When a Mom is expecting, one question she’s always asked is, “What gender will the baby be?”
It’s a pretty standard question and an important one! The answer makes everything easier – decorating the nursery, buying clothes, selecting toys, the list goes on.
However, we’ve recently become accustomed to the phrase gender-neutral. It’s usually used by a person who is describing themselves in this way. Now though, there are Moms who have decided to raise their children without gender.
There are a variety of reasons Moms make this decision. Perhaps, they don’t want their child to feel the need to adapt to social expectations, or it could be a more personal reason.
While it’s great for Moms to be open-minded while raising their child in a way they feel is best, some of their family members might not feel this is a good decision.
Meet 10 Moms who are raising their children to be genderless and hear what their families have to say about their decision.
Kyl Myers made the decision to raise her child gender-neutral. Kyl and her husband have kept Zoomer’s gender top secret from everyone, including Kyl’s parents.
However, Zoomer’s grandparents have strong feelings about this. It’s not that they’re against their daughter’s decision to raise their grandchild gender-neutral. They just feel left out.
It’s easy to understand why they feel this way. For starters, their generation did not grow up with gender neutrality.
On a personal level though, Zoomer’s grandparents feel like they’re missing out on specific bonding experiences with their grandchild.
For Calli Glorioso-Mays and her husband Caleb, they have received negative feedback from both friends and family about their decision.
The couple made it clear they planned to raise their children gender neutral so they grow up never “seeing their sex as a hindrance or excuse.”
Most of the negative feedback they have received wasn’t from a place of disagreement. It was mostly from a place of confusion. People are having trouble understanding why they would let their son wear a bow in his hair.
Everyone raises their child the best way they know-how. Calli is doing what she thinks is right for her children, regardless of the confusion it causes within her friends and family.
For Mom Beck Laxton, her family and that of her partner’s has been nothing but understanding and compassionate. Perhaps this is because they haven’t kept their child’s gender a complete secret from them.
Only a select few family members were actually told about the gender of their child. This allowed family members to feel included in the child’s life and not be completely left in the dark.
The decision for gender-neutral comes from not wanting their son to be “influenced by society’s prejudices and preconceptions.”
Katy Chatel’s family and friends told her that she “better like yellow because everything you’re gonna get will be yellow unless you fess up.”
When she made the choice to raise her child gender-neutral – friends and family weren’t so understanding.
She believes that “individuals should be free to express gender as they see fit” which means she’s allowing her child to choose a gender.
Apparently, it hasn’t been easy for Katy to deal with the lack of compassion she’s faced for her decision. Hopefully, as time goes on her family and friends will adjust to her decision and support her.
Julia and Nate Sharpe’s family has been pretty supportive of their choice to raise their children gender-neutral. However, they have run across one problem.
Their relatives are having trouble dealing with “the whole pronoun thing.” Upon learning she was pregnant Julia had trouble deciding whether or not she would find out the gender of her twins.
A lot of this had to do with what Julia experiences at work. As a female engineer, her field is mostly male-dominated.
Therefore, she understands the constraints of gender expectation firsthand. Not everyone in the family is understanding of the Sharpe’s decision to keep the gender of their children private. In addition, many people in their lives struggle with they/them pronouns.
Not every family has trouble with children being gender neutral though. Miranda has decided to raise her child gender neutral and refers to them as “hen.”
Miranda had trouble dealing with gender stereotypes. She struggles with people saying stuff like “you’re my big strong boy, or aren’t you a cute little princess?” to her child. Therefore, she decided to raise her child gender-less.
She shared that her family is extremely understanding about what to call her child. In addition, they are careful about what pronouns to use as well.
For a Mom who blogs at Twin Cities, she has only had positive experiences when it came to announcing she’d raise her children gender-neutral.
She realized after giving birth to her son that gender truly did not matter. Initially, she admits that she thought gender did matter. However, she quickly realized that “color, clothes, and toys do not have genders” therefore, she decided gender would be neutral in her house.
Gender is so neutral in fact, that her son and daughter are free to play with what they please! “Our daughter has been helping in Daddy’s workshop since before she could walk…our son likes to get into my lipstick while I am in the shower.”
This story that took place in Canada is a fairly famous one. Storm Stocker-Witterick’s Mom and Dad decided they were going to raise her gender-neutral.
Many people are under the impression that since their child is so young, they will follow along with being raising gender-less. However, sometimes children surprise us and make their own decisions.
Storm told her parents when she was just five years old that she was in fact, a girl. Despite being raised without a gender, Storm was able to decide how she wanted to identify.