Relations Reporting on marriage, family, and sexuality

Let’s make a ‘theyby’

Relationships | Parents across the country attempt to rear young children as genderless
by Kiley Crossland
Posted 7/27/18, 01:30 pm

The idea of parents raising “theybies” is picking up steam. What started decades ago as a push to make parenting more gender-neutral has morphed into attempts to erase gender completely until a child is old enough to “choose” his or her own gender identity.

National news outlets have heralded the idea of “gender-creative parenting” and highlighted its heroes: parents in mostly progressive pockets of America who embrace the often-arduous task of ensuring their young children are not labeled as male or female.

An NBC News story last week featured Nate and Julia Sharpe, parents of twin 3-year-olds, Zyler and Kadyn. The Sharpes, of Cambridge, Mass., have raised their twins using only gender-neutral, plural pronouns: they, them, and their. The parents asked the hospital medical staff to put the newborn twins in their arms without announcing their biological sex. The mystery lasted only a few hours, until the new parents had to change their diapers, but most people in their life still do not know the children’s biological sex.

Kyl Myers, who has a popular blog and Instagram account about raising her child Zoomer as “gender-creative,” told New York Magazine, “I just think parenting in general is a social experiment. … Zoomer is going to have a gender. They are going to let us know what their gender is, and it will probably happen when they’re 3 or 4. We can all just get onboard, you know.”

Myers said that she and her husband, Brent Courtney, did not decide to parent this way because they thought Zoomer would be “gender nonconforming,” but, “it is actually very possible that Zoomer will be gender nonconforming because we are not raising them to conform to a binary gender.”

Michelle Cretella, executive director of the socially conservative American College of Pediatricians, foresees developmental problems for children like Zoomer.

“These parents are sabotaging the cognitive and psychological development of their children,” she told me. “Our bodies declare our sex and tell us who we are at the most fundamental level.”

Even secular medical experts see problems ahead for these children.

“Once your child meets the outside world, which may be day care, or preschool, or grandparents—it’s pretty much impossible to maintain a gender-free state,” Lise Eliot, professor of neuroscience at the Chicago Medical School, told NBC News. “And depending on how conventional your community is, you could be setting your child up for bullying or exclusion.”

Although no one is born with an awareness of being male or female, Cretella said gender identity forms early. Babies in the womb can distinguish between male and female voices, 3-month-old infants can distinguish male and female faces, and most 3-year-olds can identify themselves as a boy or girl, she noted, adding that by age 5, most kids understand that girls become women and boys become men.

Cretella said transgender ideology is particularly dangerous because children are cognitively and psychologically immature: “If children cannot trust the reality of their physical bodies, who or what can they trust? To tell children the lie that they can choose their sex undermines their reality testing before they even know that there is a reality to be understood.”

Jim Denison, the former pastor of Park Cities Baptist Church in Dallas and the founder of the Denison Forum, compares allowing a child to choose his or her gender to sex-selective abortions, noting they both are symptoms of a “underlying condition” that can be traced to Genesis 3 and the fall: “At their heart, [these parents] succumb to the temptation, ‘You will be like God.’”

Facebook/Jaelene Hinkle Facebook/Jaelene Hinkle Jaelene Hinkle

Who you gonna cut?

Christian U.S. soccer star Jaelene Hinkle was cut from the women’s national team this week, a year after she declined to play on the team because she objected to wearing a jersey designed to celebrate LGBT pride month. Earlier this year, Hinkle publicly explained her decision as one of faith and conscience, but LGBT activists have since branded her “homophobic” and “hateful.”

U.S. Soccer invited her to the national team’s training camp on July 18, which unleashed more vitriolic opposition from LGBT activists who claimed the organization “sold out its LGBTQ fans and players.” Five days later, Hinkle was cut, reportedly based on her performance.

