A couple have told how they’re raising their baby as gender-neutral because they want to protect the child from “unconscious bias”.
Hobbit Humphrey, 38, and Jake England-Johns, 35, appeared on BBC One’s ‘Inside Out’ programme last night and told of their decision not to reveal the gender of their baby.
The couple, who are both circus performers and live on a house boat near Bath, have decided to dress their child in both boy’s and girl’s clothing and use gender-neutral pronouns ‘they’ and ‘them’.
Speaking on the programme, the couple said they want their child – whose name was changed to Charlie during the show – to decide their own gender and preferred pronoun when they’re older.
“Gender neutral refers to us trying to behave neutrally towards the child, rather than trying to make them neutral,” England-Johns explained.
Hobbit Humphrey added: “So much of gender bias is unconscious. When I got pregnant we then were having a discussion about how we were going to mitigate the unconscious bias.
“And we figured that the only way we could do that was just not to tell people.
“To use the they/them pronoun for as long as we can, and create this little bubble for our baby to be who they are.”
The couple are so protective of their child’s gender that the baby was 11 months old before their grandparents found out their gender, while changing the baby’s nappy.
The couple say their child can choose the gender they want to be when they are old enough to understand.
“We’re not trying to make them be anything,” he added. “We just want them to be themselves.”