Welcome to my new series, “Gender-Reveal Disasters on Cakes”! Let’s be honest, every gender reveal that’s for a baby is a disaster, but I’ll be covering the most impressive fails through the medium of dessert.
And for the 100th time: gender reveals for babies are inherently transphobic, and you cannot participate in gender-reveal parties, cakes, etc. and claim to be feminist or an “LGBT ally.” Don’t come at me with those pride cakes and pronoun cookies if you’re doing gender reveals. I will die on this hill. See FAQ below.
:serious newscaster voice: A gender-reveal party at an Applebee’s in Boardman, Ohio (near Cleveland) turned into a fight after managers asked party-goers to set off their gender reveal confetti poppers outside instead of inside. The patrons then refused to clean up the confetti mess in the parking lot and began throwing menus at a staff member.
Congratulations! Your baby’s gender is Fight Outside Applebee’s!
Suggested Reading and Ways to Help
“‘Are You a Boy or a Girl?’ It starts with a gender-reveal celebration, and it culminates at the door of a bathroom in North Carolina.” (a.k.a. “Gender Reveal Celebrations for Babies Help Explain Transphobia.”)
Queer Appalachia Queer Rural Coat Drive: send warm, gently used coats to rural QTPOC in need. The deadline was December 7, but they are still accepting late donations.
Equity at the Table (EATT): support and hire LGBTQ/POC women and gender-non-conforming folks in food.
Transgender Law Center’s Trans Immigrant Defense Effort (TIDE) recruits and trains pro bono attorneys to meet the urgent need for legal services for transgender and gender nonconforming (TGNC) immigrants.
Do you have trans issues/organizations you’d like me to highlight here? Leave a comment or send me an email at illmakeitmyself[at]gmail.com. (Please note that general “LGBTQ” organizations must be bi+, trans, intersex, and nonbinary inclusive. Don’t send me HRC nonsense.)
And, as always, you can support me, a nonbinary bisexual person, by sending your cash dollars to my Ko-Fi (one-time donation), my Patreon (monthly donations – get rewards!), Etsy (buy my zines), and by hiring me to write about queer food.
Based on the true stories of Actual Shit Cisgender People Say to Me:
But I had to get genetic testing to make sure my baby didn’t have a chromosomally-based hereditary condition so I definitely know the sex of my baby!
Modern technology is great! However, all you know is your baby’s chromosomal makeup, not their gender!
But the ultrasound showed the sex of my baby, not the gender! Those are different!
Perhaps you, like I, learned that sex and gender are different. At the time (roughly the 2000s), it seemed like a decent explanation of sex= “biology” vs. gender=“social construct,” but we’ve moved on from that third-wave feminist model to the idea that “gender is gender.” Until baby tells you their gender, there’s simply no way to know!
But there are only two genders!
We’re just having fun!
Great, maybe you can explain what fun is to all the murdered queer and trans folks this year, or to those of us who are harassed on the streets, in our workplaces, in our activist groups, and by our significant others. If you’re queer and and you participate in gender reveals, fully knowing how gender norms are used to discriminate against LGBQ folks, including yourself, what exactly are you accomplishing?
Well how am I supposed to know what to buy for or how to treat this baby if I don’t know their gender?
Have you considered treated them like a small human person?
But this is the only thing expectant parents can know about the baby!
Why? So you can start the gender socialization early?
What am I supposed to tell my pregnant friends throwing a gender reveal or gendered baby shower?
Being an ally means standing up to injustice, not staying silent and playing along so you can continue to “enjoy” problematic things. If your friend said something homophobic or misogynistic, would you stand up to them then? Well, why not now? Send them a note explaining you don’t do gender parties and send a donation in their name to Trans Lifeline.
Have hope: Realizing you messed up in the past is part of growing as a person. Did you participate in a gender reveal and want to make amends? Stand up for trans and nonbinary people in your offices, your homes, and your schools—be a REAL ally.