Cover Image: Raising Them: Our Adventure in Gender Creative Parenting

Raising Them: Our Adventure in Gender Creative Parenting

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Member Reviews

Dr. Kyl Myers was raised fairly sheltered within the Mormon community, but grows increasingly more interested in learning about the larger world as she continues her education. As part of this awakening, she becomes interested in gender creative parenting, in which parents do not assign a gender to their child(ren) and instead, wait to be informed by them when they are old enough to do so. Myers becomes an advocate and role model for those interested in following this parenting path, and it's easy to see why. The book showcases a sunny outlook and so much love for her child, Zoomer. It's clear that this is working well for her family and that Zoomer is thriving as they experience all that the world has to offer without the restriction of gender stereotypes.
While I'd love to stop there and say this was a great book, I'd be remiss if I didn't also share some of the thoughts I had while reading this book. For one, Myers is privileged. In so many ways. She acknowledges it a bit, but I think as someone wanting to help others explore gender creative parenting, she does them a disservice by not acknowledging that for some, this might be extremely difficult even if they are committed to it. Myers' husband, her family, his family, friends, and coworkers were all supportive of their decision. They find businesses that are welcoming and supportive. They have babysitters and childcare that are on board too. This is phenomenal, and I wish everyone could say the same, but the reality is that many people simply do not have this type of community surrounding them. The hardest thing Myers had to deal with was an influx of media attention after granting an interview, which was slightly confusing because in this day, how did she not expect that? That minor judgment aside, I think it just nagged at me in general because she seemed to have a happy ending to nearly every situation that arose, including choosing not to have Zoomer participate in a running race because it was divided by gender. I guess that's where the "creative" part comes in too, because she came up with an alternative activity that still allowed Zoomer to run and feel loved. 
The other part I had some difficulty with was the whole issue of privacy. We live in such a challenging time when it comes to making decisions about our childrens' digital footprints and whatnot, but it was ironic that while Myers worked so hard to not have Zoomer's genitals mark them any which way, she was still fine with listing every single other detail about them in a book. The intent, of sharing their family's story, is great. But the impact? I guess we won't know that until Zoomer is old enough to check it out on their own. Everything is told lovingly and with adoration, but that still doesn't necessarily mean they will be comfortable with it in the future. It was a gamble, but I guess gender creative parenting felt like a gamble at first too, so it fits the overall pattern.
In any case, this was a sweet read that will no doubt be thought-provoking for those who have never considered what gendering their child at birth might mean for their future.
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I've fallen in between somewhere with this book and can't really decide if it's toooo opinionated or if the author is on to something.  It's a memoir (in my opinion and should be advertised as such).
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This is an interesting read, but I think it may have been written too soon in the author's experience. I expected this to be all about the actual experiences of raising a child gender-creatively and of course how the child self-identifies. Baby Zoomer isn't born until the 40% point of the book. The book also only follows the first 2.5 years of life. I think if this was written ten years later it would be a much more fascinating read.

Thank you to NetGalley for the ARC for an honest review.
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A fascinating read a look at not assigning gender to your child.Raising  your child without any of the identity assigned to either a boy or girl.zibenjoyed following this family’s journey ,adventure.A book I will be recommending.#netgalley#littleA
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First and foremost I would like to thank NetGalley for granting me the privilege of reading this amazing book (that the people around me will have to hear about for quite some time to come). It wholeheartedly deserves the five stars I'm giving it and I'm very happy to see that other people on the internet seem to agree with me.

As Myers mentions it themselves at the beginning of this book: "This book is for people who are passionate about queering parenting." After finishing this book I fully agree with this! This book, like a lot of books about parenting in general, isn't just for parents. It's for anybody who's ever been interested in how parenting can influence a child and inevitably the future that child grows up in. But it's also for people who just want to learn more about how our perception of gender shapes how we see others and the world, and for people who might want to change the view they currently have.

This book explores gender in an explanatory way, (possibly) teaching the reader new terminology, viewpoints and visions for a different future for kids. Myers also talks about how they, their partner and family experienced everything that comes with deciding to become a parent and the experience of raising a child in a gender creative way. Fun, sad and sometimes frustrating anecdotes share the page with educational segments about gender in relation to parenting (or society in general).

The thing I loved most about this book is how accessible it was to read. A lot is discussed in this book, but everything is approached with an open mindset and clear and simple language. This book could be used as an example of how to tackle gender creative parenting, but it doesn't present itself that way (Myer even addressed the overload of parenting "tips" and books in Western culture, which I highly appreciated). Everything about this book screams inclusion and it promotes a safe space for dialogue about gender, sexuality and parenting.

Another thing that made this book very refreshing to read, was how both reassuring and real it was. Myers doesn't sugar-coat anything about their experience in the world of being a parent so far, but it leaves the reader with hope anyway. This book both raises and answers a lot of interesting questions and just makes the reader think, without overwhelming them.

