Another gender-reveal party has ended in disaster. In Michigan last week, a 26-year-old man was killed when “a small cannon device” that was being used for a gender reveal at a baby shower exploded, spraying metal shrapnel that struck the man. He was rushed to the hospital, where he later died of his injuries. According to the AP, “three parked cars and the garage where the baby shower was being held were also struck by shrapnel.”
This tragedy is just the latest example of gender reveals going horribly wrong. What were once goofy, gender-reductionist additions to baby showers have become increasingly dangerous and destructive displays involving guns, homemade explosive devices, and in some cases, wild animals. Take the 2017 gender-reveal in Arizona, in which a Border Patrol agent named Dennis Dickey decided to reveal the sex of his baby by shooting a target that was filled with either pink or blue powder, as well as an explosive substance called Tannerite (to really make the reveal pop). Dickey shot at the target in a field of dry brush, and the explosion ended up sparking the 47,000-acre Sawmill wildfire, which would result in $8 million in damages. The next year, a family in Louisiana would go viral for revealing the sex of their child with the help of a live alligator. And in 2019, a 56-year-old Iowa woman died when a homemade explosive device meant to spray either pink or blue powder exploded like a pipe bomb, spraying metal pieces that struck the woman in the head, killing her instantly.