A baby in Florida is being raised with no gender, in a bizarre social experiment making headlines across the country.
The 11-month-old baby, named Sparrow, looks like he might be a boy, but his parents aren’t going to explain gender anytime soon. They know what type of genitals he has, but they’re going to ignore them til he figures it out.
Furthermore, Sparrow’s referred to as “they,” not “he” or “she.”
“We did not assign a sex at birth, which means when ‘they’ were born, umm, ‘they’ had genitals and we know what they are, uh, we just chose to acknowledge that those genitals don’t indicate anything about gender,” one of Sparrow’s parents, Ari Dennis, told WTSP.
Dennis says they’re keeping Sparrow’s biological sex a closely guarded secret.
“My own mother did not know Sparrow’s genitals for the first three months even though she was living with us at the time,” Dennis said.
Her other daughter Hazel must also adhere to the gender-neutral LARP, and cannot tell others if she has a brother or a sister.
“I say I have a little sibling, because I have a little sibling, not brother or sister,” says Hazel.
Sparrow, Dennis says, needs to be able to experience “all genders” to be able to decide whether he’s male or female.
“We didn’t want Sparrow to grow up in an environment devoid of gender – it’s not real life – we want them to get to experience all genders, so like ‘them’ going out in public and getting treated like a girl, and then getting treated like a boy, and then getting treated like someone you can’t tell shows them what the diverse options are.”
Pressed on what they would tell Sparrow if he asks if he’s a boy or girl, Dennis says they’d let him make up his own mind.
“I would tell them that they’re the only ones that get to decide that, ‘Well do you feel like a boy? Do you feel like a girl?’”
Attempting to understand the mindset behind the social experiment, WTSP’s Liz Crawford asked if Dennis thought she was evil for decorating her daughter’s bedroom in pink.
“No, I think you’re following a comfortable social narrative,” Dennis replied.
WTSP reports there’s an underground movement of parents raising gender-neutral “theybies,” with a closed FB group calleed “Parenting Theybies” containing more than 350 members.
Here’s a 30-minute interview with Dennis if you want to watch it: