Polyamorous Mom Who’s ‘Neither Male Nor Female’ Wants a Gender-Neutral Alternative to ‘Mother’

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By Jillian Kay Melchior | 5:20 pm, May 17, 2017

A genderqueer, polyamorous writer has written a blog bemoaning how, in English, “there aren’t many great terms for non-binary parents.”

On the progressive parenting website Romper, B R Sanders describes never identifying as a man woman: “Generally speaking, I feel pretty agender: the gender binary is just not a relevant construct for me. If it’s a choice between black and white, then I am orange.”

B R Sanders

Sanders says that getting pregnant and giving birth already “brought my discomfort with gender into sharp relief.”

Throughout the pregnancy, Sanders wore short hair, dressed butch, and repeatedly emphasized to strangers that “not every person who becomes pregnant is a woman.”

But after giving birth to Arthur, Sanders confronted a new problem: What parental title should the child use?

“The idea of Arthur calling me ‘mama’ was enough to make me want to jump out of my skin. I knew it would reinforce to everyone who heard it that I was a woman, and I was worried I would never be able to shed that identity.”

Arthur, now 5 years old, uses the word “mom” for Samantha, Sanders’ partner “who does identify as both a woman and a mother.” Sanders’ male partner, Jon, is Arthur’s father. And Sanders told Arthur to just “call me B, like pretty much everyone else does.”

Arthur eventually turned that parental appellation into “Baba”—which, coincidentally, is the word for “father” in Arabic, Chinese and other languages.

 

 

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