Parent Lets Child Create Their Own Gender Identity And Says Experience Has Been ‘Gift’ For Both Parties

Imagine growing up to be whoever you wanted to be with no type of restraints or setbacks standing in your way. You could follow your dreams and live life to the absolute fullest. For one set of parents, they are trying to do just that for their child. A set of parents in Salt Lake City, Utah, have decided to raise their child with no gender. Rather than designating one gender to the child, the parents opted to not disclose that information on the birth certificate, and are raising their kid to be exactly who they want to be. Instead, they refer to their child as gender-neutral as to not impose any preconceived notions or social constructs on their little one.

This is not an uncommon practice, as there are a few influential figures and celebrities that have also opted to raise their children without any set gender, or have allowed their kids to break typical gender norms, like the way they dress. For example, Kate Hudson is raising her child genderless and Charlize Theron has embraced her child identifying as transgender.

Parents Brent Courtney and Dr. Kyl Myers are raising their child named Zoomer as a gender-neutral person, meaning they do not identify their child as either a boy or girl because they want the child to be able to figure out their own identity and decide for themselves. This has given the child time and the chance to explore the gender spectrum without any sort of restrictions, discriminations or stereotypes influencing the child’s development and decision.

Kyl, a sociologist, and Brent, a graphic designer, created a website dedicated to how they are raising Zoomer where they provided resources and educational materials to help people better understand their choice to raise their child without an assigned gender through their gender creative parenting approach. Kyl even wrote a book about her experience raising Zoomer titled “Raising Them.” She didn’t want to erase her child’s gender, but rather the discriminations and stereotypes associated with gender.

Kyl spoke more about how she and Brent came to the decision to raise Zoomer as gender-neutral during a virtual appearance on the Tamron Hall Show. “I know a lot of people who are intersex or transgender or non-binary whose parents didn’t get their gender assignment right when they were born, so we didn’t want to make any assumptions about what our child’s gender would be,” she said. “We just wanted to let them learn about gender and play with gender and wait until they could tell us what their gender identity and pronouns were.”

About the experience, Kyl wrote in Time Magazine, “I wanted to give my child a gift. The gift of seeing people as more than just a gender. The gift of understanding gender as complex, beautiful and self-determined. I hadn’t considered how much of a gift I’d also be giving myself.”

Tamron Hall explained how between the ages of 3 and 5, children typically begin to identify with a particular gender. Kyl also explained how our gender identities can be influenced by many outside sources, like the media and family members, but also by the “magic and uniqueness” that makes us individuals. She and her husband are “honoring and supporting” Zoomer’s choice in figuring out their own identity as they navigate through life.


What do you think about these parents’ approach to raising their child? Let us know, and be sure to pass this along to your friends and family, too!

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