A couple who claim to be Britain’s first gender neutral family and are raising their son not to conform to gender binaries have faced backlash after their appearance on This Morning.
Following a feature about them published on the Mail Online, Nikki and Louise Draven sat down with hosts Ruth Langsford and Eamonn Holmes to explain why they believe raising four-year-old Star without a gender is in his best interests.
Louise was born a man but is currently undergoing hormone therapy to transition to a woman, and Star thinks of her as ‘mummy’.
Nikki, who is dad to Star, identifies as pansexual and dresses as both a man and woman.
Speaking on This Morning, both claimed previous coverage of their family had been misinterpreted. Addressing the implication that they had ‘forced’ gender fluidity on their child, Nikki said: ‘I asked him, are you a boy, a girl, or a person?’
‘We want to encourage him to think of himself as a person.’
Although Star knows that he is biologically a boy, his parents say he likes to paint his nails and enjoys traditionally ‘girly’ pursuits.
‘He knows biologically he is a boy,’ said Nikki. ‘But we don’t want him to have the constraints of gender yet.’
‘We want him to explore both sides of the gender, and let him decide when he’s older.’
‘We take everything from Star. Basically, whatever he wants, he can have.’
Ruth and Eamonn quizzed the couple about their choice, suggesting that they could be seen to be overcomplicating parenting and potentially confusing their child in the process.
But Twitter had much stronger views, with hundreds of viewers taking to the social media site during their appearance, and some even suggesting their methods to be a child welfare issue.
‘These patents are putting their own identity issues onto a child. No benefit to their son. So much confusion,’ wrote one commenter.
Another said: ‘This is so wrong. There is no such thing as ‘gender neutral’ it is basic biological fact. Unless one is born a Hermaphrodite.’
And a third wrote: ‘My word! That’s just ridiculous. My heart goes out to that poor child. They are setting him up for a huge fall.’
One more even asked: ‘Shouldn’t these parents have a conversation with social services, not Eamon and Ruth? This is clearly a child welfare issue.’
‘Wow.most unnecessary/confusing thing on #ThisMorning,’ another agreed. ‘No way am I against the parents but forcing a toddler to be gender fluid?!? Come on.’