Can parents raise gender neutral babies? Yes! And they’re calling them 'theybies'

After seeing a video on Facebook, appropriately and hilariously titled, Always be my theyby, not only did I have Mariah stuck in my head the entire day, I also got to thinking, contemplating, even considering, raising a theyby.

Yes, you heard me correctly. It’s the one and only label we’ll give our children, regardless of their sex, as we raise them gender neutral until they are old enough (after 4 years old) to decide their gender for themselves.


Are you raising your child gender neutral? Would you? Send us your stories and thoughts to chatback@parent24.com and we may publish it on the site.


So after his question of how we can possibly ignore the biological reality of a boy being a boy and a girl being a girl, author, journalist, news analyst and mother of two Cathy Areu explains to Carlson Tucker for Fox News that it’s not about reality, but “perception”.

She explains, “So around 0 to 4 we are not going to say to a little female girl “You’re a little princess”, or to a boy, “You’re such tiger”. The labels are gone. You’re not going to put that outside influence on a child. You’re just going to be neutral. Everything’s going to be neutral.”

And this includes neither using ‘he’ or ‘his’ and ‘she’ or ‘hers’ – only ‘them’ and ‘theirs’.

Watch the full video and debate below:

Parents who fully believe in the movement want to raise their children so they don't have the pressure of fitting into any particular mould that undoubtedly has an influence on what they, or rather, society, thinks they should wear, act and even what they should play with. At such a young age particular body parts shouldn’t define their gender, which in turn decides whether or not they can pick a doll off the toy shelves or a little fire engine.

We've written about the difference between sex and gender before.

Kyl Myers, “gender creative” parent to 2-year-old Zoomer, her precious theyby, explains that her decision to raise her child gender neutral came from understanding that while we have biological differences that determine our sex, gender is a social construct. And it’s not about raising genderless children, but showing them the world out there when they’re born and letting them decide, when they're old enough, where they fit into that world and on the spectrum.

“I’m very tired of the heteronormative and cisnormative model. I’m very tired of the patriarchy,” explains Myers. “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.”

As a result, Myers says while she doesn’t make everything and everyone gender neutral, she won’t necessarily address a man or a woman on the street as a him or her when talking to Zoomer.

“I will typically say something like, ‘That person does have a beard like Dada,’ but I’m not going to say, ‘Yup, that’s a dad,’ because that would be assuming the person’s gender identity. We’re laying the foundation for having more complex conversations in the future. All I can do now is narrate the world how I want them to experience it,” she says, and note the “them” pronoun when she’s speaking about Zoomer.

We understand and we’re fully on board with throwing gender stereotypes right out the metaphorical box with the glass ceiling society’s placed us in. I mean, if my daughter wants a batman costume for Halloween, best believe I’m going to make a batmobile out of cardboard boxes and stay up all night stitching down my black spanx.

But I'm also, admittedly, not sure if I’ll be able to fully commit to abandoning ‘her’ and embracing ‘them’. I think there are ways to be gender neutral and encourage our kids to be their best selves, without abandoning particular pronouns altogether.

Whatever my and your thoughts are though, it’s each to their own. That is, as long as you promise, no matter what you, he or she chooses, they will always be your baby theyby.

Are you raising your child gender neutral? Would you? Send us your stories and thoughts to chatback@parent24.com and we may publish it on the site.

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