A British couple who raised their child as 'gender neutral' for five years so infant's 'real personality' could shine through have finally said that he is a boy
They referred to the baby as "the infant", allowed the child to play with only gender-neutral toys and alternated between girls' and boys' outfits for their offspring.
This left friends, playmates and relatives of British couple Beck Laxton and Kieran Cooper guessing as to the child's gender. For five years, the child was raised as "gender neutral" so the infant's "real personality" could shine through.
Boy, that's strange: Sasha with his mother Beck Laxton. The parents of the child insist that Sasha wear a ruched sleeved shirt from the girl's uniform list to school
But Beck and Kieran have finally revealed his masculinity to the world after it became harder to conceal when Sasha started primary school.
Yesterday Beck, a web editor, said, "I wanted to avoid all that stereotyping. Stereotypes seem fundamentally stupid. Why would you want to slot people into boxes? It's like horoscopes: what could be more stupid than thinking there are 12 types of personality that depend on when you were born? It's so idiotic."
Beck added, "Gender affects what children wear and what they can play with, and that shapes the kind of person they become. I start to get cross with it if it skews their potential. It's not just a harmless bit of silliness, like horoscopes, it's actually harmful. My mother's very sporty and my dad was very emotional."
Beck and Kieran were so desperate not to prejudice Sasha's life with gender they didn't ask midwives his sex until 30 minutes after he was born.
Only a handful of immediate family members were told of the baby's gender.
Over the last five years the couple have become skilled at evading the gender question at the school gates and walking down the street.
But Sasha's gender was almost revealed when he took to running around their garden naked, but Beck was resolute and encouraged him to play with dolls to hide his masculinity.
Sasha wears a ruched-sleeved and scalloped-collared shirt to school from the girl's uniform list, and has been banned from sporting combat trousers.
The youngster is also encouraged to wear flowery tops at weekends.
Beck said her son would think nothing of being given flowers -- a gift which would embarrass many men. She said, "He wouldn't say anything about flowers, because nobody has ever told him that flowers are for girls. And I don't see why they should be."
She added, "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, then nothing else matters does it? All I want to do is make people think a bit."