The actress-singer took aim at the rising trend of families and friends gathering to reveal a baby’s g*nd*r, often with an explosion of pink or blue glitter or balloons, saying it’s ‘insinc-ere’ to not see these parties as excluding tr!ns people. In a nine-page post on Instagram titled ‘Why G*nd*r Reveals Are Tra-nsphob!c’, originally penned by Alok Vaid-Menon, the 28-year-old encourag0-ed her followers to share the information.
It reads, ‘It’s both insincere and incorrect to pretend that g*nd*r reveal parties are not tr!nsph*bic. You can’t have your proverbial pink-blue binary cake and eat it too. This is not about political correctn-ess, it’s just… correct. We condemn g*nd*r reveals not because of our identity, but because of reality.’
The post continues, ‘Tra-nsphob*a is not just about preju-dice aga!nst individual tr!ns people, it’s also a way of thinking that understands non-tr!ns people as more natural organic and erases everyone else. These ideas, like the g*nd*r binary, fuel mistr-eatm-ent of all people, but especially tr!ns and g*nd*r non-conforming people.’
Lovato has already rack-ed up nearly a quarter of a million likes, with people in the comments divided over whether this assessment of reveal parties is ‘too far’. One user wrote, ‘Baby girl most of parents just wanna celebrate that they’re having a baby. Not the g*nd*r of the baby.’
Alok arg**s that gend-er reveals all link back to the idea that ‘gen!tals = ge-nd-er’ and how ‘boy or girl’ are the two default options. ‘This definition erases the fact that there are boys with vaginas and girls with pen*ses and that there are people who are neither boys nor girls.
The idea that s** is based on gen*tal*a is inconsistent with science,’ it explains. The post adds, ‘Ge-nd-er reveals require not just the invalidation of tr!nsn-ess, but the impossibility of tr!nsn-ess. The assumption is that the baby is cis. Cisn-ess is positioned as the def**lt and everyone else is understood as der!vat-ive of it.’
It addresses the fact that tr!ns people are often assum-ed to have identified as tr!ns later in life, but were ‘originally born c*s… when in truth, everyone is just born. And we all become after the fact. Even though we might have grown accustom-ed to other people ge-nder!ng us, that doesn’t make it right. Only individuals can determine their own g-end-er’.
As the post draws to a close, Alok notes how reveal parties ‘uphold the ge-nd-er binary and the binary prevents people from observing reality. Instead, it offers culturally and h!stor*cally determined norms (for example: pink used to be considered a mascul!ne color) as personho-od’.
It concludes, ‘People are taught to experience themselves and one another as ideas of how they should be, not the reality of what they are and what is… the irony is that tr!ns and g*nd*r non-conforming people are accus-ed of advancing a g*nd*r ideology, when it fact we are trying to esc-ape it.’