Bianca Karvunidis is the daughter of the inventor of gender reveal parties. | Photo: bianca_k_actor / Instagram
The ‘inventor’ of gender reveal parties now says she doesn’t agree with them after her 10-year-old daughter who loves wearing suits opened up her mind to the gender spectrum.
In 2008, Jenna Karvunidis found out the biological sex of her baby, 20 weeks into her pregnancy.
‘I just thought it would be fun to make a party out of it,’ she exclusively told Gay Star News. ‘I made two cakes – one with blue icing and one with pink icing.’
She then revealed to the whole party that it was the pink icing cake.
Soon after that, she wrote a blog about her party and then a reporter from a pregnancy magazine contacted her to do a magazine spread about it.
Copies of the magazine then showed up in obstetrician and gynecology (OB/GYN) practises around Chicago.
‘Women are sitting there in the waiting room, flipping through magazines. They’re seeing an idea for their party, and it just kind of went from there,’ she revealed.
Changing her mind
After the birth of her child, Bianca (also known as Bee) and over time, Jenna began to see extreme examples of people taking gender reveal parties too far.
One example was a gender reveal party that sparked a forest fire.
Jenna also started learning more about gender and sexuality being on a spectrum, rather than being binary. A big part of Jenna’s education on gender came from her daughter, Bee.
‘She has informed me that there are many different genders and she has informed me that there are many different sexualities,’ Jenna said. ‘She says she’s a girl so I just take her lead on that.’
‘This whole gender reveal thing doesn’t make sense to me anymore,’ she said.
The catalyst was when Bee wanted to shave her head a couple of years ago.
‘I was worried she would cut it and to be upset,’ she said. ‘She ended up shaving on half her head… she walked out [of the barber] and was just so cute and adorable and she looked so happy.
‘I think maybe that was kind of the pivot point. It’s been such a process,’ she said.
Inventor of gender reveal parties: ‘Who cares what gender the baby is?’
So Jenna took to Facebook on Thursday (25 July) to announce her ‘mixed feelings’ about gender reveal parties.
‘Who cares what gender the baby is?’ she wrote in a Facebook post. ‘I did at the time because we didn’t live in 2019 and didn’t know what we know now – that assigning focus on gender at birth leaves out so much of their potential and talents that have nothing to do with what’s between their legs.’
Jenna then added: ‘PLOT TWIST, the world’s first gender-reveal party baby is a girl who wears suits!’
When asked what message Jenna would like to send to people who refuse to listen to reasons why gender reveal parties might make transgender, non-binary or gender non-conforming people feel uncomfortable, she responded: ‘Why are you so worried about it?’
She then added: ‘Nobody’s going to take away your man card because you learn non-binary people exist and they’re fine. I mean, it’s just the most ridiculous thing.
‘I think people have a defensiveness because they’re afraid,’ she said.
What Jenna loves most about Bee is her ‘self-assurance’.
‘She’s such a little badass,’ Jenna doted. ‘She’s got her own style and she’s just so secure in herself. What I admire about her the most is her self-assurance, for sure.’
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