Gender-neutral parenting is gaining attention as parents choose unconventional paths in raising their children. This approach, often referred to as “gender-creative parenting,” challenges traditional norms of assigning gender to babies, sparking discussions and controversies.
In the world of UFC, light heavyweight contender Johnny Walker recently shared his reaction to a viral video showcasing parents raising their baby as nonbinary, expressing concerns about mental health.
The concept of gender-neutral parenting emerged in the 1980s, primarily within queer communities, coinciding with the second wave of feminism. Berlin-based author and lecturer Ravna Marin Nathanael Siever, a prominent figure in queer gender-neutral parenting, notes that the movement aims not to neutralize gender but to allow children to discover their own identity independently.
While the trend remained niche through the 90s and 2000s, it gained more visibility in the early 2010s as families shared their stories in the media. High-profile debates ensued, fueled by instances like a Toronto couple raising a child without a gender label and a Salt Lake City couple documenting their genderqueer parenting journey on social media.
Siever emphasizes that gender-neutral parenting is about enabling children to explore their identity without predefined gender expectations. The movement has also been described as “gender-open parenting” to emphasize the avoidance of gender neutralization.
In a recent viral video, parents shared their decision not to assign a gender at birth to their 11-month-old baby, Sparrow. The video highlights the parents’ choice to let Sparrow decide their gender when older, reflecting the principles of gender-neutral parenting. UFC light heavyweight contender Johnny Walker responded to the video, expressing concerns about “mental health problems.”
The broader discussion around gender-neutral parenting involves understanding the motivations behind such choices. Parents adopting this approach often aim to shield their children from the stereotypes and discrimination they themselves experienced. This parenting style represents a shift from conventional practices, allowing children to shape their identity organically.
As gender-neutral parenting continues to spark conversations, it prompts a reconsideration of traditional child-rearing practices. Whether it’s termed gender-creative parenting or gender-open parenting, the movement challenges societal norms and encourages a more inclusive approach to understanding and respecting individual identity development.