Latest Breaking News & Hot Updates Around USA OR All Over World

Non-binary parents raising baby without ‘gender indoctrination’ on SBS Insight

0 131

After struggling with their own gender identity for more than thirty years, a Melbourne non-binary trader has revealed how they raise their child to be “gender-expansive” in order to avoid the “gender indoctrination” they consider common in our society .

Sommer, 37, and wife Stephanie welcomed their child Juno, who was assigned to the world as a woman at birth, seven months ago.

As a new parent, Sommer is determined that their daughter will not be limited by the same gender boundaries and rules as they were.

Instead, she and Stephanie want to raise Juno to be “gender-expansive,” with the baby calling them “PomPom” instead of Mom or Dad because it’s a neutral term that’s still fun.

Sommer (above) started identifying as non-binary two years ago after feeling like they’ve been living in a “customer” all their lives

The baby was identified as female at birth, but the parents will raise them to be

The baby was identified as female at birth, but the parents will raise them to be “gender-wide.” Pictured is a stock image of a baby.

“We use the words gender-expansive more than gender neutrality because I feel like the word neutral makes it seem like she’s just wearing beige and has no color in her life,” Sommer said.

“So we say gender-expansive, that’s where there are no boundaries, and no restrictions on how our baby will be able to express himself, regardless of the gender assigned to him at birth.

Sommer (left) and their wife Stephanie (right) are now raising their daughter Juno to be 'gender-expansive'

Sommer (left) and their wife Stephanie (right) are now raising their daughter Juno to be ‘gender-expansive’

“I think people think that comes with a lot of pressure, but we don’t put any pressure on her and who she wants to be.”

The couple had initially talked about raising Juno to be gender neutral, but thought they would instead teach her that gender doesn’t define her until she’s old enough to decide who she wants to identify with.

Sommer and Stephanie’s version of gender-expanding parenting means Juno plays with female and male toys, dresses in clothes for each gender, and shows positive role models of both genders.

WHAT IS GENDER EXPANSION?

Gender expanding means that a person is not tied to traditional gender roles.

Instead, they live ‘out of the box’ and identify more as themselves than with a gender identity.

People who fall under this category may or may not identify as their gender born, but they do not adhere to the “gender rules” associated with that gender.

One hurdle the couple recently overcame was finding a childcare center that would accommodate their family.

Sommer said that despite the couple living in an “awake” neighborhood, the couple struggled to find a center that was truly inclusive and not a rainbow wash to get more customers.

“We’ve been looking for daycare centers lately and we always ask, ‘Are you inclusive? Do you have any queer books?’ and all that sort of thing,’ said Sommer.

“Many will say they don’t, but we can take them and they include everyone.

But I just don’t think that’s a good enough answer. I want somewhere my baby goes, and they won’t feel left out.

“We found one that’s a rainbow playgroup. So they have a rainbow family gathering every month where all the parents come together.’

Sommer said they’ve also struggled to tell their families about their new gender identity and parenting technique.

“They buy Juno all those feminine clothes and call her beautiful,” Sommer said.

Thankfully, Sommer said the couple can offset the girl gifts with hand-me-downs from Stephanie’s cousin to ensure Juno still has a variety of clothes to choose from.

Sommer said they started identifying as non-binary two years ago after Stephanie started noticing that they suffered from “gender issues.”

Somer had their breasts removed to help with dysphoria/dysmorphism, with Stephanie by her side to help her through the process.

She said their puberty was horrific because they were constantly uncomfortable in their bodies and “hate” how it was changing. “I didn’t feel like I belonged anywhere. I felt like I was just living my life, but all these female expectations were forced on me,” Sommer told the Daily Mail Australia.

Sommer (left) and Stephanie (right) want to raise their daughter to defy gender roles and live without restrictions

Sommer (left) and Stephanie (right) want to raise their daughter to defy gender roles and live without restrictions

‘It really made me depressed. I went to a girls’ school and had to wear a dress, and it felt like I was wearing a suit.

‘I wasn’t myself. I just felt like a weirdo in a dress. It was a costume I had to put on to go out into the world.’

Sommer, who works as a trader, says their workplace has gone to great lengths to accept their identities.

“They’ve been fantastic. They had a meeting about my pronouns before I started,” Sommer said.

“They updated my email so my pronouns are on it, even though it’s automated, they figured out how to do it.

“It was a priority, and it’s been really great.”

Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published.