Presenting a lesbian couple raising a boy while rejecting expectations of traditional gender roles, left-wing BuzzFeed produced a video entitled, “I Am A Gender Non-Conforming Parent.”
Dashiell and Michelle are a same-sex couple who share a view of gender as a fluid and social construct. Both acknowledge a shared effort towards transmitting this paradigm to Atticus, a 2-year-old boy over whom the two presumably share guardianship.
“My understanding about gender is that ultimately it doesn’t mean anything,” says Michelle, who became “pregnant via donor” in 2014. "[Gender] doesn’t give you the information about that person that you think that it’s gonna give you.”
Scoffing at conventional attitudes towards masculinity and femininity, Dashiell recalls questions she received from others related to Michelle’s pregnancy. “People ask you, ‘Do you wanna have a boy or a girl?’ For whatever that means. This person could be anybody.”
Michelle likewise scoffed at conventional attitudes towards gender in the rearing of children. “You hear that right away, you hear like, ‘Boys are like this and girls are like that,'" she said.
“I’m constantly trying to like queer my relationship with [Atticus] and get him to wear tutus, he hates it, he’s just like, ‘No,’” says Michelle of her approach towards her son in terms of gender education.
“I hate the idea that he’s getting imprinted on him people who like this are boys, and people who look like that are girls,” laments Michelle of the pervasiveness of conventional attitudes towards gender, which she says she is “constantly challenging.”
“Even something that’s like progressive like Sesame Street,” complains Michelle, fails to showcase the broad spectrum of gender identities she subscribes to.
“Being raised by a gender non-conforming person,” says Michelle, will be an asset for her son. “Everybody needs to be reconsidering the way that they’re presenting gender to their kids.”
Atticus may grow up to be a “genderqueer/gender fluid person” or a “completely traditionally cisgendered male,” concluded Michelle. “He needs to understand the variety of genders that are out there so he can be respectful human being in the world.”
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