Andy, a non-binary trans masc person with a beard looks down at their pregnant belly with pride. They wear a lilac purple chest binder.

Breaking the Binary: Celebrating Nonbinary Parents

Breaking the Binary: Celebrating Nonbinary Parents

by Andy Amor


Being nonbinary means straddling the non-existent fence of a social construct that's rigid and binary by design. It means veering off the gender stereotypes while trying to weave a path in a world that often clings to them. Now, imagine walking this path while having a title like 'parent' pinned to your name. In celebration of Nonbinary Parent's Day, we refuse to be a footnote in the book of parenting and instead take centre stage in the narrative of nonbinary familial love and growth.

In this article, I want to share my personal experience as a nonbinary parent and how such a seemingly simple label comes with its own set of challenges, joys, and insights. For the trans and nonbinary community and those who support and love them, this piece is an invitation to a conversation rarely explored openly – what's it really like being a nonbinary parent?

Understanding Nonbinary Parenting

The term 'nonbinary' mostly defies traditional gender roles, but when you add 'parent' to the mix, it becomes about reshaping the parental roles that society has etched in stone. For me, it means being a parent who recognises and respects that my children exist in a world where gender is a spectrum, not a box. It means that bedtime stories aren't just fairy tales; they are stories that mirror the world, as it's diverse and beautiful, with no simple division into pink and blue.

Challenging Childhood Norms

Raising children as a nonbinary parent inherently challenges the usual gendered methods of upbringing. From the toys we choose for our children to the clothes they wear, every decision feels like a small rebellion against the pervasive gender norms. Yet, it's crucial to ensure our children grow up to be open and accepting of all identities.

Insider Perspective on Nonbinary Pregnancy and Birth

Pregnancy and childbirth present unique challenges for nonbinary individuals, whose body changes may clash with their sense of self. Yet, these transformations can sometimes bring unexpected joy, offering a chance for a deeply positive reconnection with their bodies as they support the growth of their babies. The journey is deeply personal, marking a period of profound self-discovery where individual identity and the responsibilities of parenthood intersect.

The Family Dynamic

The presence of a nonbinary parent doesn't just affect the individual, but the entire family system. Switching pronouns, challenging gendered family roles, and negotiating identity within the family can be a complex process that demands understanding and support from all members.

Navigating Pronouns and Identity with Children

Addressing pronouns and identity with children is often thought of as a daunting task, but it's a conversation that can flourish with honesty and simplicity. It's about carving out spaces where questions are welcomed rather than shunned.

Nonbinary Partnership and Co-Parenting

A nonbinary parent's relationship with their children is only one part of the multifaceted family dynamic. Their partnership with co-parents, whether they are romantic partners or dear friends, is also integral in creating a nurturing family environment.

Society's Gaze and Legal Hurdles

Nonbinary parents often find themselves encountering a lack of recognition and understanding from society and, at times, the law. From birth certificates to school enrolments, the necessity of checkboxes and labels becomes a legal minefield.

The Struggle for Legal Recognition

The legal battle for recognition is not just paperwork. It's a fight for the acknowledgment of one's existence and the right to parent without the courts or state imposing their binary views.

Support Systems and Community

Finding support in a community that understands your unique parental perspective is invaluable. It's a lifeline amid the sea of cisnormative parenting advice and groups.

Balancing Self-Identity and Parental Responsibilities

For many nonbinary parents, the struggle rests in maintaining their identity while fulfilling their parental duties. It's about being a role model for their child's individuality while allowing their child the space to explore and express their own identity freely.

Self-Care in a Cisnormative World

In a world that's often hostile to nonbinary individuals, self-care takes on a whole new level of importance. It's about carving out moments to affirm one's identity and recharge in the face of societal pressures.

Educating Beyond the Binary

Every day presents a new opportunity to educate and advocate for a world that understands and respects nonbinary individuals and parents. It's a tiring but essential part of the parental role.

Celebrating Nonbinary Parent's Day

Nonbinary Parent's Day is more than just a date on the calendar; it's a recognition that nonbinary individuals can and do take on one of the most challenging and rewarding roles in life. It's an acknowledgment of their love, perseverance, and the unique perspective they bring to the world of parenting.

Reflecting on Personal Growth

Personal growth as a nonbinary parent often stems from the day-to-day experiences that challenge and inspire. It's about becoming comfortable in the parental role without sacrificing one's identity.

The Ongoing Journey

The celebration of Nonbinary Parent's Day may last for 24 hours, but the love, learning, and growth of a nonbinary parent is a lifelong commitment. It's an ongoing journey of self-discovery and familial bliss.

Moving Forward with Visibility and Validation

The path of a nonbinary parent is one of visibility – both seen and unseen – and the never-ending quest for validation in a world that too often wishes to invalidate. It's about building a future where expressions of love aren't bound by gender, but are pure, boundless, and free-flowing.

Lobbying for Legislative Inclusion

Legislative inclusion is the next frontier for nonbinary parents. It's pushing for laws and regulations that respect and support all kinds of families, irrespective of the gender of the parents.

Sharing Unique Voices

By sharing our stories as nonbinary parents, we shatter the misconceptions and silence that often shroud our experiences. Through our voices, we lay the groundwork for a more inclusive and understanding world for our children and the generations that follow.

The task of describing what it's like being a nonbinary parent is as vast as the spectrum of identities it encompasses. It's complex, beautiful, and at times bewildering. But at its core, it's a testament to the enduring power of love – a love that is unstoppable, no matter how gendered the world may be. Happy Nonbinary Parent's Day to all nonbinary parents taking on the world, one day at a time, and showing that love, in all its forms, knows no bounds.