The quest for the most elaborate gender reveal
A NEW rite-of-passage phenomenon has emerged recently, and it's causing more than its fair share of trouble.
It's the gender-reveal party, an occasion where elaborate methods are employed to inform your nearest and dearest of the sex of your unborn child.
Now, let me just say that - in this time of ever-growing choices of gender - we're looking at a minefield even before we even start.
Once, it was boy or girl. Now, with (welcome) enlightenment, there's:
1 Cisgender male; 2 Cisgender female; 3 Born a male in a female body; 4 Born a female in a male body; 5 Non-gender; 6 Help me here. Are there any I've missed?
I embrace diversity with open arms, and have friends in most of those categories - and that's before we start on sexual orientation. On that topic, I have a close friend (lesbian), who has an adult child (born with female parts), formerly a lesbian, who now identifies as a transgender heterosexual male (with a female partner). The offspring had children using wrigglers donated by a gay male mate ... who now identifies as female. It's hard to keep up. My friend refuses to acknowledge her offspring's permutations of gender/sexuality, and stubbornly refers to him by his original female name. Gender intolerance, perhaps? Try accusing a lesbian of that and see where it gets you. My son's half-sister is lesbian and has a partner who clearly started life wrapped in a pink bunny rug, but now chooses to be "gender-fluid"; we all have to refer to them as "them", as "she" or "he" is offensive. Cross-dressing comedian Eddie Izzard recently described himself as "a lesbian trapped in a male body". I repeat, a minefield ... but how glorious that the world now has room for those who don't fit the mould.
Now, getting back to the gender-reveal party. If you Google it, you will find 52,500,000 results. That's a lot of ways to tell your besties if your kid has an innie or an outie.
As the trend continues, more and more elaborate scenarios emerge - there's even a recipe for a gender-reveal lasagne online. And herein lies the problem. In an effort to outdo one another, couples are performing increasingly mad stunts.
A recent effort in South Australia saw the ute of the expectant father catch fire after he did a burnout that caused pink smoke to pour from the exhaust.
Then there was the American who shot explosives at a target designed to release pink or blue powder; he started a bushfire that caused US$11 million worth of damage and cost him US$220,000 in fines.