| Last updated
A transgender dad has decided not to reveal the sex of his baby, so they can discover their own gender as they grow up.
Sav Butler, 20, from Portland, came out as transgender at the age of 18, after struggling with gender identity while growing up.
Now, Sav has opted to use a genderless parenting style with his two children, to avoid imposing an 'assumed' gender that may not align with who they are.
Sav hopes it will help the children find their true identities.
Sav's older child Wesley, aged three, has already expressed that he is male and Sav explains their newborn baby, Eden, will tell them their gender by the time they are three as well.
"I've raised both of my children genderless until they can tell me what their gender is themselves," says Sav.
"I'm not raising them non-binary because that is a gender identity as well and the whole point is to not give them a gender identity.
"I don't want them to be referred to as something they're not and have their memories end up being bad, I just want them to know that they are accepted.
"It will also make them understand more about different identities and help them to find themselves quicker.
"I haven't told anyone the assumed gender of either of my children because it's none of their business - it's only the business of me as the person who changes their diaper and their doctor.
"By three years old they're talking and can understand and tell you their gender identity so they can tell people themselves eventually."
Sav is passionate about raising awareness of the difference between gender and sex, explaining that while babies do have a biological sex, they don't immediately have gender identity.
Over the years, he has received a negative response from others over his parenting choices. But Sav slams this as 'hypocritical', pointing out that most parents force an 'assumed' gender on their children at birth based on their biological sex.
"Gender doesn't equal sex and I get annoyed because people ask what the gender of the baby is but babies don't have gender identities yet - all they know is poop, pee, eat and sleep," he continues.
"It becomes about what's in their diaper and just isn't the right terminology. When I refuse to answer what the 'gender' of the baby is, people are usually confused or angry.
"They say it's not my decision to make for the baby which is obviously hypocritical because babies have their genders assumed at birth every day."
Genderless parenting essentially means Sav will buy both masculine and feminine clothes and toys - and uses both he and she pronouns - until the children are old enough to express themselves.
"Until they can tell me their gender identity I put both of my kids in both masculine and feminine clothes," he says.
"That way they can look back at baby photos that align with their gender and not be uncomfortable.
"I also use both masculine and feminine pronouns so they can see what each feels like and what they like being called.
"Even once they've expressed their gender identity I allow them to wear and play with whatever clothes and toys they want - Wesley likes both masculine and feminine stuff and that's okay.
"I would be totally okay whether they are cisgender or trans, male, female or non-binary. I don't care and I love them no matter what."
Sav says his journey as a trans person has influenced his parenting. He asks the children to call him 'mapa' and refers to feeding baby Eden as 'chestfeeding'.
"My journey as a trans person definitely has something to do with how I parent," he continues.
"I don't want my kids to look back on their childhood and feel pain, which a lot of trans people have experienced and can understand.
"I came out after I moved out at 18 years old but I knew I was trans by the time I was five years old because I didn't feel comfortable in my own body.
"I shortened my name and started hormone therapy and I'm about to get back on hormones now that I've given birth.
"Kids understand themselves more than we give them credit for. They have a grasp on gender identity by the time they are three and can express themselves and talk.
"My three-year-old probably knows more about gender than most grown adults. I use books to help explain it to them. It doesn't have to work for everybody but it works for our family."
For support, advice and resources, you can visit LGBTQ+ charity Mermaids here.
Chosen for YouChosen for You
Most Read StoriesMost Read