful at worst."

Dr. R. Albert Mohler, Jr., president of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, agreed, saying the idea of a "genderless baby is nonsense."

"The parents admit that this baby has a clear biological sex, but they do not want that to become the child's identity. They want the child to make that determination at a later date," wrote Mohler in a May 2011 column.

Mohler continued, "The controversy surrounding Storm is a sign of our times. Our rebellion against the Creator has now reached the point that we will deny the fact that our identity is not just our own personal project, but is first of all established in the Creator's intention – and part of that intention is the fact that we are male or female."

The prominent theologian concluded: "The major issue at stake in this controversy is the objective reality of sex and gender. We are, in fact, what our genitals tell us we are. This is not because we are genitally determined, but because we were created by a holy God, whose plans and purposes for us are, inescapably, tied to our gender."

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