Parenting a Gender Non-Conforming Child | Michele Yulo | TEDxUtica


Michele Yulo believes there are preconceived notions of how raising a child will go in terms of gender. We prepare ourselves in completely different ways when we learn we are having a boy or a girl and this is reinforced and policed from the second a child is born and beyond. But what happens when your child does not adhere to the confines of gender boundaries defined by society? How does that change how we view our children, ourselves, and the world around us? Gender has become a hot topic in almost every area of society–creating [Princess Free Zone]  allowed Michele to be a voice in the positive change that has taken place over the last eight years. More importantly, though, Michele has a very personal stake in the dialogue because her daughter, by age three, rejected all things considered “girly.” It was through her that she found her calling. Michele’s talk would address her personal journey as a parent and the need for openness when raising our children in terms of how to nurture their exploration of identity versus hindering it.

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Michele Yulo is the founder and president of [Princess Free Zone], Inc. and creator of SUIT HER, a potential line of suits for girls. It was Michele’s daughter, Gabi, who would provide the crucial spark of inspiration. Gabi was never into princess or pink; instead, she loved super heroes and bright, bold colors! Finding nothing for her in girls’ departments, Michele realized that girls like Gabi were being completely ignored by big companies that seemed to only see girls through a very narrow lens that limits their self-expression as well as the world around them. Michele decided do something about it and in 2009 started her journey with PFZ and helping to break down the gender stereotypes that are harmful to all children. This talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community. Learn more at


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