Out in the Open·Full Episode

Whither Gender?

We hear more and more everyday how people are rejecting the genders male and female, and embracing different ways to identify. This week, Piya explores whether traditional gender as we know it is becoming obsolete, whether it should, and what happens when people step outside those boxes.

This week, Piya explores whether traditional gender as we know it is becoming obsolete

The parents of Sojourner Wildfire decided not to assign their child a gender at birth. They're part of a small but growing group of parents who've chosen to buck traditional gender when it comes to raising kids. (Submitted by Bobby McCullough)
Listen to the full episode54:00

We hear more and more everyday how people are rejecting the genders male and female, and embracing different ways to identify. This week, Piya explores whether traditional gender as we know it is becoming obsolete, whether it should, and what happens when people step outside those boxes.

Here are the stories from this week's episode:

'It doesn't work for a whole lot of us': Should we torch the traditional gender binary?

Growing up, Robin Dembroff says they were androgynous and felt like a "gender question mark". But when they discovered the term "non-binary", they likened it to a corkscrew: a word that just fit. Robin speaks with Piya about why they think efforts toward inclusion such as gender-neutral government IDs fall short, and why they'd prefer to do away with baseline gender categories altogether.

A mother strives to understand and support her non-binary child

Susan Knoppow and her husband were determined to raise feminist kids, back in the 1990s. But that didn't include much talk about gender. That is, until their eldest Miriam came out as non-binary at 18-years-old. Susan speaks with Piya about struggling to understand this revelation at first, working to support her kid better, and what it all reveals about gender and generational divide.

'I used to think that babies were born a girl or a boy': Why some parents are raising kids undefined by gender

After expectant parents Bobby McCullough and Lesley Fleishman discovered a story about a parent who chose not to assign their child a gender, they decided to follow their lead. Bobby speaks with Piya about why the couple made the decision, how it plays out now that their baby's born, and how loved ones and strangers have reacted to their gender-open parenting approach.

A case for keeping space for male and female on the growing spectrum of gender

Sky Gilbert is a gay man, uses he and him pronouns and presents as very masculine. But he says he also has a strong feminine side, all of which he's spent his career exploring through performance. He tells Piya why, still, he feels it's important to hold on to the traditional genders of male and female alongside other gender identities... and responds to recent criticism around comments he's made about gender politics and privilege.


 

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