With each passing day, more and more people feel comfortable enough to either identify as ‘gender neutral’ or adopt a gender-neutral lifestyle. This means they do not associate with policies, language, and other social norms that are often distinguished as being ‘male’ or ‘female’.
Now, one Florida mom has come under fire for revealing that she is raising her 11-month-old child as gender-neutral and that she refers to her baby as a “they-by”.
In an interview with Piers Morgan and Susannah Reid on UK breakfast show Good Morning Britain, Ari Dennis, 30, revealed that she and her partner made the decision after their older child, Hazel, came out as non-binary at the age of four, despite being raised as a girl.
Speaking candidly about her 11-month-old, who is named Sparrow, Dennis said: “We do not know what Sparrow’s gender is yet and, as regards to her anatomy, we choose to keep that secret except for a small list of caregivers.”
Dennis also revealed how her household identifies as “transgender”, and how she is currently “in a multi-adult family”. Referring to her family dynamic, Dennis said: “There’s three of us with an eight-year-old and a one-year-old.”
Throughout the interview, Dennis did not reveal the sex of baby Sparrow, and even revealed that the infant’s birth-certificate says “sex-unknown”. Summing up her thoughts, Dennis said:
“All children at this age are unable to understand gender. The child doesn’t have any gender yet.”
Host Piers Morgan then argued that children “don’t have a clue” about gender and that Dennis was simply forcing Sparrow into making a choice about their gender.
Many viewers of the show took to Twitter to echo Morgan’s opinion on the mom’s decision:
Dennis argues that: “If a two-year-old child doesn’t have any ability to conceptualize gender, isn’t it toxic that we’re telling them that they’re a boy or a girl solely because of their anatomy?”
In the interview Dennis, who lives with two people who both identity as transgender, one of whom she is married to, said she would not reveal the gender of her baby and even the birth-certificate says ‘sex-unknown’.
‘I’m in a multi-adult family, there’s three of us with an eight-year-old and a one-year-old. All the adults in our household identify as transgender – I’m legally married to one and in a relationship with another,’ she said.
‘All children at this age are unable to understand gender. The child doesn’t have any gender yet.’
A Facebook group called ‘Parenting Theybies: using they/them/their pronouns for kids from the start’ is creating a community for parents who are raising their children outside of gender binary norms.
The group has been around since 2015 and currently has about 350 members.