B2’s birth was dramatic and quick. After being a very long 2 and a half weeks overdue he arrived in just over an hour, born in the amniotic sac and praying. Our midwife said that meant he’d be a very special and blessed child. She wasn’t wrong.
I think he was about 2 when I first noticed that he gravitated towards many typical “girl” toys and activities. I noticed when we’d go to his cousins house and he’d run to her room and play with everything – Barbie’s, doll houses, everything. I didn’t really think anything of it, our home was filled with cars, trucks and trains so seeing something different would be fun for any child – boy or girl.
About a year later I took the kids toy shopping, B2’s choice was a toy pram. I knew his father wouldn’t approve but I bought the pram anyway, it was blue to try and convince his father that it was ok because it was a boys pram. B2 took that pram everywhere. We’d get odd looks at the shops but he was happy, no one was getting hurt so who cares.
Over the years there have been many more instances where B2 gravitated more towards typical girl toys, activities and roles. A large majority of his friends are girls. He seems to relate more to girls.
The past 18 months this has become more noticeable and intense. I’m not sure if it’s because he’s started school, because confusion over gender has been in the media or if it has something to do with his father and I separating. He seems to gravitate more towards typical girl activities – and I don’t discourage that.
I raise him in my home as gender neutral, I don’t make a big deal out of it, in fact many family and friends reading this would probably be very surprised to hear. I don’t believe that he should be forced into a box because of his gender. Yes, there are days when he walks around the house in my high heels pretending to put on make up where I worry for him because there are many, many people who are cruel and ignorant and B2 is such a sensitive child. But he is happy so why would I discourage this.
There are many pro’s and con’s of raising a gender neutral child. Studies suggest that children raised this way are more creative as they have been allowed that freedom of choice. You only have to listen to B2 tell a story or see him rummaging through the recycling bin looking for boxes, bottles for his latest art creation to see just how creative he is. It also allows a child to become who they truly are, they don’t have to hide or supress anything or discover later in life their true self, they have a true sense of identity early in life and because they’ve been given the opportunity to explore that their self esteem is higher as this has always been their normal life. On the downside there is a potential for the child to be labelled. Some parents may also go overboard and push their child towards the opposite gender.
That’s not the case with B2. If he wants to try ballet or gymnastics he does. He also does basketball and soccer. He loves car racing. If he wants to dress as Elsa one day and a Ninja Turtle the next day he does. Some days he’ll play outside in the dirt on his bike. Other days he’ll play inside with Barbies.
In our home there’s no such thing as boys toys and girls toys, there’s only toys.
Whilst he may grow out of this one day what ever happens I will always have his back. I will be there supporting him whoever he decides to be. He’s my child and I love him for eternity regardless if he is boy, girl, gay, straight or transgender.
In the words of Lady Gaga:
Don’t hide yourself in regret, just love yourself and you’re set. You’re on the right track baby, you were born this way!