“Social Services should take your child away, you are encouraging him to have a paraphillia. I’m calling them right now to tell them you are forcing him to wear girls clothing and making him play with dolls all because of your agenda. Every objective person could see it’s not (the) child who wants the dolls, it’s you who wants your child to want dolls. Sad and pathetic. There’s nothing wrong with a kid being gay and liking dolls, but is something wrong with forcing it upon him, you terrible mother.” —Queerty commenter Joe
I have to be honest, I read all of the comments on RaisingMyRainbow.com, but I don’t read all of the comments posted about Raising My Rainbow content on other websites. I can’t, because sometimes they are too hurtful. My audience isn’t everybody. I understood that when I started writing last month. When I set out to write about my adventures in raising a slightly effeminate, possibly gay, totally fabulous son, I wrote down a list of promises to myself and — most importantly — to C.J. I also made a list of things that I was committed to being mindful of. When I read some comments or get some e-mails, I have to remind myself that I promised:
• To remember that I’m not here to prove a point, I’m here to share a small portion of my life. If I get people to stop and think along the way, that’s good, even if the thoughts I’ve inspired aren’t what I would expect or hope for.
• Not to write and publish things in the heat of the moment or out of defensiveness.
• That some commenters and/or subscribers are going to be gross, tacky and reveal themselves to be the kind of people that I need to protect C.J. from and teach him about.
• To be more patient than I am generally programmed to be.
Having explained all of that, I can say, comfortably and confidently that I do not want my son – either one of them — to be gay. Some people have suggested otherwise.
I am a mother. I have the same primal wants for my children that every parent has: health, safety, length of life, etc.
I want my sons not to have an easy life with the best seat on the gravy train, but I’d like the challenges that they encounter in life to be fair, surmountable and just frequent enough to make them strong, courageous, intelligent men. I don’t wish for them to have to endure unnecessary hardships in life. I don’t wish for them to suffer from prejudices against them that are based on things out of their control.
I want them to be great people with enough competitive spirit and self confidence to drive them to follow their passions and excel at them — whether it’s hairstyling, serving their country, the performing arts, or driving trash trucks. Just enough competitive spirit and self confidence, but not so much that they risk meaningful relationships and become all encompassed by their own self-righteousness. May they never feel that true fulfillment is unattainable.
I want them to fall in love with their whole heart … more than once. I want them to have a significant other in their life that fills them, completes them and isn’t out of compromise, ambivalence or apathy. I want them to have someone that they want to care for and who wants to care for them. I want them to have a moral compass that works better than my own. I want them to know right from wrong, consider other people’s feeling and the consequences of their actions. I want them to be men who do the right thing simply because it is the right thing to do.
These are the wants that I have for my sons. I don’t want them to be gay. I am not raising them with any great hopes that they will love men and we will be unique and I can feel trendy flaunting their sexuality.
If they are gay, I have all of the same wants for them. But, I will be saddened, realizing that they will have to endure hardships, struggles, judgments, and taunts that they haven’t earned, but that will be bestowed on them simply because of who they were created to love. I may cry in private. I may worry more excessively. I may feel that they have been dealt a fate that is not always just or right.
More than that, I will fight for them with a love and loyalty that is so strong it will never be broken. I will support them and their partners and their rights as if they were my own.
Decades from now when someone asks about my son’s wife or girlfriend I will not be ashamed or be engulfed by a moment’s hesitation when informing them that there is no wife or girlfriend or woman in the world that would make him nearly as happy as his fabulous partner.
I want my sons to know a world and life that allows them to walk in the sun, follow their fancies and explore unhindered by the phobias of any group. May they never feel small.
I don’t want them to be gay. If they are that doesn’t change a thing. What I really want is for them to be responsible, successful, competent, smart, confident, caring men (they’re already handsome as hell, so no need to add that to the list). No mother would wish extra and unjustified hardships on their children. We try to fix what is broken, and to some in this cruel world to be gay is to be broken.
I’m not trying to make C.J. something that he is not. Quite the opposite. I’m trying to celebrate and support C.J. so that he knows that he is free to be exactly who he was made to be.