Zoomer’s a boy: Utah author announces her 5-year-old’s decision to use he/him pronouns

Sociologist Kyl Myers has chronicled her family’s ‘gender creative’ parenting online and in a book.

(Rick Egan | The Salt Lake Tribune) Kyl Myers, Utah sociologist who's an expert on gender creative parenting, Monday, Nov. 9, 2020.

It’s not your typical gender reveal — because the child whose gender has been revealed is 5 years old, and was the one who made the determination.

Kyl Myers, a Utah-raised sociologist and author, announced this week that her child Zoomer — who Myers and husband Brent Courtney have raised without assigning a gender — has decided to use the pronouns he and him.

Myers started writing about “gender creative” parenting in 2015, before Zoomer was born. Myers described the challenges and joys of parenting without gender markers in a blog, RaisingZoomer.com, and on Instagram — and received international attention when she was interviewed for New York magazine on the subject. She went on to write a book, equal parts memoir and sociological treatise, “Raising Them,” that was released in September.

In an interview with The Salt Lake Tribune in November, Myers said that between the book’s completion and its publication, Zoomer had chosen a gender. Myers told The Tribune that she was “in the process of figuring out how to talk about it.”

On her RaisingZoomer Instagram account Tuesday, Myers told the story of when Zoomer informed her of his decision.

She described how her family performs “regular pronoun checks.” For example, Zoomer may ask, “What pronouns do you want me to use for you today?” Myers alternates between she/her and they/them.

In March 2020, around Zoomer’s fourth birthday, Myers asked, “what pronouns are you into yourself these days, Zoomer?” His reply: “I love he/him!”

Myers wrote that she replied, “That’s awesome, Zoomer. I am so happy you found pronouns you love.”

"Zoomer has used the term ‘boy’ to describe himself a few times, but still prefers the terms ‘kid’ and ‘person,’ and just being called Zoomer,” Myers wrote.

Since Zoomer’s announcement, Myers wrote, the family has been telling relatives, friends and teachers, “and everyone got on board and made the pronoun switch.”

“We caught ourselves using they/them and quickly corrected to he/him,” Myers wrote. “Z told me once, ‘It’s OK. I like they/them, too.’”

Myers stressed in the post that “sharing Z’s pronouns doesn’t give any information about his reproductive anatomy.”

Myers grew up in Utah, and Zoomer was born in the Salt Lake City area. The family moved to Australia, where Courtney is from, in December — in part to ride out the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I knew Zoomer would find pronouns that fit,” Myers wrote in her post. “Z knows he can use he/him pronouns for the rest of his life, alternate pronouns like I do, forego pronouns, or invent new ones. The gender creative adventure doesn’t stop here.”