Stage 4

It’s a Theyby! Is it possible to raise your child entirely without gender from birth? Some parents are trying

For months leading up to the birth of his child, Bobby McCullough was nervous. His partner, Lesley Fleishman, had enjoyed an easy and uncomplicated pregnancy. The couple’s sunny Brooklyn apartment was now stocked with a crib and diapers and soft, tiny clothes. They were as ready to enter parenthood as any two people could be, and they welcomed it. But still, McCullough worried that the first few seconds of his child’s life would unfurl like some Hollywood script, the wriggling newborn lifted up into the air while “It’s a boy” or “It’s a girl” rang out across the hospital room — both pronouncement and fate. “It just would have fucked us up,” he says now, eight weeks later, as, nuzzled against his chest, his tiny baby sleeps, a sweetly mewing black-haired dollop of a human. And so he told hospital staff, “ ‘At minimum, do not describe the anatomy, or what you think the anatomy means, when this baby’s born.’ We definitely wanted to prevent them being gendered in any intense moment. And everybody was aware of that.”: