Getting Real with Kira Hazledine

Honestly, I’m not a big fan of the gender neutral mantra. I think the notion (as it stands in current mainstream society) misses the mark. I consider it a third box to shove kids in, as they get lost in a sea of grey and “they.” Nonetheless, I try to understand this new option that progressive states are offering. Rather than select “male” or “female” at the birth of a child, some parents have the option of “neutral.”

Would you hit the neutral box?

This only begins to scratch the service of the gendered problems in society, and if given the opportunity, I might have designated neutral on legal papers. That wouldn’t have prevented me from referring to my son as a boy and my daughter as a girl, but it would’ve offered them legal freedoms in the future.

I’m fully aware that my children will become whomever they decide to be. My children will never be boxed in by gendered expectations, at least not from me. However, strong advocates of this neutral motion claim that children should be referred to as “people.” That there shouldn’t be any type of differentiation, even from birth.

Oh man. It’s a lot, I know. I know that I am privileged as a cis-person (meaning I agree emotionally, mentally, and physically with the gender I was assigned at birth). Despite my openness, even I have a hard time understanding why it’s so important to not have designations at birth if your heart is telling you otherwise.

Whether you agree or not, this might be the direction the world is moving in. Where people are just people, not defined by whatever is between their legs. Yes, there are chromosomal differences between male and female, but DNA doesn’t dictate you who are as a person. It’s also so important to remember that gender and sex are two entirely different things, and by declining to state a gender on birth certificates, we are freeing our children to be who they are meant to be without expectations.

I’m not raising my children to be gender neutral. I say “boy” and “girl,” “son” and “daughter.” I believe that they will be raised in such a way that if anything changes for them, they’ll let me know. I hope that we can work through all of this together, and that they can educate me as necessary as to what the proper terms are for their life.

I’m their mother, but I don’t claim to know it all. I’m only doing my best with the information I have. Perhaps in 30 years they’ll look on our generation in shame that we ever separated people into two separate distinctions, that honestly, mean nothing. If that’s the case, I’ll admit my mistakes every time and vow to do better, because that’s all we can do.

I’m hoping my children can grow up in a world that such silly distinctions don’t hold them back. It would be awesome if by the time they’re of driving age, they won’t even have to list their gender on another legal document. It doesn’t matter now, and it won’t matter then.

Would I put gender neutral on my children’s birth certificate? I think I would. I want to give them all the space possible to decide their place in this world, and I hope more states give the option.