Raising My Rainbow

A Tangled Mess: How To Tell Santa Your Possibly Gay 3-Year-Old Wants A Doll For Christmas

Following is the cast of characters featured in Raising My Rainbow, a blog about the adventures in raising a slightly effeminate, possibly gay, totally fabulous son.


The most enchanting child you will ever meet with an insane knack for art and color, interior design and dance. His passions include Barbie, Disney Princesses, Strawberry Shortcake and women’s hair and shoes. Paula Deen holds a special place in his heart.

C.J.’s Mom (Me, the blogger)

A feisty, sassy girl-woman trying to have it all and usually feeling like she is failing miserably while all those around her are none-the-wiser. She works part-time as a business consultant, full-time as a mother and overtime as a walking panic attack.

C.J.’s Dad

A police officer and recovering bully with his 15-year chip for bully sobriety; he secretly fears that karma won’t be a bitch to himself, but to his look-alike son. He’s an Irishman with a heart of gold hidden underneath his tough-guy façade and ever-present scowl.

C.J.’s Brother

Seven going on 30, he’s wise, kind and the best big brother a younger sibling could ask for. Embarrassed by nothing, except when C.J. acts like a girl.

Uncle Uncle

A creature from a sitcom who is bigger than life and loved by all. One of the most important people involved in the raising of C.J. because of his homosexuality. If it takes a village to raise a child, Uncle Uncle is the court jester, mayor, therapist, stylist and official storyteller.

Nana Grab Bags

The maternal grandmother who was created by God to spoil grandchildren. She’s allergic to harsh words and unhappiness and carries an oversized Target purse filled with candy, toys, hugs and zany theories.


The maternal grandfather who is a devout born-again Christian and macho Mexican-American. Enough said.

Grandma and Grandpa Colorado

The paternal grandparents who are thousands of miles away. A hunting, drinking, fishing, old-fashioned duo that are waiting for the day when C.J. grows out of “this phase.”

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  • paul

    All parents should be like her.

  • Gregory

    How about you tell him there is no Santa, no Christmas, and just give him the damn doll without worrying about what the “neighbors” think? For phuck’s sake, emancipate the child! And yourself!

    Santa’s a little fetishist anyway, up there at the North Pole surrounded by little people building his “toys” that he no doubt phucks on a regular basis, while the old b!tch he’s married to takes to the bottle to calm her nerves.

  • Giselle

    You are a wonderful, wonderful mother! I am so glad that CJ got you and his dad as parents. A little boy who won’t get his spirit squashed which he would if the people who are meant to love him were too worried about what the neighbours think.
    I am hoping to read more of your blog and I am looking forward to it!
    Keep going the way you are, you’ve got just the right instincts.
    I would imagine that you heard of the mum of the Princess Boy? That’s a wonderfully inspiring story too.

  • Mike

    I agree with telling your kids the truth on the Santa issue, though it could have been put a little politer. I would only suggest that you also encourage gender specific toys as well.
    Other then that good job, I can tell you nothing makes a child feel worse then not receiving what they really want, well except possibly being left out.

  • Casey

    How do you even know he’s gay? Just because he plays with girl stuff, it could mean he’s transsexual. Not all gay people play with dolls, only the freaks that the media likes to show.

  • hephaestion

    CJ’s entire family needs to see the Belgian-French film “Ma vie en rose.” It is a fabulous film about a little boy who insists that he was supposed to have been made a girl. This may be quite different from CJ’s situation, since he could be just gay and not transgendered, but the movie would be very helpful for showing CJ’s family how to deal with him. It’s a beautiful movie, with English subtitles, of course.

  • justiceontherocks

    @hephaestion: Are you nuts? “He could be just gay and not transgendered. . .” He could also grow up to be a hetero NFL linebacker with a Mormon sized family. He’s three years old.

    try thinking before you type, and please don’t ever have children.

  • Ian

    @Mike: Booooo on you for attempting to reinforce gender stereotypes.

