ORLANDO, Fla. — While some families host elaborate gender reveal parties and publicly declare their child as a “boy” or “girl,” there are some families that have a polar opposite approach.
Sometimes referred to as “theybies,” these babies are growing up without their family assigning them a gender at birth. Instead, the children will be able to determine for themselves what term they prefer as they get older.
Ari Dennis, a 30-year-old parent who uses the “they” or “them” pronoun instead of “he”/”him” or “she”/”her,” explained why they’re raising their child Sparrow without a gender.
“There’s nothing wrong with pink. There’s nothing wrong with blue,” Dennis said to WTSP. “There’s something wrong with forcing kids into roles.”
The family knows the child’s anatomy, but they said that anatomy doesn’t predetermine the child’s gender.
“I just call my baby ‘beautiful’ and ‘pretty’ and ‘handsome’ and ‘strong,’ back and forth,” Dennis said. “I’ll use both and I’ll compliment different manifestations of personality traits,” NBC News reports.
Even Sparrow’s birth certificate lists the baby’s sex as unknown.
“We are in no way prohibiting Sparrow from having a gender, and we’re not forcing them to be one gender or another,” Dennis said.
And Dennis is not alone!
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 kids outside of the gender binary.
The group has been around since 2015 and currently has about 350 members.