A father has shared his choice of allowing his children to determine their own gender.
Christian expresses that he has experienced gender dysphoria from as early as six years old and has always felt that he was born in the wrong body.
The person from Connecticut, who is 30 years old, shared that even though they didn’t grasp the concept of being transgender when they were young, they always felt uncomfortable identifying as a female.
Christian started to reveal that he is transgender in his early twenties, and he commenced testosterone treatment in 2018, albeit it was a challenging path to reach this conclusion.
“The first time I came out I was six years old,” Christian said.
“I told my best friend at the time, ‘I was supposed to be born a boy but something went wrong when I was in my mum’s tummy’.
“I didn’t know the word transgender yet. I called myself a tomboy and at recess when we played boys versus girls, I always asked to be included with the boys.
“It was not a light decision for me to medically transition. I worried a lot about the difficulties I’d face and what others in my life would think, especially those I was not out to yet.
“I knew this would not be an easy path, but I was depressed due to my gender dysphoria and couldn’t live life not being my true self anymore.”
The novelist has experienced the harm that can come from feeling obligated to conform to gender norms but is now much happier after transitioning to their true self.
According to Christian, when he had his three children (Liam, 7, Laura, 5, and Teddy, 2), he was aware that he did not want them to go through the same hardships he experienced.
He wanted to let individuals decide their gender instead of assuming it based on their physical sex, once they reach an appropriate age.
For now, he will use they/them pronouns when referring to his children instead of he/him or she/her.
He would suggest that children should explore their interests in both toys marketed towards boys and girls, and would dress them in gender-neutral clothing with colors that are not specifically associated with a particular gender.
The term “theybie” refers to the practice of raising a baby without assigning a gender, using the pronoun “they” instead.
“Your sex and your gender identity are two different things,” Christian stated.
“It seemed wrong to say my child is a boy or a girl based on their genitalia. That’s not what makes you a boy or a girl.
“Gender is much more about how you feel inside yourself. I use they/them pronouns and a gender-neutral nickname for my baby.
“I buy all kinds of toys, regardless of whether they are considered boy or girl toys.
“I dress my baby very gender-neutral, but if they showed interest in dressing in a different way I would of course support them.”
The dad shared his personal experience of raising his two older children in a gender-neutral environment until they expressed their gender identities to him.
Christian is currently in the process of raising their two-year-old infant Teddy, who prefers to be referred to by the pronouns they/them.
“There is a lot of research out there about this kind of thing,” he stated.
“There are reports that as early as two years old people start to notice the differences between boys and girls.
“They say by age three or four, most kids can identify their gender. This seems to be true for my children.
“My son definitely knew by age four, and my daughter knew by age three. They have told me multiple times at those ages whether they are a boy or a girl.”
Some members of Christian’s family and online trolls have criticized him badly.
“Most of the mean comments have actually come from transphobic family members,” he shared.
“In public with strangers, I let them assume whatever gender they think my child is and I don’t correct them.
“Strangers don’t need to know what is in my child’s pants and I don’t have time to educate them on the matter. If I’m never going to see them again they can think what they want.
“Besides, it allows my child to essentially try on different pronouns and see which one feels right when they hear it.”
Christian is standing by their decision to raise babies in a gender-neutral way despite receiving criticism. They believe that allowing babies to choose their gender for themselves has advantages.
“It is great because my babies don’t feel pressured to conform to any certain gender role and they get to tell me who they are,” he said.
“They don’t have to feel dysphoria caused by being raised as the wrong gender. They have so much freedom and develop a great sense of self.
“They are secure in their own identity and don’t let any gender roles society put on them stop them from doing what they enjoy in life.
“I enjoy educating and spreading awareness. Representation is really important for other transgender people and transgender parents to know they aren’t alone.
“A lot of haters out there don’t want to be educated. They don’t believe being transgender is a real thing or that I chose it somehow instead of me being born this way.
“They believe I’m damaging my kids somehow or confusing them.
“But they are very happy, healthy and self-confident children who are growing up in a loving and supportive home.”