BOSTON GLOBE – By now, the world is familiar with Kristin and Tom Cressotti’s gender reveal party. Maybe you’ve seen the video?
It captures Tom Cressotti, a real estate appraiser with a party vibe, getting hit in the crotch by a smoke bomb, dropping in pain in his backyard, covered in blue powder (it’s a boy!), as an off-screen guest yells, “No need for a vasectomy!”
But there was a time before the footage went viral, before a media company paid the couple $1,200 for film rights, and strangers on the Internet started telling them they don’t deserve children, when Kristin Cressotti was just an expectant mother inviting her family to a bit of festivity in the otherwise dark summer of 2020.
Her grandmother wanted to come, but what, she wondered, is a gender reveal?
Then, after learning it was a party to announce the gender of an unborn child, she had a second question: Why?
We’ll get to grandma’s question. But as the gender reveal death toll mounts — yes, there’s an international gender reveal death toll — what can be said is this:
Some people consider having a child exciting enough, and others think the news needs to be amped up, by shooting off a cannon with pink or blue smoke, perhaps, or piercing a confetti-filled balloon with a crossbow.
At some gender reveal parties, the expectant parents do the revealing. At others, the parents themselves learn the gender — when they cut into a cake with a blue or pink center, for example, which has been baked by a friend or family member who has been empowered to get the information.
Already this year the trend has claimed three lives. In February, an expectant father in New York was killed, and his brother seriously injured, when a device they were building for a gender reveal exploded.
In late March, a pilot and copilot hired to announce “it’s a girl” died when their plane plummeted into a lagoon off Cancun …