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11 September 2020 00:47

Jenna Karvunidis, the inventor of the gender reveal party, has since renounced the celebrations.

'Gender reveals' are all the rage amid COVID-19.

I can't remember a time when I was younger that people would make such a huge deal out of the sex of a baby, I remember there were parents who preferred to not know the sex of the child before he or she was born. Now, parents are finding out the sex of their child sooner than ever before, and instead of finding out and continuing on with their baby planning, parents are throwing massive parties to celebrate the sex of their child. At first, this seems like a fine plan, any reason to have a party I'm in, but gender reveals have become downright dangerous. A "bomb" was supposed to reveal the baby's sex with pink or blue smoke but instead threw metal scraps through the air that killed the grandmother. After all these incidents, and probably more we don't know about, why do we continue to make gender reveals a thing?

I mean, yes, it does to the parents who will be decorating the baby's room, and to the family and friends buying gifts, but you don't need a party for that. Pyrotechnics from a gender reveal party in Yucaipa sparked a wildfire and ignited an international firestorm of criticism and fierce cultural debate over a custom many say is toxic and dangerous — not least because the fire continues to rage. "I actually had a lot of people calling me asking if it was my gender reveal," said Samantha Nguyen of Santa Ana, who learned she was having a boy at her own gender reveal celebration the next day. Pyrotechnics at a gender reveal party were blamed for the El Dorado fire in Yucaipa. "It's natural that it would get a little bit crazier during the pandemic," said Jenna Karvunidis, who held the first gender reveal in 2008, and has since renounced them as harmful.

Jenna Karvunidis, the inventor of the gender reveal party, has since renounced the celebrations. "We did the blood test at eight weeks," said Orlando-based photographer Sydney O'Hare, who specializes in gender reveals. As technology has advanced, sex has gone from one of the last things parents discover about their baby to one of the first they can celebrate. Ironically, the very first gender reveal party was conceived for a similar reason. "It wasn't even really about the baby's gender," she said.

"Because trans kids are way more visible and known, that makes people want to really double down on the idea that gender is a thing in their child that belongs to them," said Gill-Peterson, the Pittsburgh professor. The inventor of the gender reveal said she hoped expectant families would find a way to celebrate the start of their second trimester without invoking "toxic" stereotypes about boys and girls. "Do a pregnancy reveal — it doesn't have to be this whole aggressive gendered thing," Karvunidis said. Gender reveal parties have gotten pretty problematic in recent years. Part of the reason people are espousing going back to simple things like cutting a cake is that gender reveal parties have gotten so over-the-top that people are getting hurt. A gender reveal party gone wrong. She's also not the only one with ideas on alternative gender reveal celebrations.