Once in a blue moon, we encounter a parenting moment so epic that it goes viral.
A Canadian student, Karuna Vellino, recently came out to their mother as non-binary, which means they do not identify as male or female. Their mom didn’t hesitate to look for a gender neutral nickname for their child. Karuna announced the supportive and sweet adaptation on Twitter, saying:
“My mom has always called me ‘baby girl’ and we’ve been experimenting with gender neutral ways to adapt that since I came out as nonbinary.”
There isn’t one part of this I don’t love. Baby goats are literally kids and I’m here for that mom joke!
You see, coming out as queer several years ago introduced me to an entirely new world of pronouns, identities, and labels that I never knew previously. Before I came out, I never realized how gendered most monikers are. Nicknames are about showing you care, not about choosing a label that’s tied to a gender. We can actually choose from a myriad of gender-neutral nicknames for our loved ones.
From your children to your bae, here are some gender neutral pet names that will show how much you care:
For A Child:
That’s exactly what our children are! Little bits of cuteness and often, mischief.
We call babies a bun in the oven, so why not a little muffin?
Half pint is the precious nickname Charles Ingalls had for Laura (my namesake) in Little House On The Prairie. It works for as a cute choice for gender neutrality!
A classic pet name for everyone.
My child was “baby bean” in utero and now, six years later, that name has stuck. Sweet option, no matter their gender.
Peanuts are adorable and small! Need I say more?
Always a sweet treat, and a great name choice for little ones!
For A Friend:
An abbreviation of best friend that isn’t tied to gender.
Ride Or Die
Some people are there for us no matter what. Those people are our “ride or die” friends.
Introduce your bestie as your accomplice and see if you (and they) don’t smile.
When y’all are Sherlock and Watson, this name works great! Have some fun answering who is who!
Partner In Crime
How many times has your friend been the Bonnie to your Clyde?
A goofball, by definition, is a silly person! Your crew certainly has a few of these — the ones who make you smile and have your back.
A monocle, accent, and cigar may be required to pull this one off, to be fair.It’s partly Gatsby-inspired, partly because I want to see the monocle come back in fashion.
On a personal note, my closest comrade has stuck by me for over two decades. Their nickname is “that person who knows too much.” Kidding. They’re actually the person who knows way too much.
For A Significant Other:
While certainly immortalized by Mr. Patrick Swayze in Dirty Dancing, it’s a classic that can be applied to anyone.
Similar to baby, but we drop the ”y” for a whole new option.
Who doesn’t want the person of their dreams looking into their eyes saying, “Hello my love.” Swoon.
A word reminiscent of sugar and wonderful treats — this is an oldie but goodie.
See sweetie and add a heart.
My Puzzle Piece
Human beings are inherently social; we want to belong. Hearing we are someone’s puzzle piece is a wonderful feeling.
These many options beg the question: What do we call the non-binary people in our lives? Ultimately, it’s about finding something that’s personal to you and to them.There are so many wonderful ways to take gender out of the equation, so challenge yourself to swap the typical pet names for something more inclusive. You’re sure to find the perfect nickname for everyone you love, regardless of their gender.
Which of these do you like best? Which might you use for your loved ones? Share with us in the comments!