|Sasha and mom Beck, who hid his gender for 5 years|
“I wanted to avoid all that stereotyping,” Laxton said in the past. “Stereotypes seem fundamentally stupid. Why would you want to slot people into boxes?”
For years, Becks has been referring to her child, the youngest of three, as “the infant” on her personal blog But guarding the public from her son’s gender was only part of her quest to let her kid just be a kid.
Sasha dresses in clothes he likes — be it a hand-me-downs from his sister or his brother. The big no-no’s are hyper-masculine outfits like skull-print shirts and cargo pants. In one photo, sent to friends and family, Sasha’s dressed in a shiny pink girl’s swimsuit. “Children like sparkly things,” says Beck. “And if someone thought Sasha was a girl because he was wearing a pink swimming costume, then what effect would that have? ”
Sasha’s also not short on dolls, though Barbie is also off limits. “She’s banned because she’s horrible,” Laxton says in the Cambridge interview.
On a macro level she hopes her son sets an example for other parents and makes them reconsider buying their own sons trucks or forcing their daughters into tights. She’s seen how those consumer trappings affect how and who kids play with in the sandbox.
But the sandbox is just a precursor to the classroom. When Sasha turned five and headed to school, Laxton was forced to make her son’s sex public. That meant Sasha would have to get used to being a boy in the eyes of his peers. Still, his mom is intervening. While the school requires different uniforms for boys and girls, Sasha wears a girl’s blouse with his pants.
“I don’t think I’d do it if I thought it was going to make him unhappy, but at the moment he’s not really bothered either way. We haven’t had any difficult scenarios yet.”