Lastly, the line that struck me the most in this book, is this: "I want more than half the world for my child." I immediately felt like that line will open a lot of worlds for people, hopefully for (soon to be) parents as well. It paints a very bright picture for this way of raising a child and filled me with joy.

I strongly encourage everybody to read this book, because I feel like it's an important contribution to shaping a more fun, more inclusive, more colourful and brighter world for the next generations.
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I'm not sure why this is specified as fiction when it's not. But it's useful and informative for parents nonetheless.
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Prior to reading this book, I had never really thought about gender creative parenting. Maybe I've been stuck in a bubble, but I hadn't even heard of it. When I decided to read this book, I admit I was hesitant. "How could it help me? I have two boys." If you have are in a similar situation, please do not make that stop you from reading this book! There is so much to know and learn and Meyer's presented their thoughts in a cohesive, easy-to-read way. 

If you are looking for a 'how-to' guide, this is not it. If you are interested in gender-creative parenting and want to know about one family's journey, or if you just want to understand why a family would choose to not assign a child a gender at birth, then this is a wonderful read.

Written as a memoir (or even as a love letter to their child), this book is an easy read that puts in simple terms what it means to decide to become a gender-creative parent. Obviously, not everyone will has the same journey. Meyer's talks about how their parents were fully supportive, while that may not be the case for everyone. I used to work at a baby goods store, and looking back, I realize how callous it would be for some to ask "Are you having a boy a girl?"-- it doesn't matter! I love how often I thought about situations like this, and I do think that this book really made me think about how I interact with young children when I know the child's sex.

For me, what this book was about was simply this: A world with more tolerant, kind people is a better world. Instead of focusing on whether someone is a girl or a boy, we should instead focus on what makes us live a better life for ourselves.

Thank you to Netgalley and Little A for an ARC copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
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Well researched and explained, this is a great resource for patrons. I like the way the authors discuss gender and alternatives to approaching different styles of identity,
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I requested this book on NetGalley because I was curious. Raising a child without gender until they choose - my first thought was ‘how cool!’ which was followed quickly by a resounding ‘sounds really hard, though.’ Kyl is a wonderful story teller and sounds like a wonderful mom.

(Note: ‘they’ is the pronoun used for Kyl in the ‘About the author’ section, so that’s what I will use.) 

They were not preachy or judgmental at all in their choice to be a gender creative parent. When their sister worriedly asked if Kyl thought she was a bad mom for raising her child as a girl, Kyl said of course not, you’re a wonderful mom. This is just what feels right for me. They also acknowledged that their experiences, such as the positive hospital experience giving birth to Zoomer, was influenced by “privileges Brent and I have as white, middle-class, insured, straight-appearing couple at a hospital in a progressive city.” And they acknowledged that while their family was very supportive, others are not so lucky. This was not a ‘how to live your life like me because I’m right and you’re wrong’ kind of book. It was more of a book on ‘here’s one way to do it that worked well for us and hopefully hearing our story might make you more comfortable if you choose to be a gender creative parent, too.” 

I’m so glad I read this book. I think one day gender creative parenting will be much more commonplace and I hope I get to see that day. Thank you NetGalley, Kyl Myers, and publisher for the ARC in exchange for an honest review.
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This was an interesting book regarding gender . It helped me understand it more as I work with a non gender person and they helped explained things to me  not everyones cup of tea im sure
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Raising Them is the memoir of Kyl Myers and her journey in raising her child, Zoomer without an assigned gender. This is not a guide or how to, but a true memoir, delving into Myers’ life and background, as well as her personal experience as a human and parent. That said, as a fellow gender neutral/creative parent of a toddler, I found the perspective and shared experience affirming, validating, and insightful. My spouse and I arrived at the decision to raise our child without an assigned gender from a different route, and our approach may be different, but there are still lessons I will take from Raising Them in how to approach certain situations like talking to teachers and adult strangers about my child’s gender identity.

The one piece of advice I would offer to fellow readers is to go into this understanding it’s more of a memoir than a guide. Expect the personal narrative and you’ll leave fulfilled.

I highly recommend this to just about anyone exploring gender identity — their own, their child’s, or another persons — and especially new and prospective parents. I don’t agree with everything Myers has said or done, but I do absolutely agree that we can help make the world a better place by breaking down gender stereotypes and norms from childhood. There is no reason a child needs to be told what their gender is before even understanding the concept. It’s just not as big a deal as we’ve decided it is.

Myers also gave a really wonderful TEDx talk in 2016 that can serve as a basic overview of this memoir if you want an idea of the content without reading the full text.

That said, I will absolutely be purchasing a copy.
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This was a very interesting memoir, written in a highly engaging style that I found entertaining, informative, and endearing without ever devolving into the saccharine-sweetness that plagues so many positive family memoirs... I wasn't familiar with Zoomer's tale from the Internet - I'm not on Instagram and apparently missed the media circus surrounding their life so far - so came into this one cold. I don't think it helped or hurt my read - the tale was compelling and sweet and poignant all on its own. Myers has a very easy writing style; you fall into her words quickly, and the mixture of funny, touching, and clearly heartfelt anecdotes and experiences grabbed me by the heartstrings from the opening salvo. 

