Nikki and Louise Draven are among the first British families to raise a child (Star Cloud) in gender-neutral surroundings. Star’s Mom, Louise, was a man from birth, and at present, she is taking hormonal therapy to become a woman. Nikki, Star’s Dad, feels like both a man and a woman and transitions between genders daily.
Both parents wish to raise Star in an environment that is neutral and fluid, straying from traditional gender roles. They allow Star to choose whatever clothing and toys he wants or wear any colors he likes.
Nikki and Louise met at an LGBT meet-up in 2011 and found that they shared very similar views about family and gender. The two of them wish to provide Star with the freedom of choice they wished they had while growing up in their homes. They want Star to be able to choose his own gender when he is older. Louise and Nikki want to raise Star in as ordinary a home as possible, but neither of them puts much stock into gender roles defined by society.
Star is like any ordinary kid, but instead of playing with only cars or trucks, Star also enjoys playing with dolls and Barbies. Faced with challenges, the other children in Star’s nursery tell him that he can’t play with dolls because they are for girls, but Louise and Nikki carefully explain that Star is free to play with whatever he enjoys. Star will be attending school soon, which will require him to wear a boy’s uniform, but he gets to wear a pink vest and socks: his favorite color.
When addressing Star in their home, Louise and Nikki use ‘him’ and ‘his’ but don’t put too much emphasis on the words. Nikki and Louise want to make it very clear that Star is allowed to wear makeup, put on a dress, or even paint his nails if he wishes. Star knows that he is a boy, but Nikki and Louise want him to know that they don’t want to put limitations on his gender in any way.
The couple has had multiple run-ins with bullying and public criticism but remains hopeful that others will keep an open mind about their family.