An online video has gone viral that features a “gender non-conforming” lesbian woman and her partner who explain how they have tried to force their toddler son to be gender neutral and blur the lines between male and female.
The video, entitled “I Am a Gender Non-Conforming Parent,” centers on Dashiell and Michelle, and a two-year-old boy named Atticus, who Michelle conceived via a sperm donor.
“My understanding about gender is that it ultimately doesn’t mean anything,” Michelle asserts in the footage.
Dashiell explains that she identifies as “genderqueer” due to her childhood tomboy tendencies, and therefore presents herself as a mix of male and female. She says that she relates to Atticus’ boyish interest in sports because of her male tendencies, while Michelle has tried to push feminine interests on the child.
“I’m constantly like trying to queer my relationship with him and get him to wear tutus,” Michelle outlines in the nearly five-minute piece. “He hates it. He’s just like, ‘no.”
She said that she has been trying to keep Atticus from distinguishing boys from the girls, or thinking of boys and girls in certain ways.
“He’s taking in kind of kid media. And he has this great book that’s just pictures and words. But when you open it up, it’s a picture of a girl and a picture of a boy, and it’s like, ‘girl,’ ‘boy,’ and I’m just like, ‘child,’ ‘child,’” Michelle outlines.
“This is where he starts learning what things are. And so I hate the idea that he’s getting it imprinted on him that people who look like this are boys, and people who look like that are girls,” she says.
Michelle states that she doesn’t like children’s programming portraying boys and girls with certain distinguishing characteristics.
“And even something that’s like progressive like ‘Sesame Street,’ all the monsters are boys unless they have like a bow in their hair or a sparkly necklace on,” she says. “Like, why is ‘Old McDonald’ a guy? Why couldn’t it be a lesbian farmer?”
Michelle remarks that sometimes she and Dashiell feel it is best to “ignore gender completely,” and asserts that every parent should push the boundaries in terms of gender.
“He’s being raised by a gender non-conforming person. So, just the existence of Dashiell is gong to be a huge piece of information about what gender is or isn’t,” she states.
“Everybody needs to be reconsidering the way that they’re presenting gender to their kids,” Michelle contends. “It’s not even whether Atticus is personally going to be a genderqueer or genderfluid person. Atticus could grow up and be a completely traditionally cisgendered male, and he needs to understand the variety of genders that are out there so he can be a respectful human being.”
But some have expressed concern after viewing the video, finding the boy’s upbringing to be troubling.
“They’re trying too hard to make their child ‘neutral’ and aren’t respecting what makes his special,” one commenter wrote. “They’re making his life more complicated than it has to be and making up their own parenting thinking about themselves and their ‘statement’ rather than respecting how he was created. I hope that poor child doesn’t need therapy later on.”
“Did they really just get offended that old McDonald is a man? What? Forcing him into a tutu?” another marveled. “You say you want your kids to grow up as their gender, so let them. You say you’re against people trying to force their kids to be straight, but you’re doing the opposite? Hypocrites.”
“The parents themselves acknowledge that in their opinion, the child dislikes wearing the tutu. Why keep trying to make him wear it if he doesn’t like it?” a third commeter asked. “If they are so focused on letting him be who he wants to be, should that not be enough to stop them from attempting to force their beliefs and preferences on to him? … If this is the way it works in their family, they are no better than the society they are claiming to be against. They are just the other side of the coin.”
“This is what we’ve come to?” a fourth lamented. “Woe to those who call good evil, and evil good. We need you God.”