|Photo by Tim Mossholder.|
Ever since I found out it was a thing, I was confused about what it means to raise someone gender neutral. It seemed likely to me that it could be anything from calling your child 'they' and refusing to let anyone know their sex (so that they couldn't turn around and gender the kiddo) to simply buying them toys from both the pink and blue sections of the store.
One thing was for sure: other people seemed the freak the heck out about the concept, whatever it was.
So this Vice article about what it's like to be raised gender neutral is pretty great. It talks to both parents who are trying to raise their kids gender neutral and some of the kids.
The first thing I realized is that none of these parents avoided traditionally gendered pronouns or hid their child's sex from the world. They literally just let their kids take the lead in what kinds of toys and clothes they wore, avoided gender-restricting sayings (like "man up"), and had open conversations with their kids about gender and other people's expectations of them.
It seems like the biggest issue for these kids is going back and forth between their safe-haven homes and the big bad world where other kids, teachers, and parents would try to force them back into their pink and blue boxes.
That makes sense. I mean, I have always gotten annoyed being told I couldn't do something because I was a girl. Imagine how much more annoying that would be if I were raised to not pay attention to those differences in the first place? PRETTY FREAKING ANNOYING.
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