The decision of Kathy Witterick, 38, and David Stocker, 39,
to raise their child Storm as genderless has caused quite a stir across the
The Toronto couple’s lifestyle is not unusual and is one that many of us in the queer
community can relate to.
Both parents come from liberal households where gender identity was
fluid — Witterick’s brother experimented with drag as a teen in the ’80s. They
have travelled extensively through Mexico and most recently spent a year in Cuba.
Both have worked in social justice organizations — Witterick
in violence prevention before becoming a full-time mother. Stocker teaches at a tiny school with four
teachers and about 60 students whose lessons are framed by social-justice
The couple lives in a nice home in a city neighbourhood with
their three children: Jazz, five, Kio, two, and Storm, four months. Both Jazz
and Kio are un-schooled at home, choose their own clothes (Jazz likes dresses)
and sleep with their mother and father every night on a big, comfortable mattress on the
Sounds to me that they are a loving family.
However, their latest parenting decision not to declare the
gender of Storm has unleashed a barrage of criticism from people around the
country after their story was published in the Toronto Star.
When Storm was born they sent out an unconventional birth
announcement: “We’ve decided not to share Storm’s sex for now — a tribute to
freedom and choice in place of limitation, a stand up to what the world could
become in Storm’s lifetime (a more progressive place?).”
The announcement was apparently met with stony silence, but
the newspaper article has been met with criticism, complaints and outrage.
Of course Fox News
has picked up the story, contacted pro-family organizations and come to the
conclusion it always does — that Storm will grow up terribly confused about