It is with a heavy heart we announce that straight people are at it again. Following on from such classics as the couple who accidentally burned down 47,000 acres of land following a gender reveal stunt gone wrong, or the couple who, less dramatically but still very weirdly, chose to announce the sex of their unborn child with a blue lasagne, this week has seen a new instance of the trend go viral. The video, taken from Tik Tok and posted on Twitter by filmmaker Ana Bretón, was filmed at the Capital of Texas zoo, in Austin.

It shows two expectant parents, Bridgette and Jonathan Joseph, chucking a watermelon into pygmy hippo Tank’s mouth. When the hippo bites down, the watermelon explodes to reveal that it is filled with blue, food-coloured jelly – it’s a boy! Most gallingly of all, Joseph reacts to this news by exclaiming: ‘YES…thank god!’ Journalist Tori Bedford commented: ‘I just hate whenever it’s a boy and the parents go “thank god” :/’ Publicist Danny Deraney agreed, tweeting: ‘The joy on his face knowing it’s going to be a boy is simply the worst. Along with making a hippo behind a gated fence eating a food coloring watermelon.’

Gender reveal parties are hardly a hallowed tradition: in fact, they only date back as far as 2008, when lifestyle blogger Jenna Karvunidis revealed the gender of her unborn child via two coloured cup cakes — which by today’s standards is the height of restraint and tastefulness. Karvunidis now feels as though she’s created a monster. Describing gender reveal parties as having ‘exploded into crazy’, she wrote on a 2019 Facebook post: ‘Who cares what gender the baby is? ‘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.’ As funny as it might be laughing at Americans accidentally committing grand arson, it would also be nice if more people adopted this more nuanced view of gender.

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