I kept waiting for the other shoe to drop - it never did. This isn't a cautionary tale or one of redemption. Instead it is the unicorn of memoirs: a genuinely happy story without twists or agony. That isn't to say everything is always sunshine and roses. Parenting is hard, and gender-creative parenting in a gendered world adds an extra layer of challenge at times. The challenges and associated stress are presented honestly and fairly, as are their resolutions. This isn't about one parenting style over another. It's about deciding what's best for you and your family and seeing that decision through. It's a refreshing thing to read a memoir that doesn't leave one depressed (or sugar-sick with the overdone positivity), and I for one hope to encounter more of these rare beasts. It was a lovely tale of a well-loved child and I thoroughly enjoyed reading it.
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Interesting way of parenting. 

Thanks to author,publisher and Netgalley for the chance to read this book. While I got the book for free,it had no bearing on the rating I gave it.
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I really enjoyed reading this book, but I think anyone going into it looking for a how-to isn't going to find it here. This is definitely one family's experience, more memoir focused than guide focused. The perspective of the author is especially helpful in documenting their experience, providing some context, history, cultural significance, and the details of how her family has navigated gender creative parenting, but in the end I think her unacknowledged privilege was a little distracting for me. I would like to add, though, that it was refreshing to read a memoir from a member (or former member) of a religious practice that isn't a radical disavowing or affirmation of their beliefs and how they shape the authors life, or in this case perspective on queer issues. Also, the studies cited about the way parents set different expectations for their binary-gendered children was interesting, and something I'd like to read more about as a queer parent.
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A cisgender, progressive couple decides to raise their newborn genderless. They decide before the baby is ever born that they will allow him/her to decide their gender when it naturally evolves. They advise close family member, friends, and teachers that the child who is named Zoomer will be addressed and referred to as "they" and "them".  Most people in their orbit are happy to oblige. This books travails the terrain between in-utero and the first 3 years of Zoomer's life as questions of gender and sex arise, mostly directed towards the parents, and how such questions are answered. By book's end, we are no closer to understanding whether or not this decision has reflected positively, negatively, or not at all on Zoomer's assimilation into preschool with their peers, and how the family will proceed during puberty.
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Raising Them: Our Adventure in Gender Creative Parenting is a memoir about Kyl and Brent who are raising their child Zoomer using Gender Creative Parenting.  This means that they do not assign a gender to their child rather they let their child live life as a kid and explore the world without any gender stereotypes.  

I have followed Zoomer's story on instagram and I loved getting a deeper look into their family.  Hearing how they navigated this world with their own family, friends, and out on their travels was so interesting to me.  

This book made me think about the ways I gender stereotype my own children every day and will make me think about what I say to them going forward.  This is a great read to help anyone understand the role of gender stereotypes on children development. 

Thank you NetGalley for the free review copy.
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~ARC received in exchange for an honest review~

'Raising Them' written by Kyl Myers, PhD is a memoir portraying her families venture into 'gender-creative' parenting - a term that is new to me but is a welcome alternative to the term 'gender-neutral' which I've always felt is a bit 'meh' and doesn't really do a great job representing the idea of allowing children freedom and a safe environment to explore all that life has to offer, rather than be limited in their life experience by their anatomy. If 'neutral' is beige, then 'creative' is a rainbow. 

The author, a sociologist, is well versed in the research, statistics and data behind why it's beneficial for children to be raised in such a way, and is simultaneously a parent raising a child of their own. For that reason I consider this an ideal resource for anyone looking to explore alternatives to traditional childhood gender socialization, for whatever reason that may be. 
Myers experience combined with education humanizes what could potentially be portrayed as a lofty ideal and 'Raising Them' is written concisely and in a way that's paleatable to the reader. Myers as a person generally comes accross as compassionate, self-aware and conscious of how best to present her philosophy intelligently and gracefully, without arrogance or preaching. I've found it useful in affirming my thoughts and feelings on the subject and I'll definitely be revisiting in the future as I navigate my own parenting journey.

This book has come along at just the right time for me. On the first day of the new year I delivered my third and final child - after two sons this is our first daughter and it's opened up a can of worms in terms of gender socialization and just how differently children are treated in society based on their anatomy even before birth. It's something I've been spending a lot of time thinking about recently. In the summer my two older children will also start school and preschool on the same day - suffice to say that my family is entering somewhat of a new chapter in life and it can be difficult to unlearn certain ideas and go along with what feels natural when met with constant opposition from the outside world, which it feels like we are now fully entering. I've found this book to be affirming and validating and in reading it I feel encouraged moving forward. 

Parenting is very personal and I appreciate the Courtney-Myers family putting themselves out there for all the world to see and want them to know that their efforts are more than worthwhile. This book is an opportunity to literally tell their own story and it's impossible to rate any less than 5*

~Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for the opportunity to review this title~
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