A COUPLE who vowed to keep their baby’s gender secret so the child can decide later are Extinction Rebellion eco-warriors – with the dad praising the group’s “civil disobedience”.
Chanti Annette Humphrey – known as Hobbit – and Jake England-Johns kept the sex of 14-month-old Anoush from their parents for almost a year.
Chanti is also known as Hobbit[/caption]
The couple, who are circus performers and live on a houseboat in Keynsham, near Bath, call Anoush “they” instead of “he” or “she”.
Jake, 35, praised Extinction Rebellion‘s “civil disobedience” on his Facebook page and bragged about protests having “swarmed” London in April.
Chanti, 38, has the group’s logo on one of her Facebook pics, and shared posts advertising a “general strike for climate” and “mass civil disobedience” at a “paint the streets” eco-rally.
In one Facebook post, Jake shares a message calling for “backup” to “block removal” of an Extinction Rebellion truck used during the group’s Waterloo Bridge demonstrations in April.
EXTINCTION REBELLION SUPPORTERS
In another, he uploads a video of protesters being arrested, posting “huge love and respect to those willing to give up their civil liberties for our future”.
He also writes: “It’s been great day of civil disobedience across London. As a family and community we swarmed circus in the streets.
“Lots of awareness raised but just the beginning of the journey to getting the government to tell the truth and take action regarding the #climatecrisis.”
The eco-warrior has also posted: “Does anyone have a push chair we could borrow for next weekend? Accidentally left ours in Banbury and might not be able to get it back till next week.”
WHO ARE EXTINCTION REBELLION?
- Extinction Rebellion describes itself as a non-violent direct action and civil disobedience group.
- Its eco-warriors have demanded that the Government declares a climate emergency.
- They want politicians to take urgent action on climate change and wildlife declines.
- In particular, the activists want the UK to reduce its carbon emissions to “zero by 2025” and do more to “remove the excess of atmospheric greenhouse gases”.
- On April 15, the environment “rebels” launched a range of attention-grabbing tactics to gain headlines, and prompt politicians into taking action to “avoid irreversible climate change and ecological collapse”.
- The activists brought parts of busy London to a standstill with widespread demonstrations earlier this year.
- They blocked busy routes around Marble Arch, Oxford Circus, Parliament Square and Waterloo Bridge.
Extinction Rebellion’s protests brought chaos to London’s streets earlier this year.
Activists blocked routes in Marble Arch, Oxford Circus, Parliament Square.
Jake and Chanti dress Anoush in both male and female clothing and let them play with any toys they choose.
The pair say their methods avoid “unconscious bias” on gender and will allow the child to pick their sex when they are older.
They spoke about raising their child on the BBC’s Inside Out programme last night.
Chanti said: “When I got pregnant, we had a discussion about how we were going to mitigate the unconscious bias.
“We figured the only way we could do that was just not to tell people.. and create this little bubble for our baby to be who they are.
“Eventually they will get told by somebody that pink is only for girls and blue is only for boys, and you can’t play with that because you are a particular sex.
“That’s still a thing that happens these days. We’re just trying to protect Anoush from that.”
Hobbit said her mum Camille found their way of doing things difficult at first and only discovered her grandchild’s biological gender after 11 months by changing nappies.
Camille told the programme: “It’s a learning curve. I grappled with what to call them, and hated when I slipped into ‘it’ and then sometimes calling them ‘he’ and sometimes ‘she’.
“But, over time, it became embedded and they became ‘they’.”
Jake said he is regularly asked if Anoush is a boy or girl. But he added: “We are quite good now at holding space for people’s discomfort in us saying, ‘Actually, we don’t tell anyone, we’re not telling anyone for now’.
“We’re just letting Anoush be a baby.”
The show, on BBC One in the West last night and available on iPlayer, follows the news that people will be able to choose their gender on the next official census in 2021.
Extinction Rebellion protesters blocked London’s street earlier this year causing severe travel disruption[/caption]
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