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Florida Parents Excited To Raise A Gender Neutral "Theyby"

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When a couple first finds out they are pregnant they are overwhelmed. Life is about to change in a big way. Outside all the regular fears --like their health, the expense, the sheer amount of work it takes -- it's impossible not to start planning out rooms and outfits, names and what kinds of toys you'll buy.

For years, most of those questions have been largely determined by a baby's gender. Having a boy? It's a blue room. Having a girl? Pink onesies are in your future. What's between your baby's legs, not their personal likes, decides what toys they'll have growing up, is it a doll or is it an action figure?

The term "gender-neutral" has not been met with neutrality. It's a term that now sparks fierce debate in millions of people around the globe. From bathrooms to babies, everyone has an opinion.

A Florida family is proud to be raising a "gender-neutral" baby, what they call a "theyby."

"We did not assign a sex at birth which means when they were born, they had genitals, we know what they are, we just chose to acknowledge that those genitals don't indicate anything about gender," said Ari Dennis, one of the parents of the newborn theyby, 11-month-old Sparrow.

Gender-identity is not an easy topic to wrap your head around. Most of us have never really felt out of place with our assigned-gender at birth. You might "feel like a man" after chopping some wood, but that has more to do with what society expects from men rather than how you personally feel. That makes it tough to empathize with transgendered people.

Some transgendered people have described it like this: sex is determined by biology, gender is determined later. Many trans people face emotional hardship and a feeling of "not belonging" when they are forced into a gender that doesn't represent who they are.

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Forcing is often times just the quiet expectation that because their sex is one thing, their gender is also that. Sometimes it's more complicated than that.

This is what Sparrow's parents are trying to avoid.

"We are in no way prohibiting Sparrow from having a gender, and we're not forcing them to be one gender or another," Dennis said.

People are sure to have a reaction to the way Sparrow's parents are going about things.

"There's no way this can go wrong," Dennis said. "People will be like 'Oh the child will be confused!' No. If gender is really something in you, then no one's going to change that."

Dennis runs a Facebook page with much more information on the topic of gender. You can visit it here.

While Sparrow's example is very direct, some parents have taken a more subtle way to encourage their child to be themselves. Whether that be allowing them to play with all manners of toys or encouraging varied interests.

[H/T: ABC]

We all have opinions and new, complicated things like gender identity aren't easy subjects to talk about. At the end of the day however, Sparrow has parents that are committed to loving and taking care of them, if all babies could have such a welcoming home there'd be a lot less heartache in the world.

I've been writing for Shared for 6 years. Along with my cat Lydia, I search for interesting things to share with you! You can reach me at Tristan@shared.com.