More and more people are starting to raise their kids gender-neutral because we are educating ourselves and learning that what we learnt about gender and sexuality as kids is a very limited view of the world. If you are a Gen Z like me or if you are a millennial, we are known as the queerest generation ever, and this is why more people who are having kids today aren’t forcing a label on their kids.
They allow their kids to play with whatever toys they want and dress in whatever clothes they want. Because it is just pieces of plastic and cloth at the end of the day, and this doesn’t dictate anything about how your kid will identify. Raising your kids gender-neutral won’t turn them queer; it just means that your kids might want to be open about their gender identity and sexuality with you.
So without further ado, let’s get into this blog and learn what it means to raise your kids gender-neutral.
What is gender-neutral parenting?
In the US, parents can opt for the gender label “X” on their birth certificate, which can be a good start to raise your kids gender-neutral. You can do this in only 6 states so far, and you can only do this in New Jersey, California, Oregon, Colorado, Washington, and Michigan. You can also do this If you live in New York City or Washington DC.
Just like any form of parenting system, gender-neutral parenting can take many forms, but in laypeople’s terms, it means raising your kids without fixing any gender roles on them and letting them play or dress however they want. This teaches them that gender is taught and ascribed, and we need to deconstruct this.
Also, what is the obsession of trying to want to know what is between someone’s leg? To quote Simone De Beauvoir, “On ne nait pas femme: on le devient,” which is literally translated into one isn’t born, but rather becomes, a woman. Here she highlights the fact that the binary of man/woman is created within a social vacuum and is not natural.
Where to start?
Most experts advise to start gender-neutral parenting as early as possible, and this might be by choosing a gender-neutral or androgynous color (mustard or canary yellow are great choices) for your child’s nursery avoiding toys that have a particular gender slant, or providing them with toys that are considered male and female and letting them decide which one they want to play with.
Their early experience inherently shapes the way your child’s brain develops, and this is why you should of your best to inculcate a sense of love and confidence no matter what they wear or look like. It is important to note that color and certain phrasing like daddy’s little princess can create and generate some gender bias before the kids can conceptualize their self-identity.
On a side note, things considered feminine now were in most cases considered masculine in the past, including the color pink and high heels. So, before you tell me that pink is for girls, let’s look back at history and look at how the color pink was coded in the past. Language changes, and so does the notion of what is masculine and feminine.
The effect of gender-neutral parenting on your children’s personality and sexuality
To properly understand gender-neutral parenting, you should understand the biases that are associated with the binary view of gender. So, teach your kids that crying is totally natural, and they shouldn’t be afraid of showing their emotions. Violence is never the key to solving any issues, and compassion and understanding are the building blocks of building a better society.
For far too long, we have fostered girls and taught them that it was okay to show their emotions, and we didn’t foster boys enough, and we taught them that showing their emotions is not masculine. We need to allow kids to play with whatever toys they want because, at the end of the day, it is just a piece of plastic and nothing else. A doll won’t make your son queer, nor your daughter playing with a truck.
According to the Pediatrics Journal, the majority or 85% of kids who grew up with gender-neutral parents or gender-nonconforming kids identify as straight by the time they entered adulthood. This shows that no matter how you raise your kids gender-neutral or conform to the rigid binary, this doesn’t make them straight or queer because one is born straight or queer, which has been proven by science.
Sound off in the comments section below and tell us what you want to read next.