Non-binary, genderqueer, trans parent Kori Doty is raising a gender-neutral child. That fact appeared to confuse the hell out of infamous British crank Piers Morgan when he spoke with Kori on Good Morning Britain. The conversation, displaying deep incredulity from both Morgan and Doty, might just be an indicator of future conversations about gender identity for people well away from the public eye.
The conversation was prompted by news that Doty’s kid Searyl Atli Doty had not been issued a birth certificate by the Canadian province in which they were due to the fact that their physical sex had not been disclosed. The baby, who’d been born outside of the public health system, was nevertheless issued a Canadian Health ID card with the gender noted as “u” for “unknown,” which was seen as a victory for genderless ID advocates.
All of this was apparently too much for Morgan, who harangued Doty about them and their kid’s genitals for the majority of the interview. “If this is how the conversation is going to go, we can ask you about if one of your testicles hangs lower,” Doty explained to Morgan before going on to explain that their child’s genitals were none of his business.
The crux of the conversation was Doty’s assertion that Searyl would be able to choose their gender around age 5, whether that gender conformed to their biology or not. This prompted Morgan to ask Doty what they’d do if the kid decided they wanted to “identify as a monkey.”
“They’re a human being,” Doty explained. “We’re talking about gender, we’re not talking about species.”
Searyl’s health ID card could set a precedent as the trans community lobbies governments for gender neutral ID. They have seen victories on that front in the states. Currently, Washington DC issues a gender neutral ID, and Oregon just began issuing gender-neutral driver licenses. Whether or not these designations will be extended to birth certificates is anyone’s guess.
But as the trans community becomes increasingly visible and vocal, conversations like the one between Morgan and Doty will probably move from the television screen to the kitchen table in the coming years. Though it should be pointed out that asking if a person’s gender neutral kid can grow up to identify as an animal is kind of a tacky, and stupid, question.