‘I was raised without a gender’

Savannah is known as the Queer Kiwi online

TikTok influencer Savannah, better known by her handle @thequeerkiwi, has talked about their experiences growing up without a gender and how they have never identified with any specific labels.

“My parents tried really hard to raise me gender neutral”, Savannah says. “They never checked what gender I was going to be because they didn’t care, it didn’t matter.

“When I was very small and couldn’t make my own decisions, they dressed me in a lot of orange. I don’t think I had anything pink or blue.”

However, Savannah’s parents were criticised by their peers for their parenting style, and even lost friends over it.

“My mum got a lot of weird comments, people telling her off and questioning her while she was raising me and my sister.”

Some even told her being raised without a gender was “bad”, “wrong” and that Savannah “had to be dressed in pink”, they add.

“Once I started school, I put myself into the ‘girl’ box. I wouldn’t do anything that was ‘meant for boys’, which really upset my parents because they worked really hard for me to not do that. Through all of that, I’ve still ended up with so much internalised misogyny.”

When Savannah was a teenager, a girl at school was disciplined by teachers and sent home because she wasn’t wearing a bra. This was a watershed moment for Savannah, who joined in protests that stemmed from a Facebook group called “No Bras, No Worries”. These actions saw the school policy change.

Nowadays, a lot of people think Savannah is a lesbian, but they prefer the term “queer”.

“I like who I like and I don’t really care and I don’t feel I need to label myself,” they insist.

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