    AS for the mom, you did the right thing! I’m a nearly 40 yr old man and I still fondly remember that prior to ten my absolute FAVORITE toy in the world was my Lynda Carter Wonder Woman action figure (pretty much a Barbie type doll). Let him be who he is destined to be and he will love you that much more for it when he is older to appreciate that fact :)

  • barbie? so what

    it does not make the kid gay, or even “effiminate” (define that without using culturally learned gender stereotypes please, i dare you) the kid hasnt learned his gender stereotypes yet, mom doesnt need to either
    believe me, having a barbie at three is way different then say, wanting more barbies at 9,

    having said that, buying the kid what he wants even if its outside cultural expectations is wonderful, if he is gay (which a barbie at 3 doesnt indicate) he will probably feel comfortable telling you, and secure in your love and acceptance-whoever he grows up to be

  • barbie? so what

    it does not make the kid gay, or even “effiminate” (define that without using culturally learned gender stereotypes please, i dare you) the kid hasnt learned his gender stereotypes yet, mom doesnt need to use them either
    believe me, having a barbie at three is way different then say, wanting more barbies at 9,

    having said that, buying the kid what he wants even if its outside cultural expectations is wonderful, if he is gay (which a barbie at 3 doesnt indicate) he will probably feel comfortable telling you, and secure in your love and acceptance-whoever he grows up to be

  • Adam


    I played with dolls when I was younger. I loved playing with dolls. And now I’m a 21 year old gay man who needs to come out constantly because people assume I’m straight. I am not embarrassed that I played with dolls, nor can I wait to play with my daughter or son and their Barbies.

    Freak? You sir, can kindly fuck off.

  • Adam

    @Adam: Adam no. 11 is not me.

  • TheRealAdam

    @Adam: There. Just took care of that.

    Adam no.11, please don’t impersonate other members. Thank you :).

  • GregorVonK

    Well, I’m kinda surprised there’s this much quibbling. I hope we all (or at least most of us) that CJ’s mom has a heart of gold. However the kid turns out, he is going to be fine.

  • Cleo

    Hey! Congrads for being a frakkin awesome mama!I’m a girl and for all her current homophobia,my mom did by me a Little Tykes semi truck when I was 3 or 4.And it’s the only toy from my childhood that I kept.Keep it up,CJ will grow up to be a fabulous person no matter his sexual orientation.

  • Cleo

    Hey! Congrads for being a frakkin awesome mama!I’m a girl and for all her current homophobia,my mom did by me a Little Tykes semi truck when I was 3 or 4.And it’s the only toy from my childhood that I kept.Keep it up,CJ will grow up to be a fabulous person no matter his sexual [email protected]Ian:

  • Ernest

    Honestly, You have got to be one of the best mothers ever to come out and give your son 200% My mother gave me whatever I asked for Christmas as a child, whether it be Barbies or New Kids On The Block Joey Doll. Knowing Santa actually read my list and gave me what I wanted is the best thing ever!

    To all the assholes out there, a kid is a kid, so is a label. We can not define who this child is because of what he has interest in, he’s still a child with a HUGE imagination and NOT ONE BIT OF HATRED towards anyone. He sees everything just as they are, Boy, Girl, Man, Woman, since he has a gay Uncle in his life, that makes things even better because this child will not be exposed to any phobia’s except maybe Spiders or Snakes. Any family who allows their child to be themselves and teaches their child about acceptance and how they must not judge, is a A+ family in my book, even if it’s a single mother or father. Our world will never change until we PRACTICE WHAT WE PREACH. ACCEPTANCE FOR ALL, not just the few we accept ourselves, we must accept everyone, yes even that piece of shit homophobe asshole who calls you a faggot.

    Note to mom, go to Sally’s and get your son a Manikin head. They have mini and they have regular size heads. He’ll fall in love with that because the hair is real and it won’t get tangled up. Or check online and search Manikin heads on Amazon.com and you’ll find all sorts and allow him to pick it out. He can curl their hair, Flat Iron, braid, color, etc. Maybe he’s going to be the next top Hair Stylist. I am, thanks to my mom supporting me and my love for hair.

