Internet Backs Dad Refusing to Give Daughter Gender-Neutral Name

A father-to-be has been praised for refusing to bow to his wife's demand that they give their unborn daughter a gender-neutral name.

There has been a significant rise in the number of couples giving their babies gender-neutral names. According to The New York Times, from 1985 to 2015 there was an 88 percent increase in the number of parents choosing gender-neutral names in the U.S.

Despite this, the use of gender-neutral names remains a bone of contention among some parents. One such instance was brought to the fore in a Reddit post upvoted 10,400 times on the "Am I The A**hole?" subreddit. Writing under the handle TWBabyname, the would-be dad said he and his wife are expecting a baby girl in June after 8 years together.

Until recently, they had agreed on most things to do with having children. "We have had the baby talk before and we discussed how many we plan on having, where, how far apart in age we would like them to be etc," he wrote. "Names hadn't been an issue until we found out the sex."

When he first learned they were having a girl, he suggested the name Juliet but his wife told him she doesn't want a "traditional girl or boys name" and would rather give the child "a gender neutral name in case our kids ever decide they want to transition."

While her husband said he is not opposed to the idea and thinks there are "some beautiful gender neutral names like Riley" his wife still thinks his suggestions are "more female representing."

He put forward names like "Orion, Violet, Scarlet and Dakota" while she proposed "Hunter, Scout, Payton, Rory, Morgan and Kai." The husband added that he told his wife their efforts could be in vain anyway as "most people who transition end up changing their names to one they identify with."

However, she has insisted they choose a gender-neutral name and has even "threatened" to give him no choice by telling doctors not to ask him for any information related to the child's birth certificate. Though the mother appeared steadfast in her approach, many on social media sided with the husband.

zZombi_ wrote: "Take it from a trans person, your wife is very much overthinking this. Your kid can always change her name whenever she feels like it, so picking a name to be gender neutral won't actually matter that much."

Brownbeanscurry argued that "gender neutrality isn't for everyone." They added: "I know 2 trans people who had beautiful gender-neutral names, but they changed their names to gender-specific ones to further affirm their gender."

Nihil_esque offered up an alternative solution, writing: "Perhaps you should sit down with your wife and choose a feminine, masculine, and gender neutral name? That way if she ever asks 'what name would you have given me if x,' you have an answer for her but she still gets the agency to choose her name for herself."

Affectionate_bit7266 felt the would-be mom had overstepped the mark by shutting down any discussion. "She's removed all compromise from the equation, is refusing proper discussion and has decided its her way (or) the highway," they said. "I think that's super unfair, this is both your child and you should both get a say."

Awkward-Train1584, meanwhile, suggested their approach may do more harm than good. "Some parents think they are being helpful by guiding a child from an early age to not identify with their gender," they wrote. "That is no more helpful than forcing a female who prefers pants, short hair and no make up into dresses and highlights. "

Newsweek has contacted TWBabyname for comment.

Name changes are more common than you think. In a 2017 interview with the Chicago Tribune, author Bruce Lansky who has written books on the subject of names, including "100,000+ Baby Names", estimated that around 50,000 names are changed every year in the U.S.

This may only be the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the transgender community with the National Center for Transgender Equality (NCTE) telling the newspaper that approximately just a third of those who identify as transgender change their names legally.

A dad recently came in for criticism on social media after it was revealed that he refused to look after his son despite the pleas of his ex-wife and girlfriend.

Elsewhere, a woman was ridiculed after she demanded her husband delete a picture of his 5-year-old stepson off his phone amid concerns about who might see the image.

A man and a pregnant woman.
Stock image of a man and a pregnant woman - a husband has been applauded for voicing his opposition to gender neutral names. nd3000/Getty