Why We’re Raising Our Kid/s Gendered

We are not raising this child genderless. We refer to our child as their assigned sex. When people ask “Is it a boy or a girl?” we answer how most people would consider correctly, we use gendered pronouns. Some parents have raised their child without a gender, such as Pop in Sweden and Storm in Canada. I personally don’t think those are the only two instances, just the only two that have made it to press. However, that is not what we’re doing.

Ideally, this is what my partner and I would like to do. We have no interest in pushing our child away from their assigned sex, as many people who oppose genderless raising would claim, we don’t want to push them in any gendered direction. It would be incredibly foolish for trans people to think that we can have any effect on what gender this child is, the only effect we can have is on how comfortable they feel with who they are. If this child is cisgender, they will be whether we raise them telling them what their gender is or not. If this child is transgender, they will be even if we try to tell them otherwise.

It just wasn’t something we were comfortable with doing right now. There is virtually no support of the idea of raising a child genderless, it would mean a constant struggle. Cisgender parents in a mixed sex relationship who do so get accused of child abuse, “political correctness gone too far”, etc. At the same time, queer parents who raise their children to conform to gender norms still get accused of “corrupting” their children. Transgender parents raising a child genderless? That isn’t going to go over too well with most people.

We are not activists, we just want to live our lives. Having to constantly give a speech defending our decision and explaining why we made it, opening ourselves up to that scrutiny and criticism- that takes a lot of work and thick skin.

There’s also the issue that, well, we aren’t really sure how much it actually matters. As I said- I don’t expect that anything we do will change what gender this child is, all we can do is effect how comfortable that child is with their own gender. Because they have trans parents, they’re going to know about transgenderism and that there are little boys who grow up to be women and little girls who grow up to be men and kids of all sorts who grow up to be non-binary. Conventional wisdom in the trans community is that children can start expressing their gender by 2 years old, too. By the time the child goes to school they will likely have told us what they are. If they’re cisgender and have fairly normative presentation- that’s easy enough. If they aren’t, we’ll figure that out when the time comes.

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One Response to Why We’re Raising Our Kid/s Gendered

  1. Pingback: How terrible it is for our children to be like us | Life with my Sapling

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