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These parents are raising their child as a gender-neutral 'theyby'

Allison Yee
Allison Yee

It’s one of the first questions people typically ask after hearing of a new arrival, but parents Kyl and Brent Courtney-Myers have refused to reveal the gender of their 2-year-old child Zoomer.

Proud advocates of the Gender Creative Parenting movement, the Utah-based family are instead dedicated to raising a “theyby” and using gender-neutral terms when it comes to their toddler.

“We didn’t assign a gender to Zoomer, we don’t disclose their sex to people who don’t need to know, and we use gender-neutral pronouns for Zoomer (they/them/their),” mom Kyl wrote on Instagram.

The couple are determined to raise Zoomer as gender-neutral. (Photo: Instagram/raisingzoomer)

“We actively work to provide Zoomer with an environment that celebrates their individuality,” she added. “We expose them to all kinds of toys, clothes, colors, and activities and we encourage their interests and self-expression.

“Parenting this way has certainly reduced Zoomer’s experiences with gendered micro-aggressions and stereotypes.”

The parents further explain their style of parenting on their Raising Zoomer blog, which details how they want their child to be free from the “segregation and stereotypes” that come from gender socialization.

The couple refer to their child without gender-specific terms. (Photo: Instagram/raisingzoomer)

The couple also understand that Zoomer is likely to “choose a gender by the time they are three or four.”

After sharing their story on Instagram, the couple have been subject to both support and criticism.

The Utah-based couple have divided the internet with their parenting choices. (Photo: Instagram/raisingzoomer)

“How dare they make such choices for the child,” wrote one critic. “It’s not all about those two; the child has a right to develop into who they are, not the limiting ideas of these two.”

“Please — this is just too far now,” commented another person who didn’t agree with the couple. “Your child is a male or a female… You cannot just decide to be another gender and I think you are setting up your child to have a lack of identity and mental health problems.”

This mother wants her child to grow, explore, and eventually identify with their own gender in their own time. (Photo: Instagram/raisingzoomer)

However, others have sided with the theyby movement.

“Whatever floats your boat and doesn’t harm your child then go for it,” wrote one supporter on Instagram.

“There are so many kids out there dealing with abuse and neglect. To see these parents actually giving a s**t and being loving and caring makes me think haters should be focusing their energy on helping kids that don’t have the same standard of living as young Zoomer.”

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