An Irish MP has refused to gender his newborn baby as a boy or a girl, arguing that the baby could decide its gender.
Paul Murphy, a People Before Profit–Solidarity politician, explained to The Irish Times that his new baby was named Juniper because it was a “gender-neutral” name.
The MP told the publication how he and his partner initially had trouble conceiving but succeeded on the third IVF round.
“Regardless of whether it was male or female, it was going to be Juniper. I think it’s a gender-neutral name,” Murphy said.
Juniper is a biological male, but the Irish MP insists on not deciding the newborn baby’s gender.
“We’re not gendering it,” Murphy aded.
“So we’re not describing Juniper as a boy, we’re describing Juniper as a baby, but it is male.
“We live in a deeply sexist and gendered society which creates certain expectations for boys and certain expectations for girls,” he cotinued.
“And those things are changing in a positive direction, but there’s a very, very long way to go,” he said.
The Irish MP said he and his wife would use the “they” pronoun to describe the newborn because they “don’t want to limit the kind of future they will foresee for themselves, the role they will perceive for themselves, the type of play they will perceive for themselves by saying ‘you’re a boy or you’re a girl,” and just want Juniper “to decide for themselves.”
“You want to dress in pink? Fire ahead. Do you want to dress in blue? Fire ahead. Do you want to play football? Brilliant. Do you want to go dancing? Amazing… it’s just not to limit,” the MP said.
“Obviously, the vast majority of parents do gender their child, and I’ve no criticism of that whatsoever, no judgment. But it is true that if you put the label, boy or girl, on your child, you definitely increase the chances of them going down one road or another.”
Murphy added that they would respect any decision Juniper makes about his gender.
“That’s for Juniper to discover their own gender identity as opposed to us to assume based on their sex,” he added.
Murphy’s partner announced the newborn on Twitter, writing: “Lots of people have asked, ‘what did you have?’
“We had a healthy baby, and we are trying to create a home environment which doesn’t place limits or expectations on what Juniper is interested in or who they will become. That is all.”