James O'Brien 10am - 1pm
Grandmother Of 'Genderless' Baby Calls In To James O'Brien
17 September 2019, 13:44 | Updated: 17 September 2019, 14:29
The grandmother of the genderless baby called LBC and revealed what it was like not knowing the child’s gender for the first year of their life.
Anoush’s mother and father have decided not to reveal their baby’s gender but leave it up to their child to decide when they are older.
Chanti Annette Humphrey and Jake England-Johns told BBC’s Inside Out that they have even kept the 14-month-old’s gender from their parents, and instead of using gendered pronouns, the couple refer to the toddler as “they”.
The grandmother, Camille from Bristol, told James O’Brien: “The experience has been the most amazing for me, and I think the impacts and the struggles are on the adults around the child, not on the child.”
James said he was relieved and people may struggle because it is “so out of the ordinary”, and said Camille must have done when she was first told the plan for her grandchild.
“Absolutely, I know exactly where I was and how I felt when I was first told, and I rather thought it would die a death once they’d had the baby. I kept a journal when my girls were little and I wrote in it when Hobbit [her daughter] was very young that I would respect however she raised her children. So I got on board and I totally respected what they were doing.
"And I held this baby in my arms 5 days old and they were just a baby. They were just a baby. They stayed just that baby until they were 11 months for me, and I gradually moved from falling into “he” or “she” to “they”, and got really comfortable with 'they'."
Camille said she was a bit cross because the media said she found out the gender when she changed the nappy, which was untrue.
“I didn’t,” she clarified, “I always said ‘please tell me before I change a nappy’. I don’t want my response to be when I change a nappy ‘what’s in their pants?’”
“So when it got to the stage that they wanted to leave the child with me for longer periods, they told me, and it was really weird James, because actually something really funny went on inside me. I went home and I thought, ‘Oh gosh, OK I know this’ and I just had this desperate need to see my grandchild. And as soon as I saw them, they were just my grandchild and I lost it again.”
She concludes, "It's about opportunities, and by pigeon-holing children into 'boy' and 'girl', we exclude possibilities."