Theybie Source: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Theybie

A theybie (plural theybies) or non-binary baby is a term for a baby or child raised in a way that is gender-neutral, allowing children to choose their own gender, and also referring to the accompanying parenting style. The term and movement was initially popularised in 2018,[1][2] preceding several reports of babies in 2017 being born without being assigned a gender.[3][4][5] The practice of raising babies as gender neutral has been reported as early as 2009[6] and 2011,[7] continuing to receive news reports in 2021,[8] however the term "theybie" was first used in 2017. The term is a portmanteau of the pronoun 'they' and 'baby'. Until children raised as theybies choose their gender and pronouns, they are referred to by the parents using they/them pronouns.[8][9][10]


Parents of theybies describe motivations for doing so including supporting gender diversity, improving self-determination of gender, reducing sexism and reducing the developmental effects of gender stereotypes on children.[1][11][12]

Legal recognition[edit]

As of October 2017, in California it was made possible for residents to have a baby legally recognized as gender neutral with a "X" sex marker.[13][14] It is also possible to receive a "U" gender marker for theybies in Canada.[11]


There has been criticism towards the concept of theybies,[15][16] including from Christian organizations[17][18] and by political commentator Steven Crowder.[19] Common criticisms include that it is a selfish choice on the part of the parent, equating a choice on gender to be a choice of anatomy, that it is harmful to keep the gender "secret" from other people, and the possibility of increased child bullying.[20][21]

Parents of theybies have also expressed consideration at the possibility of increased bullying rates:

I’d rather have a kid that experiences adversity and deals with it and comes out stronger [...] than a kid who is a bully.[1]

— Nate Sharpe, parent of a non-binary child

Although the principle and reports do not set an age limit before children can decide their gender, some critics consider an age limit before children can choose their gender a key component of theybies, and suggest that such an age limit is unethical.[21]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c Compton, Julie (July 20, 2018). "'Boy or girl?' Parents raising 'theybies' let kids decide". NBC News. Retrieved 2022-04-27.
  2. ^ Morris, Alex (2018-04-03). "Is It Possible to Raise Your Child Entirely Without Gender From Birth?". The Cut. Retrieved 2022-05-04.
  3. ^ Gann, Jen (2017-07-06). "A Canadian Baby Might Be the First Without a Gender Assigned at Birth". The Cut. Retrieved 2022-04-27.
  4. ^ "Transgender Parent Gives Birth To First Baby Without An Assigned Gender". True Activist. 2017-07-13. Retrieved 2022-04-27.
  5. ^ "A Newborn's Gender Was Declared Non-Binary For the First Time". Kveller. 2017-07-05. Retrieved 2022-04-27.
  6. ^ "Swedish parents keep 2-year-old's gender secret". The Local Sweden. 2009-06-23. Retrieved 2022-04-27.
  7. ^ "Baby Storm five years later: Preschooler on top of the world". The Toronto Star. 2016-07-11. ISSN 0319-0781. Retrieved 2022-05-04.
  8. ^ a b "Gender-neutral 'theyby' turns 5 — as mom now says child is a boy". TheBlaze. 2021-06-16. Retrieved 2022-05-04.
  9. ^ "'Boy or girl?' Parents raising 'theybies' let kids decide". NBC News. Retrieved 2022-05-04.
  10. ^ "Five Ways To Show Up For Theybies and Their Parents - Ms. Magazine". msmagazine.com. Retrieved 2022-05-04.
  11. ^ a b Matei, Adrienne (2020-07-08). "Raising a theybie: the parent who wants their child to grow up gender-free". the Guardian. Retrieved 2022-04-27.
  12. ^ "Theybies: Some parents raising their babies gender-neutral". FOX 11 Los Angeles. 2019-03-03. Retrieved 2022-04-27.
  13. ^ Newberry, Laura (2019-09-25). "These L.A. parents don't want to assign a gender to their baby, so the government did it for them". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2022-04-27.
  14. ^ "Bill Text - SB-179 Gender identity: female, male, or nonbinary". leginfo.legislature.ca.gov. 2017-10-16. Retrieved 2022-04-27.
  15. ^ Pappas, Stephanie (2011-05-25). "The Truth About Genderless Babies". livescience.com. Retrieved 2022-04-27.
  16. ^ Larsen, Jessica (2017-07-21). "15 Opinions On Not Assigning A Baby's Gender At Birth". BabyGaga. Retrieved 2022-04-27.
  17. ^ Showalter, Brandon (2018-07-24). "Raising Kids as 'Theybies' Assaults Reality, God's Creation; Harms Children, Scholars Say". The Christian Post. Retrieved 2022-04-27.
  18. ^ Hawkins, John (2020-01-26). "'Woke' Parents Are Now Raising Gender Neutral 'Theybies'". Brass Pills. Retrieved 2022-04-27.
  19. ^ Steven, Crowder (January 22, 2020). REBUTTAL: Raising Gender-Neutral “Theybie’s” | Louder with Crowder (Youtube Video).
  20. ^ Meckler, Mark (2018-07-26). "Dangerous Trend Alert: Parents Raising 'Theybies' - Keeping Gender Secret". Citizens for Self-Governance. Retrieved 2022-04-27.
  21. ^ a b "'This Is Straight-Up Child Abuse': Parents Raising 'Theybies' Not 'Babies,' Letting Kids Choose Their Gender". CBN News. 2018-07-26. Retrieved 2022-05-04.