These parents refuse to tell anyone whether their child is a boy or a girl
By 2018, we've come a long way with regards to how we treat gender. The idea that all girls should love pink and play with Barbies, while boys love the color blue and G.I. Joe is quickly becoming a thing of the past. While much of the world is coming to terms with these new ways of thinking, there are some more radical ideas that not everyone is on board with.
Kyl and Brent Myer are part of the Gender Creative Parenting movement and have decided to do something with their child that few else have done. They decided to raise their toddler, named Zoomer, in an environment where they aren't forced to assign themselves a particular gender, with none of the pressures of gender stereotypes.
The Utah couple made a conscious decision to not tell anyone, except their immediate family, whether Zoomer (Z for short) is biologically female or male. Seeing as they "don't disclose their sex to people who don't need to know," then what do they refer to Z as?
Well, the word they use to refer to the two-year-old is "theyby".
In her blog, Raising Zoomer, Kyl writes:
"The sex does not tell us anything about the child’s personality, temperament, favourite colour, dietary preferences, sense of humour, attitudes toward climate change, or any of their other unique traits.
"Just like the fact they have two arms doesn’t tell us anything else about them, except they have two arms."
"Zoomer will most likely choose a gender by the time they are three or four. We simply don’t believe that is our decision to make on their behalf.
"By not revealing their sex, and by treating them in a gender creative way, Z will have the freedom to explore and create their own identity, outside of the restrictions and expectations of traditional gender norms."
Neither parent wants their child to be "pigeon-holed" as a specific gender, so rather than making their child go one way or the other, they have let Z make their own decision.
Developmental psychologists and sociologists have expressed worries in the past that gender stereotyping can have harmful effects on children as they grow up, so it's their belief that this will benefit them in the long run.
Kyl even spoke about how her parenting method relates to gender equality in a TED Talk, which you can watch below:
In an Instagram post, Kyl described how much she loves Z personality, all the way down to how they give them little input into what they wear each day:
"You like to pick out your own outfits. Today you chose a black and blue The Secret Life of Pets shirt that our Instagram friends, Braden & Casper, gave you for Christmas, and some hand-me-down hot pink pants with stars on them.
"You chose one purple-stripey sock and one pink-stripey sock and some glittery leopard print boots. You got style, kid."
"You’re very silly and love making mommy and daddy laugh. You run and jump and spin and roll and slide. You keep us on our toes for sure!"
While I'm sure many won't agree with Kyl and Brent's decision with their child, I'm certainly curious how Zoomer will turn out without being told what gender they should identify as.