  • Straight Teen

    So, as the name suggests, I am straight and a teen.
    But I have no problems with gay or lesbian people.
    So as a relatively unbiased commenter, I would like to point out that 15/16 (double post…) Cleo has the best and most rational comment that is both unbiased and constructive.

    On a less positive note, I think that CJ’s other relatives (if my memory serves me well, his paternal grandparents) need to nut up or shut up. Either be a warm and loving part of the kid’s life, or get the hell away and don’t be a negative influence. (Of course, the former is preferable!)

  • Adam

    @Straight Teen: Shut up, we don’t welcome breeders here.

  • Mike

    @Adam: Disregard him, he doesn’t speak for us. He’s been a long time troll here and this is not out of the ordinary for him.

  • D.R.A.

    Why point out that the kid is “possibly gay?” Every child could be gay. Are you assuming he’s more likely to be gay because he’s effeminate?

    I checked the blog and most of her posts are tagged with things like “gay,” “homosexual,” and “raising a gay child” even though most of these posts don’t even mention gay people or homosexuality (on the other hand, they do mention stuff stereotypically associated with gays guys). Dude, just ’cause your boy likes Barbies does not mean you’re raising a gay child. Seriously.

    I’m so freaking sick of people equating femininity with homosexuality. If this boy was crazy about sports and only played with (supposedly) masculine toys, would this woman say that he’s “possibly gay?” It’s true, but would it even cross her mind?

  • Shannon1981

    You are one awesome mom! Kids should be able to like what they want, and that Santa Claus and his elf should be fired for being like that with a three year old! Luckily he wasn’t old enough to notice. I vote you mom of the year!

  • AL

    It’s somewhat ironic. My older brother used to play with dolls when he was a kid, but he grew up straight. I used to play with cars and plastic soldiers, and I grew up… hm, exactly.

  • Adam


    I was unaware there was another adam on here, and it wasn’t my intention to impersonate anyone.

  • Adam


    Excuse me, supportive “breeders” should always be welcome. Otherwise, you should just accept being a discriminated against minority, because you don’t deserve anything more.

  • Corvidae

    Well done for being supportive. My brother and I liked dollies when we were small (but we’re British so it was less of a problem), I’m bi and my brother is straight.

    What I’m saying is yay, but be prepared that your son has a lot of growing to do and could go either way, which I’m sure you are aware of.

    He could even remain “fabulous” but be straight – which might involve him “coming out” to you.

    Also please stay at Queerty, it’s nice to hear a positive and genuine story.

  • Jeffree

    I liked every toy under the sun when I was little, and with a bunch of siblings and cousins, we pretty much shared everything. I went through a zillion different phases, as did my siblings, and based on the lot of us I’d say that though those of us who grew up gay or bi didn’t necessarily play with different toys from those who grew up straight.

    I’m happy my parents didn’t feel the need to “push” gender-specific toys at us OR try to keep us from toys that may not have been seen as “odd” for a boy or girl to play with.

    Trying to read too much into a kid’s choice of toys may be like trying guess or pigeonhole their eventual sexual orientation or gender identity at a time when neither of those is predictable.

    Whether or not CJ grows up to be gay, bi or trans, it’s clear he has a great set of parents. If he turns out straight, then he ‘ll still always have wonderful memories of his childhood and the cool stuff he played with.

  • Jeffree

    I wonder what the fuck is on tv tonight….

  • WilliamG

    This is the most heart i have ever seen displayed on this barren bitchy wasteland. Aaaw

  • TheRealAdam

    @Adam: You knew exactly what you were doing in trying to take my name. There is only room on this site for ONE Adam and that Adam is me.

    @Jeffree: You watch your fucking mouth ;).

    @WilliamG: Shut the fuck up :P.

