The world has changed in many, many ways in the past few years and there’s no better example than the story we’ve got for you today!
The Draven family are attempting to now raise Britain’s first gender-fluid family, as they bring up their four-year old child Star as neither a boy or a girl.
Star’s parents have both transitioned from their initial genders, with Louise Draven transitioning from a man and Nikki Draven transitioning from a woman to become Star’s dad.
For Star Nikki truly is daddy, however Louise is the actual biological father, while the transitioned Nikki is the true birth mother.
However for Nikki, this really doesn’t matter.
“Neither of us gets hung up on the gender we were born as,” said Nikki. “We don’t want our child constrained by that either. We’re just an ordinary family being who we want to be.”
Beginning school in September 2017, Star will wear a boy’s uniform but with a pink vest and socks that Star has chosen for the special moment.
The youngster says that he will grow up to be either a boy or a girl.
Former pub bouncer Nikki said: “We want to give him the confidence to be who he wants – growing up, we didn’t have that.”
“We never tell Star he’s a boy, we tell him he can be whatever he wants. We don’t buy gender specific toys or clothes and we let him choose what he wears. Pink is one of his favourite colours.
“He loves wearing leggings and, because of his name, he loves clothes with star patterns on.”
“He loves Barbie dolls, dressing up and fairies – but he also likes toys considered as boys’, such as cars.”
“We use the words ‘he’ and ‘him’ but don’t make any kind of big deal out of him being one sex or the other.”
It has not been an easy journey for the Draven family, admitting they do draw odd stares from the public. A few weeks ago a passing truck driver yelled out the window aggressively at Nikki, telling her: “I’d cut my throat if I looked like you.”
“It was worse when Star was small and Louise was first transitioning because people would point, stare and laugh,” said Nikki.
“Sometimes they’d even follow us shouting insults. I’m not easily intimated because I was a bouncer in a gay bar, but Lou found it really upsetting.”
Fear of that type of bullying will not hold the Draven family back however, they will only persevere further in their goal: “Star is only in nursery but has already been put under pressure by other children. He came home the other day saying, ‘I can’t play with dolls – they’re for girls’,” said Nikki.
“We sat him down and explained that anyone can play with dolls and that it’s good practice for when he grows up and is a daddy. He said, ‘I might not be a daddy – I might be a mammy!”
While many may disagree with their child-rearing techniques, they are right in line with new advice from the UK’s NHS Foundation Trust, a centre for psychological well-being with a dedicated Gender Identity Development Service
It recommends parents support younger children ‘to safely explore their interests, allegiances and preferred activities, whilst keeping a range of options open to them’.
They state that parents should maintain ‘an open mind about how a child’s interests and identity might develop over time’.
Words: Jacqui Deevoy
Featured Image Credit: ‘J Photographers North East Ltd/Jacqui Deevoy Media