Momfluencer flipped when stranger used they pronouns for her kid. It’s all performative outrage.

Bridget Beck
Bridget Beck Photo: Screenshot / TikTock

Have you heard the one about the wannabe mom-fluencer who had a performative meltdown on social media because someone referred to her kid using gender-neutral pronouns?

Back in November, Tampa-based TikTok user Bridget Beck (@bridgetjbeck) posted a video describing an incident that took place while she was shopping with her young son at a local Target.

According to Beck, a couple approached her to gush about how cute her kid is. Here’s how she described the interaction:

Couple: “Oh my goodness they’re so cute! How old are they?”

Beck: “Oh, he is one.”

Couple: “Oh my goodness, they’re so cute.”

Beck: “Aw, thank you. Yes, he is. He is. Thank you.”

You get the picture. The couple continued to ask questions referring to Beck’s kid as “they,” while she continued to respond pointedly using he/him pronouns. The couple even went so far as to compliment Beck on giving her kid a gender-neutral name, “Declan.”

“I’m just annoyed because I get if you wanna be politically correct or if you don’t wanna misgender or whatever. I get it. I mean, I clearly think he looks like a boy, but I get it if you don’t wanna do that. But I’ve literally said four or five times, ‘He’s a boy,’ and you keep saying ‘their, their, their,’” Beck ranted in her TikTok clip. “Am I crazy in thinking, ‘Why are we doing that?’”

Well, Bridget, I would like to posit some potential answers to your questions!

Firstly: Are you crazy? I don’t know if you suffer from any underlying mental health issues and would never presume to diagnose something like that as 1) I don’t know you, and 2) I am not a doctor. But you do seem…unreasonably pressed by this harmless interaction. Maybe consider letting it go? Like, take a few breaths and stop getting all worked up so you can perform pointless outrage for your TikTok followers?

Secondly: Why are we doing that? – i.e., why would someone insist on referring to your one-year-old by gender-neutral pronouns? Here’s a theory: We are all collectively going through something of a paradigm shift wherein many of us have recognized that the reflexive gender binary can be unnecessarily restrictive and, in some cases, extremely detrimental.

Some of us, possibly this couple you encountered for instance, are working hard to normalize not saddling babies and young children with a rigid, fixed gender identity that they may come to reject as they grow older and more self-aware. Your kid is just one! Try as you might to enforce your conception of what Declan’s gender might be, you have no idea how they —yeah, I said it: they — may identify later in life, and you can’t control that. All you can control is whether or not you create an environment in which your kid feels safe, secure, and comfortable enough to express their identity, whatever that may be, as they grow into it.

Maybe that’s all that couple was trying to do. Who knows? Regardless, you definitely need to calm down. And your kid is super cute, by the way.

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