A New York State father-to-be was tragically killed on Monday, February 22, after an explosive so-called "gender" reveal prop he was building detonated prematurely.
The explosion claimed the life of Christopher Pekny, 28, and injured his brother Michael, 27.
#GenderRevealDeath Sources tell me Chris Pekny was father of the unborn child, was building a “test device” prior… https://t.co/LMhnK3N5tz— Tony Aiello (@Tony Aiello) 1614015269.0
State Trooper Steven Nevel commented the device was only a prototype for the final product Pekny was hoping to build, which would explode with either blue or pink smoke to indicate the biological sex of his new child.
Please please stop making things that explode for gender reveal parties. https://t.co/6EbHPiy8uy— DatNoFact ↗ (@DatNoFact ↗) 1614026322.0
"It wasn't meant to harm anyone. It was just an innocent prop for a gender reveal that went horribly wrong."
If you're wondering the state of America right now, this guy was not even the first American killed during a gender… https://t.co/xpiO2JNdnk— Garrett M. Graff (@Garrett M. Graff) 1614085136.0
Police responded to Pekny's house around noon following reports of an explosion.
A bomb disposal unit is now working with authorities to determine what caused the device to detonate as well as its components.
More proof that not only are gender reveal parties dumb, they are potentially deadly! How tragic. https://t.co/jvZhW0yCmt— Tom Read (@Tom Read) 1614088808.0
Yall, I’m begging you. For so many reasons, please stop having gender reveal parties period & stop having any parti… https://t.co/yeofMB0ZFZ— Dr. Sami Schalk (@Dr. Sami Schalk) 1614093416.0
A police press release stated:
"State Police Liberty responded to a residence on the Lt. JG Brender Highway in the town of Liberty for a report of an explosion."
"This incident remains under investigation by the New York State Police and the New York State Police Bomb Disposal Unit."
PSA. There have been more deaths from gender reveal parties in 2021 than from shark attacks.— Joan Westenberg (@Joan Westenberg) 1614080062.0
Pekny's family, who own The Robinhood Diner in Livingston Manor, New York are understandably shaken by the freak accident.
On the diner's Facebook page, they left the message:
"We are deeply saddened and must inform you all of the loss of our dear and beloved Christopher. The Robin Hood will be closed for the immediate future."
I will never in a million years understand how America has a gender reveal death toll. If you must share what gende… https://t.co/aXLZWo3uzJ— Melissa Ryan (@Melissa Ryan) 1614032018.0
This incident is the latest in a series of unfortunate tragedies caused by gender-reveal stunts gone wrong.
The practice itself is garnering increasing pushback as archaic, tacky and inaccurate. Science and medicine have long recognized the visible genitals these parties celebrate only indicate the probable biological sex of the child, not their gender.
The parties ignore the existence of intersex people. And gender—being a social construct—cannot be determined by any ultrasound.
Prenatal ultrasounds guess at the sex of the child, not their gender. The child will determine their own gdnder.
"We've seen these (accidents) happening around the country and 'Don't do it' is the only thing I can say."