The Facebook post starts out like they normally do. "Boy or girl?" it reads. Pictures of a couple, dressed in pink and blue, hands on her pregnant belly, looking so in love. There's a cake with a blue and pink question mark on top. But then, what's that giant cardboard box in the background? Suddenly, someone springs out of it, and you realize that this is no ordinary gender reveal celebration.
Love Gwaltney and her family, who live in Ohio, threw this incredible gender reveal party for Grey, her 17-year-old non-binary trans-masculine son. "The first thing we wonder about when we get pregnant...is, is it a boy or girl," her Facebook post reads. "We throw parties, we pick out names. And MOST of the time, that works out perfectly fine."
"But sometimes, we force these expected characteristics based off biological sex, and *gasp* we've gotten it wrong," the post continues. And then, the announcement: "We wanted to announce that we got it wrong 17 years ago when we told the world we were having a little girl, and named that child McKenzie.
"So, we'd like to introduce you to our SON: Grey. He's much like any other 17-year-old nerdy boy, stays up way too late gaming, hates showering, and eats too much junk food. We will be referring to Grey with he/him pronouns from here on out, but he told us to tell you that he also doesn't mind if you use they/them."
The post continues, "The colors of the balloons we chose for Grey match the non-binary pride flag, and the cake layers are those that represent transgender bodies, for those that are wondering. No we're not buying him a lifted truck. Yes, we will be buying him some new clothes."
Love told The Huffington Post that Grey came out to her and stepdad Brandon a few months ago. The family wasn't sure how to best send the news out to friends and family, and Grey was a little nervous about it, so they decided to "add some levity" by throwing a gender reveal party.
Grey was excited about the idea, and that's when it took off! It just happened to happen while Love was pregnant herself. "I'm in a few pregnancy groups and keep seeing gender reveals," she said. "I knew this would be a fun tongue-in-cheek way to announce."
"The more we talked about it the more excited he got," Love told TODAY Parents. But he was nervous about telling certain family members, like his grandmother. "I was like, it's all going to be OK," Love said. "You've got this."
And it turns out that their family took it really well! Love said that they've promised to "do their best" to use the right pronouns. Although the post was originally just for family and friends, it's gone viral and attracted countless heartwarming messages. Some heartbreaking ones too.
"I've gotten so many from people in the trans community about how they wish they had a parent that was as accepting and loving as me," Love said. "Apparently I'm doing it right because people are telling me, 'You are the mom that everyone needs."
Of course, the post has attracted some messages of hate, but Grey and the rest of his family have been able to drown out the hurtful comments and focus on all the positivity it has garnered. "What a beautiful, loving, happy family!" one person wrote. "Congrats to you all, especially Grey, on being your real selves and loving one another."
Love wants to urge other parents of trans and non-binary kids to be supportive of their child and not see their coming out as a loss of any kind. "You're not losing a daughter or a son, they're just evolving into the best version of themselves," she said. "My husband and I have a saying: We'd rather support our kids no matter what, and they later change their mind, than to not support them, and have to spend the rest of our lives knowing we failed them."