Her dismissal surprised soccer experts and coaches—both those critical and supportive of Hinkle’s decision last year—who said she has the necessary skill to be on the team. Her North Carolina Courage coach Paul Riley told Yahoo Sports that Hinkle is “the best left back in the league by a country mile.” Even Katelyn Best, writing for SB Nation’s blog catering to LGBT sports fans, agreed, calling her “hands down the best left back in the league this season.”

Hinkle is a team player and easy to coach, according to Riley. She’s also only 25 and getting better by the season, leaving observers wondering whether U.S. Soccer will field the best possible team for next year’s Women’s World Cup or blackball Hinkle again to avoid the wrath of LGBT adovcates. —K.C.

Associated Press/Photo by Sebastian Scheiner Associated Press/Photo by Sebastian Scheiner An Israeli protester in Tel Aviv on July 22

Same-sex surrogacy now!

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu made enemies among LGBT activists last week when he backtracked on a promise to support legislation allowing surrogacy for same-sex couples. Netanyahu reportedly agreed to support an amendment adding gay men to the list of those eligible to use a surrogate in Israel. But during the vote last Wednesday, he opposed the measure, likely due to the influence of key Orthodox Jewish supporters. The new law will allow only opposite-sex couples and single women to use a surrogate.

In response, tens of thousands of people protested Sunday in the streets of Tel Aviv and other major cities. Some participated in a daylong strike—Sunday is the start of Israel’s work week. —K.C.

Kiley Crossland

Kiley is a former WORLD correspondent.

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  • Rich277
    Posted: Fri, 07/27/2018 07:38 pm

    On the plus side, when these kids grow up they will be able to accuse everyone else of “privilege” because of their crazy parents.

  • SuperBoppy
    Posted: Sat, 07/28/2018 06:49 am

    “'Once your child meets the outside world, which may be day care, or preschool, or grandparents—it’s pretty much impossible to maintain a gender-free state,' Lise Eliot, professor of neuroscience at the Chicago Medical School." No, professor, it's impossible to maintain a gender-free state at all, since your chromosomes you are conceived with determine your gender. What absolute foolishness and confusion!

  •  Peter Allen's picture
    Peter Allen
    Posted: Sat, 07/28/2018 02:14 pm

    The children of gender neutral or surrogates will some day rise up and tell disturbing stories about the adults in their lives.  Add to that Boy Scouts under the new doors openned to gay leaders.  Just as we are hearing from altar boys who served under gay preists.  Whom many thought could control themselves in a celibate lifestyle.  We judge ourselves by our intentions.  Others judge us by our actions.  Rev 20:12

  • Narissara
    Posted: Sat, 07/28/2018 06:26 pm

    Not to be snarky, but are the names chosen for these children in the article typical of this mindset?  I looked them up on two baby name sites and they don’t appear, which makes me wonder if they’re created.  I did find some created names with a given meaning, so it’s obviously important to parents (although I don’t know how the average person can attach meaning to a word they created unless they have some knowledge of linguistics).  One site said that giving a child an “expectation” name (like Charity or Honor or Justice) is a no-no because they might fail to live up to it.  But our names do have meaning and they’re part of who we are.  For some people, temperament and personality tend to be more of a reflection of their names than they might like to admit.   And there’s nothing wrong with having something to aspire to.  But giving a child a meaningless name . . .? 

  • Gragan K
    Posted: Mon, 07/30/2018 11:42 am

    Open-mindedness is a one-way street in our post-modern world. We live in a fallen, sin-filled world so there are actual problems with gender that occasionally arise but to purposely try to produce gender neutrality when God's Word clearly says that He created male and female, is one of the most dangerous things going on in our world today.

  •  Xion's picture
    Posted: Mon, 07/30/2018 07:26 pm

    As Christians it is easy to roll our eyes and then roll over on yet another false social construct in the culture wars.  But what is the proper response in a world where truth is not only unpopular, but offensive or even illegal?  We can go the intellectual route like the Digital Sages.  We can take a stand and lose our livelihoods or even our lives.   I suppose we should do as Jesus did.