Meet Zoomer. Judging from his snapshot, he looks pretty happy and healthy so far, but that’s because he doesn’t know how genuinely nuts his parents — Kyl and Brent Myer — are. They adhere to the “gender creative” movement, which allows a child to choose his own gender once he reaches the ripe old age of 3 or 4 years.
In the meantime, if you ask whether Zoomer is a male or female of the species, the Myers are not telling unless you are a health professional or someone else who needs to know the sex of their “theyby,” the cutesy non-gender-specific neologism they have coined. (If you’re wondering what’s sexist about the word baby, you’d have to ask them, though that information too may be classified as on a need-to-know basis.)
On her blog, “Raising Zoomer,” Kyl Myer (that’s the mother in case you’re wondering), provides more of her and her hubby’s philosophy on child-rearing. “When referring to a child’s genitals, it is common to call them ‘privates,'” she writes, adding:
We are taking this practice beyond the traditional level. We, as parents, have decided not to reveal Z’s sex to anyone outside of their care-taking circle, we have also decided to not assign a gender to Zoomer. Zoomer will learn about physical anatomy and gender probably even more so than most children. However, we do not feel it is necessary to tell people whether Z has a vagina, penis, or something in between.
We have kindly asked that if people know Z’s biological sex that they don’t share that information with others and they continue to interact with Zoomer in a gender creative way and use the gender-creative pronouns they, them, their and Z.
Zoomer will most likely choose a gender by the time they are three or four. We simply don’t believe that is our decision to make on their behalf. By not revealing their sex, and by treating them in a gender creative way, Z will have the freedom to explore and create their own identity, outside of the restrictions and expectations of traditional gender norms.
Of course, then again, “they” may not.
Regardless of what little Zoomer decides — and one hopes he insists that mom and dad take him to a judge so that he can legally change his name — you kind of get the sense that Kyl and Brent won’t be any too pleased if he announces he is a girl or, worse yet, a boy.