NBC News has a new piece out on parents who are raising their children without burdening them with gender. They aren’t telling anyone if their kids are boys or girls, the kids wear what they want, play with what they want, and are referred to with “them/they” pronouns. Apparently, these parents call their children “theybies” because of this pronoun shift. While I doubt few people would argue with less rigidity in letting kids play with or wear colors traditionally assigned to the other sex, this seems rather extreme. I also doubt few people would be surprised to find out that this trend is usually found in wealthy, white, liberal enclaves.

Take Nate and Julia Sharpe. They live in – surprise!- Cambridge, Massachusetts. Their three year-old twins Kadyn and Zyler (could they not have normal but androgynous names? Apparently not) are being raised without anyone knowing their gender. Julia seems to think it’s odd that people asked if they were boys or girls when the babies were born.

We definitely got more pushback from co-workers, who were like: ‘Wait, you’re not going to tell me what you’re having? You’re not going to tell me what your kids are?’ I’m like, ‘I’m telling you they’re children.’ But they got really, really frustrated that we wouldn’t tell them what their genitalia was, which is kind of a weird thing when you think about it.

They weren’t asking about their genitalia, they were asking about your kids, and I’m pretty sure that’s not the weird thing here. In fact, they asked the doctors and nurses in the delivery room not even to tell them, but just to wrap them in blankets and let them bond with their children. They didn’t know the sex of their children for some time. “It just wasn’t something that was interesting,” Julia said. “It was all about meeting the children and interacting with them, and just not something that we focused on at all.”

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 The Sharpes say that the kids will let them know what their gender is when they decide for themselves. Same with the other families profiled in the piece.

One of the first well-known “theybies” was Zoomer Coyote Courtney-Myers (again with the names), born to a graduate of gender studies (of course) and her partner (check, again). They run a blog about raising their child without the pressures they see inherent in not letting Zoomer tell their parents what gender they are. Zoomer’s parents have a blog, Raising Zoomer, where they talk about practical and other issues in raising a child with no assigned gender.

For both of these families, I wonder what the impact will be of them very publicly talking about this? Or is the virtue signaling worth it to them? They certainly feel that they’re educating people, but they could do that anonymously. The blog could use a pseudonym for their child and not show their face. The Sharpes could have told their story anonymously, or told it without having their children on-camera. There doesn’t seem to be any reason to force their kids into the public eye.

This isn’t even just raising your child and being open to them telling you they feel a different way about themselves. This is just asking for them to be confused, and their parents are the ones confusing them.

You can watch the NBC News piece here: