. . . and ‘theyby’ makes three
New York magazine features parents who are raising “theybys” — children whose biological sex is kept a mystery, so they can avoid boy-girl stereotypes. It’s called gender-creative, gender-open or gender-affirming parenting, reports Alex Morris.
Type #gendercreative into Instagram and there are posts from families from Louisiana to Tokyo. And for all these families, there is a timeline, if not an end point: Most children gender-identify well before they leave preschool. “Zoomer is going to have a gender,” (Kyl) Myers says. “They are going to let us know what their gender is, and it will probably happen when they’re 3 or 4. And we can all just get onboard, you know.” . . . “Around 3, our kid was just like, ‘I’m a girl,’?” says one gender-open parent from the Pacific Northwest (who asked to remain anonymous). “And we said, ‘Oh, yay, we’ve always wanted a girl. You’re amazing. Welcome.’?” Yet they were surprised that, even growing up in a household of expansive gender expression, their daughter’s concept of “girl-ness” included many social cues from the outside world. “When this child said ‘girl,’ let me tell you, that meant all these things that were pink and glittery and made of tulle,” the parent explains. “But she’s taught me that feminine is feminist, and she can do things that other people might say are ‘boyish,’ but she redefines them as ‘girlish.’?”
Sometimes, the grandparents aren’t told the baby’s sex, until they’ve mastered the new pronouns and got with the program.
Our new granddaughter has a unisex first name, though she’s no Zoomer, Sojourner or Storm. Her parents assure us she’ll be a girl — a singular girl — unless and until she decides otherwise.