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A Sex Therapist Mother Is Raising Her Child As Gender-Neutral In Order To ‘Protect Them’

Gender Neautral 1

So 2018.

In the year 2018, it seems like gender is officially over.

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Whilst I’m sure that many people will have issue with that statement and we can all debate about it until the cows come home, one woman who is buying into the idea is 32 year old Kristin Hambridge from Boston, USA who has decided to raise her child as gender neutral in order to protect them in the future. The decision to let three year old Jackson decide for himself what gender he wants to identify as is fully supported by her 36 year old husband Nick as well.

Kristin had this to say about her decision:

The other day, Jackson said to me, ‘I’m a boy, but when I grow up I’ll be a lady with a nose ring.

I have a nose ring, so it may just have been a cute mother/baby moment, but I made sure I didn’t discourage him in case that’s what he actually wants.

I didn’t realise until I became a mum how gendered our culture is, and the expectations that then puts on a child.

At the moment I’ll call Jackson my son, because that’s what he identifies as.

But I’ve let him know that it may not always be that way, and if he did one day decide he identified more as female, I’d respect that and adjust accordingly.

I’m raising him gender-neutral as much as I can, though. I always correct people when they use gendered language around him.

I don’t like people calling him ‘little man’ or having that ‘boys will be boys’ mentality.

I was actually quite worried about the baby shower. You see lots of gender reveals and that sort of thing, where if it’s a boy it’s all blue, trucks and dinosaurs, and if it’s a girl, it’s all pretty and pink.

I really didn’t want that, so I sent an email to guests beforehand to say my baby is male, but asking that they don’t give us any nonsense boyish gifts.

Instead, we went for a rainbow theme.

Gender Neautral 2

I’ve raised him not to assume anybody’s gender. Right now, he identifies as a boy, but at his age, that’s something that’s very black and white.

There may come a day when that doesn’t fit and I want him to know there’s no problem with that.

There is such a knock-on effect to this sort of stereotyping. It creates such a rigid idea of gender.

Boys feel like they can’t express themselves and be vulnerable, because they’re taught to be tough and heroic, whereas girls are told it’s wrong to be outgoing or outspoken. There’s a disproportionate amount of weight put on girls’ looks, too.

I try not to think of stores as having girls’ and boys’ sections – I just let Jackson pick out what he wants. He wears clothes and plays with toys of all types.

He has dolls, but trucks too. Clothes-wise, he has about five tutu dresses, and some glittery shoes that he thinks are the most amazing thing ever. But there will be days when he’ll want to wear shirts with dinosaurs and monsters on. I let him take the lead and run the show, dressing in what he feels comfortable in.

I do have some anxiety about that. I worry he’ll be taunted, or that teachers will treat him differently, because of their own bias.

But I will cross that bridge when I come to it, and support him no matter what. Raising a child gender neutral is all about giving them all the options, then letting them decide who they are.

In my line of work, I see a lot of people develop gender issues later in life because they felt stifled, and weren’t allowed to express who they were when they were little. I really want to get away from all that.

I do have some anxiety about him starting school. I worry he’ll be taunted, or that teachers will treat him differently, because of their own bias.

But I will cross that bridge when I come to it, and support him no matter what. Raising a child gender neutral is all about giving them all the options, then letting them decide who they are.

In my line of work, I see a lot of people develop gender issues later in life because they felt stifled, and weren’t allowed to express who they were when they were little. I really want to get away from all that.

Well, that was extensive wasn’t it? I’m not really sure how to react about this because although it’s against the grain of conventional society and slightly weird, I suppose it might be a good idea to raise children like this to create a world more inclusive and accepting of the  transgendered community. Hey, if everyone’s happy then I’m cool with it. Sure some people won’t be though and I guess that’s just a conversation we’ll have to have.

For more of the same, check out these uni students getting kicked out of class for saying that they’re two genders. Not such an inclusive space.


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