“I am Ari Dennis, I’m 32, and I use they/them,” is how Ari Dennis introduces themselves.
Ari does not identify with a gender – and most of their family is equally non-traditional.
“I live with my partners,” Ari tells Mamamia. “Luna, who is 26 and uses they/them, and Brynnifer, who is 32 and uses she/her.”
As for their children, there’s “15-month-old ‘ante gender’ Sparrow, and ‘non-binary’ eight-year-old, Hazel.”
Those terms mean Sparrow and Hazel are ‘theyby’ children; they are referred to by their parents using pronouns they/their/them, rather than genders.
And yes, in what Ari describes as a ‘multi-adult household’, there is no biological definition of parent.
“I believe genetics are not the most important factor when it comes to relationships between parents and their children.
“We don’t focus on it in our household. Being a parent is about the choice to commit to and prioritise a child.”
But Ari, who educates people on gender-open and gender-creative (exploring, questioning, and rejecting gender norms) parenting, admits that they could, or should, have done something different when Hazel was born.
And they were determined not to repeat the ‘mistake’ with Sparrow.
“I found out about the fact that people were not disclosing their children’s anatomy, and they were using neutral pronouns such as they in Canada, or ‘hen’ in Sweden, when Hazel was a toddler,” Ari, who is from Florida in the US, explains.