I have always contemplated the whole ‘gender neutral environment’ for children. Even before having Cheeks it was something that made sense to me. The whole point is that it doesn’t force any preconceived gender norms onto your children and let them experience their emotions, life, feelings, whatever you want to call them.. on their own.
So before we get into an uncomfortable, arguably confrontational topic.. and before you make any type of judgment, comment, or opinions, please hear me out.
Cheeks has Klinefelters Syndrome. He has an extra X sex chromosome ((XXY) – an extra female chromosome). That being said, along with learning disabilities, it is not uncommon for men/boys with KS to be overly emotional and in some cases have gender identity issues. This is definitely more apparent in boys who do not get testosterone treatment.
Now, I have a couple of amazing friends and have met wonderful men and woman who are transgender. I have heard the accepting and beautiful stories and I have also heard the horrifying.
This is where gender neutralizing has recently popped up again and another list of fears roll through my mind.
I would never want my son to feel unsupported in his emotions. No matter what age he is and even if he didn’t have KS, his emotions are out of his control and he shouldn’t be punished or ridiculed for that. I am definitely not saying that I am going to put him in a dress, only buy him girls toys, or put makeup on him out of no where.. BUT if the day comes where he wants to be a princess for Halloween, likes the color pink, or decides he would like a Barbie instead of a WWE action figure.. I most definitely will not tell him no or tell him that those toys “are for girls.” How could I really say that? I mean, his natural makeup is XXY… he technically has more of a female makeup (mind) then he does male. So how could I tell him that “these are for boys” and “you shouldn’t play with those because they are for girls?” What if those words crushed him? Made him feel like he wasn’t normal.. I wouldn’t be able to handle that. I would never want that. So Brandon and I have discussed having a gender neutral home, and I have obviously offered to do more research.
I have no idea what his mind is going to do, or what symptoms we will face with Klinefelters. At the end of the day literally nothing could happen and he could show zero symptoms. But I like to prepare myself because my decisions will make Cheeks into who he will become. My decisions and parenting will effect his development.
Yes, I prepare for worst case scenarios. Yes, I get paranoid and do way more research then I should and need to. Yes, I’m a clinically diagnosed control freak. And yes, I am overly protective. But I’m a mom now. That’s what I do.