The bin year that was 2020 is finally behind us and 2021 has brought some good news. A South Australian couple, who are expecting their baby later in 2021 have decided to bring up their child genderless. Agender and queer couple Emryk Prout and Jordan Watson said they will leave it to their child to decide for themselves about the gender they identify with.

Star Observer spoke to Emryk and Jordan after they announced the decision on social media.

The couple had met 14 years ago at school where they became best friends. It wasn’t until a couple of years ago when they moved in together that love blossomed.

An Equal Relationship

Their relationship does not fall into the categories of binary normality, but instead works on shared roles, responsibilities and an equal partnership. When they decided to start a family, it was a joint call after much deliberation. 

Emryk had always wanted to carry children, it was only ever a matter of when and how. For Jordan they always assumed that being queer meant that having biological children would not be an option, so they never put much thought into it. That changed when we got together,” said the couple. 

“We had multiple conversations about why we wanted children and on parenting styles. We found that we agreed with each other. We thought about the happiness and opportunities we would be able to provide to a child and our decision was made. We were ready to add to our family.”

The couple decided against medical assistance to have a child and instead decided to do it naturally. Emryk is now 15 weeks pregnant. The conversations between the couple led them to their next decision that they will raise their child genderless.

“We believe gender identity is not determined by physical markers, like genitalia, nor by our DNA. For this reason, we will be offering our child equal access to all clothes, toys and activities, and using they/them pronouns for them until the child says otherwise. We both as adults have been able to recognise experiences and opportunities that we missed out on as a result of being raised in a binary, cis normative environment, and we just want to make sure our child does not have those limitations,” the couple explained.

‘Will you respect our child’s pronouns?’

The couple have started planning for the child’s future and education as well. They learnt from other parents that some schools have started teaching students about pronouns and the use of they/them.

“We already have a few early learning centres and schools we are interested in and have prepared a list of questions we feel are important to ask. Questions like ‘Will you respect our child’s pronouns?’ and ‘Will they be allowed to wear all options of the school uniform?’, as well as asking about their policies and plan of action, if our child does receive undue comments from their teachers or peers,” said the couple.

“We do expect to have to educate some places, as most queer individuals must, and we will be happy to facilitate those conversations and answer respectful questions.”

The couple were apprehensive about how family and friends would respond to their decisions, but have found overwhelming support despite the odd skeptic.

‘Kids in the family had a question or two!’

We have received a lot of support and understanding from our family and friends. We have a loving queer family that we have created who are all excited to have a little one around. The kids of the family had a question or two about which one of us was carrying, but they have all been amazing at understanding that our child will not be a girl, boy, or otherwise until they make that choice for themselves.”

“There have been a few who are having trouble with respecting our decision and believe that we are raising the baby “trans” or “non-binary”. That is not the case, we are simply just not raising them cis-assumed.  We do not expect people to understand or agree with our parenting style, however we do ask that we are met with respect, like every person should be.”

All the best to the new couple and the future of their child.  

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