In a nine-slide Instagram post, singer Demi Lovato came out swinging against gender reveal parties, which were described as “transphobic” in the post she shared because “there are boys with vaginas and girls with penises.”
The series of slides was written by Alok Vaid-Menon, a pro-LGBT activist. Vaid-Menon argued gender reveal parties distract from “reality,” claiming the suggestion that one’s biological sex is inextricably linked to his or her genitalia is “inconsistent with science.”
“It’s both insincere and incorrect to pretend that gender reveal parties are not transphobic,” Vaid-Menon wrote in the post Lovato shared. “You can’t have your proverbial pink-blue binary cake and eat it, too. This is not about political correctness; it’s just … correct. We condemn gender reveals not because of our identity, but because of reality.”
The post went on to state that the existing “gender binary” props up transphobia because it teaches people to see “non-trans people” as more “natural” and “organic.”
Vaid-Menon, who identifies with the pronouns “they/them,” went on to argue that gender reveal parties — hosted by pregnant couples celebrating the sexes of their yet-to-be-born babies — are “based on the illusion that genitals [equal] gender and that there are only two options, ‘boy or girl.’”
“This definition erases the fact that there are boys with vaginas and girls with penises and that there are people who are neither boys nor girls,” Vaid-Menon wrote. “[G]ender reveals require not just the invalidation of transness, but the impossibility of transness. The assumption is that the baby is cis. Cisness is positioned as the default and everyone else is understood as derivative of it.”
The term “cisness” is from the word “cisgender,” a signifier created and used by the LGBT community to describe “a person whose gender identity corresponds with the sex the person had or was identified as having at birth,” according to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary.
“The idea goes: while we might ‘identify’ as trans now, we were ‘originally’ ‘born’ cis and we later ‘became’ trans,” Vaid-Menon explained. “When in truth, everyone is just born. And we all become after the fact.”
In the caption of her Instagram post, Lovato, who wrote in Vogue last September she “hates” that her skin is white but is devoted to being a “good ally” nevertheless, thanked Vaid-Menon for “sharing your knowledge and educating us.”
The celebrity asked her followers to share the post to their accounts.
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