Parenting

Why This Dad Let His 3 Kids Decide their Own Genders

Christian has three children. From birth, he raised them as theybies – a play on they and babies. He also decided from day one that his children would be able to decide their own genders when they felt ready.

Christian faced a lot of backlash for this decision but has remained firm on his stance and his reasonings as to why he decided to let his three children decide their own genders.

Supposed to be a boy

Rewind to when Christian was growing up. From a very young age, he knew that he was born in the wrong body. The 30-year-old dad from Connecticut explained that, while he didn’t understand what transgender meant when he was a kid, he never felt right as a female.

“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,” Christian told news.com.au.

Christian slowly began transitioning in his early 20s.

“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.”

Children allowed to decide their own genders 

When Christian became a father, he didn’t want his kids to experience any of the negativity that he went through as a kid. He decided to give them a choice from day one.

Rather than assuming their gender based on their physical sex, Christian let his kids decide when they were old enough. For his two older kids, this occurred at the ages of three and four. For his youngest, this hasn’t happened yet.

Before his kids knew their gender, he raised them completely gender-neutral. He referred to them by ‘they/them’ rather than by ‘he/she’ pronouns. He encouraged them to play with both traditional boy and girl toys and he dressed them in unisex clothing.

“Your sex and your gender identity are two different things,” Christian said. “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.”

Christina’s oldest is seven-year-old Liam who decided he was a boy around the age of four. He uses ‘he/his’ pronouns.

Chrisian’s middle child is five-year-old Laura who decided she was a girl around the age of three. She uses ‘she/her’ pronouns.

Christina’s youngest child is two-year-old Teddy who has not decided their gender yet and is currently referred to as they/them.

“There is a lot of research out there about this kind of thing. They say by age three or four, most kids can identify their gender. This seems to be true for my children.They have told me multiple times at those ages whether they are a boy or a girl.”

Happy, healthy and self-confident children

From day one, Christian has been a firm supporter of the theybie or gender-neutral baby movement and is more than happy to share his experience and help spread awareness on letting children decide their own gender.

For Christian, this has been the best choice for his family and while he does receive backlash from online trolls, family members, even strangers, he tries not to let it bother him.

“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. 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.”

While Christian enjoys spreading awareness, he also doesn’t correct strangers in public who may assume the wrong gender of his children.

“I enjoy educating and spreading awareness. Representation is really important for other transgender people and transgender parents to know they aren’t alone.

[But] 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.”

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Feature image source: Daily Loud

Avatar of Jenna Galley

Born and raised in Canada, Jenna now lives in Far North Queensland with her tribe. When the mum-of-three is not writing, you can find her floating in the pool, watching princess movies, frolicking on the beach, bouncing her baby to sleep or nagging her older kids to put on their pants.

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