These parents are refusing to tell anyone the sex of their child in a bid to raise them gender neutral.
Kyl and Brent Myer are part of the Gender Creative Parenting movement and have decided to raise their toddler, whose name is Zoomer, in an environment where the pressures of gender stereotypes don’t exist.
It looks like a really, really lovely childhood:
The Utah-based family have made a concious decision not to tell anyone if Zoomer, who they call Z for short, is biologically a girl or a boy.
To get around the sticky issue of limiting prepositions, Kyl and Brent have come up with a great solution, by calling Zoomer their cute little two-year-old ‘theyby’.
Other than the immediate family, the parents said they ‘don’t disclose their sex to people who don’t need to know’.
Brent and I became the parents of Zoomer Coyote two years ago! Every day, we thank our lucky stars that Z is so healthy and happy and full of wonder. We are grateful for our incredible network of family and friends who have made parenting easier and gender creative parenting such a breeze. Thanks to all of you, who we’ve never met in person, but have created a community with. Today is all about Zoomer! Happy Birthday, little Z! We love you! ?
After all, in her blog Raising Zoomer, Kyl explains:
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.
The gender creative kids are alright. Zoomer is happy and healthy and kind, curious, and clever. We are so proud to be Z’s parents and very confident in our parenting decisions. Every parent does what they think is best for their kids. People are uncomfortable with change, that’s ok. But change is coming! Buckle up and enjoy the ride! ❤️
She said she’s leaving the choice up to Zoomer themself:
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.
They made the choice in an attempt to unburden their baby from being ‘pigeon-holed’ as a specific gender.
Developmental psychologists and sociologists have long worried about the damaging effects of gender stereotyping on children, surrounded as they are by messages telling them girls should behave one way and boys another.
Marketers of children’s clothes and toys have finally wised up to the fact they have a big part to play in children’s perception of what makes them them.
It’s not something Kyl and Brent have to worry about with Zoomer, who gets to pick out all their own clothes every day.
Kyl argues her parenting method sparked gender equality in an inspiring TED Talk.
You can watch it, and some of Zoomer’s upbringing, below:
In a sweet Instagram post, Kyl honoured her child’s pioneering sprit saying:
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.
Zoomer Coyote, you’re 18 months old! Everyone comments on how much hair you have. It is an impressive mop. You let me trim your bangs while you eat breakfast. You’ve started signing and saying words. You say “nay” for horse and you say “bird” and “dog” and “milk” and “nana” ?and “aush” for *outside*. When you see Coca-Cola trucks you say “fire trut” and I completely understand why you think that. You LOVE big trucks and buses. You wave to them all and get a little upset when they drive out of sight. Your favorite word though is “dada.” You love your daddy SO much. You also love Dory! ? You have a Dory toy that you look for every time you get in the bathtub and when we’re in the living room you point to the TV and say “Dor!” You have very specific books that you like. You ask us to read “busy school” over and over and when we try to read a new book you say “no” and push it away and open “busy school” back up. Zooms, you love foot massages. When I lay you down to go to bed you stick your leg in the air until I rub it. When we’re sitting on the couch watching TV, your little foot creeps up on to my tummy and you look at me like “whenever you’re ready.” So I massage your little toes for a few minutes and then you climb up and let me hold you for a while. You’re so friendly, honey. You wave to everyone and say “hi” and “bye.” You love to watch people and you’re very interested in babies, which makes me realize you aren’t really a baby anymore. You’re a toddler… and every day you become more independent. I can’t believe how quickly time is flying by. Recently, I made a conscious decision to slow down and really take every moment with you in – from walking at your pace to school, or taking note of how funny it was when you threw your polar bear toy into my plate tonight and rice flew all over me (even though I had to act like it was a little naughty because you can’t be throwing toys at Shanghai Cafe!) You're so silly and adorable and clever and uninhibited. I’m so lucky to be your mom, Zoomer. I love you. ?
The post continued:
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!
You love being outside! You love running and climbing and playing in dirt.
After all, kids are awesome and should be given the chance to be so in their own way:
Hear, hear, Zoomer! You keep doing you!
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A former emo kid who talks too much about 8Chan meme culture, the Kardashian Klan, and how her smartphone is probably killing her. Francesca is a Cardiff University Journalism Masters grad who has done words for BBC, ELLE, The Debrief, DAZED, an art magazine you’ve never heard of and a feminist zine which never went to print.