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Say What? Woman Says Babies Should Be Able To Decide Their Own Gender!


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HE RISE OF “THEYBIES”: HOW PARENTS ARE RAISING CHILDREN IN A GENDERLESS WORLD

If you’ve been reading New York Magazine lately, then you’ve probably caught wind of its latest feature, “It’s a Theyby!”, which looks at several couples who are intentionally — and very thoughtfully — raising their children without assigning gender.

“Is it possible to raise your child entirely without gender from birth?” the tagline asks. “Some parents are trying.”

There’s a lot to unpack here, but basically, the gist of it is this: These parents, known as “gender-creative parents”, know the sex of their child based on anatomy; yet in as many cases as possible, they do not reveal that information to others, lest someone attach a gender label based on their child’s body parts. From birth, these gender-creative kids are given they/them pronouns rather than he/she.

 

So why are the parents doing this?

As Kyl Myers, parent to 2-year-old Zoomer, told New York mag:

“I’m very tired of the heteronormative and cisnormative model. I’m very tired of the patriarchy. A part of why we are parenting this way is because intersex people exist, and transgender people exist, and queer people exist, and sex and gender occur on a spectrum, yet our culture loves to think people, all 7 billion of them, can and should be reduced to either/or.”

Other gender-creative parents worry that their child will be boxed into gender stereotypes. They fear that their full potential will be limited based on someone seeing them as either a boy or a girl, and they want to raise a child without gendered ideas of what to wear, play with, or how to exist — at least for the first few years of childhood.

Chances are, you already have a very strong opinion about all of this, one way or another. But whatever your personal opinion, I think the fact that we are having a conversation about gender identity and raising kids who defy societal gender constraints is a good thing. An incredible thing.

And whether or not you agree with Myers, you gotta admit she’s right — many parents do in fact leave little room for their kids to figure out gender identity on their own.

Often, from the moment a parent sees the sexual anatomy on an ultrasound, there’s the leap to assume that their child’s gender will match their anatomy. From gender reveal parties to over-the-top baby showers doused in pink or blue, there are expectations, ideas, and hopes placed on a child simply by labeling them a girl or a boy — long before they even make their way into the world.

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