Posted For: Willie Wonka
A woman has revealed how she and her non-binary partner didn’t want doctors to announce the gender of their child in an attempt to raise them without gender norms.
Sommer Barros-Portway — who appeared on last night’s episode of SBS’s Insight to discuss the matter — came out as non-binary two years ago, meaning Sommer uses they/them pronouns.
Sommer, who is in their late 30s, met their wife Stephanie six years ago and the pair went through IVF to welcome baby Juno into the world.
The pair have said they want their child to be able to choose their own path in life without being confined to gender stereotypes.
Stephanie told the Insight audience that during her pregnancy she didn’t want doctors to tell the couple their child’s gender, including announcing it in the birth room.
“In the birth room we asked no one to announce (the sex) because I didn’t know and I didn’t want to find out when I was pregnant because I didn’t want to start imposing societal ideals on my baby,” Stephanie said during the program.
In an earlier interview with news.com.au, Sommer revealed the couple considered every possible detail before going through with the IVF procedure.
“When we decided to have a kid a few years ago, we spent two years doing parenting classes and doing parenting counseling together to make sure that our relationship was strong enough and that we had the same values to have a kid,” Sommer said.
“And when we did, we wanted to make sure that Juno has all the opportunities in the world that she wants without having to have expectations put on her.”
Sommer said initially they were going to use they/them pronouns for Juno so that society wouldn’t put pressures of gender norms on the child but they realized it wasn’t possible, as many were offended when they wouldn’t reveal the gender of their child.
So, they decided to use they or she when referring to the baby, who was assigned female at birth, and use the term Mom for Stephanie and PomPom for Sommer.
“She can grow up and decide who she wants to be, what she wants to wear, what she wants to do, and be happy,” Sommer said.
“We’re not going to pressure Juno to do anything that they don’t want to do. We just want them to be a healthy, happy human being.”
Not everyone has agreed with the couple’s choice to allow their baby to pick their own path in life without being restricted by what society expects when you look a certain way.
“Bringing it back to tradies [manual laborers]. Why do you think there’s a high suicide rate in men who are tradies? I think it’s because of the behaviors and gender expectations that are put on them,” Sommer said.
“It’s a bit sad that, you know, people aren’t looking more into it and thinking about it instead of just being mad. They all think we’re all bunch of freaks but I know, I’m doing the right thing.”