Kori Doty: 1, Piers Morgan: 0.
On a recent episode of Good Morning Britain, the Slocan Valley parent of what could be the world’s first officially non-gendered child defended their choice and skewered the British hosts’ logic in a segment that has been now shared wildly on social media.
In one exchange, Morgan complains about Doty’s use of the word “they” as a pronoun, calling it confusing.
“It has actually been used as a singular pronoun in English since the time of Chaucer,” Doty replied, after scolding him for asking inappropriately invasive questions about their body.
“The genital configuration and surgical history of trans people is not actually the issue on the table … When I was born, I was assigned female but that doesn’t mean I was born a girl.”
Morgan said “I identify as a man” and asserted that most people are happy with the gender binary. He then expressed concern that Doty’s child Searyl will have “absolutely zero identity until it decides what it wants to be.”
“Operating in that way is operating from the expectation that not being trans is the default, and being trans is weird,” said Doty, adding that guessing a child’s gender at birth is problematic in the longer term.
“I don’t believe people who are trans are the only ones who have to figure out that part of themselves then go back and say ‘the guess was wrong.’”
But what, Morgan asked, if Searyl grows up to identify as a monkey?
“We’re talking about gender, not species,” Doty said. “They are a human being, I’m raising them as a human being.”
Morgan concluded the interview there, saying, “We have reached a point of consensus. We both agree you’re raising a human being.”
Reflecting on the exchange after the fact, Doty told the Star that, “I’ve been having conversations with rude, ignorant people for over a decade. Doing it in front of a camera with an audience is new, but I’ve had a lot of practise.”
This isn’t the first time Morgan has challenged trans and non-binary people, Doty said.
“He’s been doing this as a thing, where he says really rude things, so it wasn’t hard for me to figure out that was what I was walking into.”
Doty has been overwhelmed by the headlines and media attention, but has a support network that has made life a bit easier.
“Life with an eight-month-old in a heat wave is already pretty busy. On the time management side of things, I’m very grateful for the team of people who exist around me and are helpful with filtering hate mail out of my inbox and taking my kid for a walk when I’m doing media appearances,” they said.
“I’ve lived in the Slocan Valley for five years, and it’s an extraordinary place to make a home and build a community.”
Longer term, they’re confident they’re making social progress.
“There is way more support, and even friendly curious ignorance. I’ve been getting media requests and messages of support, and those far outweigh the negative press and trolls and hate mail. It feels very evident that this is a situation where in the big picture, love will always win.”