  • Jim


    “The freaks the media like to show..”? Homophobic much? Jeez.

  • Mark

    You’re a great mom! So glad he can be who he is and to hell with everyone else.

    And to those saying he should be told there is no Santa Claus, look, he’s a little boy and ya know what, the world can be a pretty ugly place – let him have his time to believe in magic, to believe that the impossible is possible – – As grown ups, we’ve forgotten the child like innocence and the sense of wonder. What a great little boy!

  • Charlie

    Yay for an awesome mom! When I asked for a Synergy doll as a kid my mom freaked out. Happy to hear times are a-changin’

  • Francis

    Awesome mother. And the dad seems cool too. Great to see a good support system and parents who truly do love their kids unconditionally.

  • scribe

    I often wondered how my parents felt while raising me. Like this child I liked some girl dolls (and a transformer here and there). I never had the nerve to ask for a doll, or a she-ra action figure, maybe I realized even young that I wasn’t suppose to ask for those things. Thank you for being a good mom and loving your child. Loving him for what-ever he might become will give him strentgh in the future.

    He won’t go looking to the wrong person for love, becasuse he has always been raised with love… peace.

  • Nunya

    Uh does this cow consider the hell this kid is going to go through once he hits High School and someone finds this blog? What if he doesn’t even turn out to be gay? How humiliating…

  • Amaturus

    I was four when Beauty and Beast came out and the only thing I wanted was the Barbie set. The Beast doll had a handsome prince underneath! Although I eventually hid them away when a male friend made fun of me for it, when I came out to my parents, my mom reminded of it. When I came to visit the last time, she had put the Beauty doll on display in the living room.

  • Soupy

    Nunya, by the time he hits high school, no one will care.

  • Carlos

    This is just incredible! When I was 10 years old I asked for a Barbie’s video game. I thought was just normal a boy like me playing with a Barbie video game. My dad gave it to me and never said a word about it. I think he knew since I was born.

  • Scott

    I remember playing with Spawn action figures and BB guns when I was a kid.
    Of course the media would have to blow up this stupid, nonsensical story. Young boys who turn out to be straight later in life play with dolls too. Why would a parent even worry about their 3 year old kids sexuality anyway?

  • Bill

    Thank you for bringing so much joy and laughter into my life…you bring back many memories and give me new hope. So…thank you.

  • Norman

    You are doing what i think all parents should do. Gay or straight shouldn’t matter. It’s not fair that gay children grow up alone not understanding why they’re different, and when they finally do, it is up to them to come out like they have a dirty secret. Straight kids never have to deal with that. It is my firm belief that parents are responsible for nurturing the child. I feel that most choose to remain ignorant rather than accept that their child *might* be different. If your son does turn out to be gay, you’ve spared him from this colossal burden that most of us were forced to carry, and basically opened up his future to a life of love from his family. He will never know the fear of losing that.

  • WackerEi

    My brother has turned out to be quite the redneck and chauvinist, and even he played with my dolls as a boy. So there’s nothing to say what becomes of CJ one day. But with parents like you, I think he has the best chances to grow into a self-assured, wonderful man one day, no matter if gay or het, effeminate or jock…

  • Rolande

    Umm, I am really glad that you are such an open-minded mother, but do you understand that you are taking your child’s gender expression and deciding that it has some bearing on his sexuality? Your child is manifesting his gender, not his sexuality. If he turns out to like girls once he hits puberty,then you will be very confused. He is not your “possibly gay” son. He is your “son who is possibly your daughter”. It’s not fair to sexualize him before he even knows what that means.

  • andymon

    Cj is going to be just fine, or as we say in the circle “fabulous! He is already. His spirit picked the best parents and grand parents to show him the way. And Uncle Uncle is his earthbound guide. What a blesssing you are all and CJ too.

  • greenmanTN

    It’s really nice to read about a parent encouraging their child’s interests, especially since there was a fair amount of pressure and shaming in my own upbringing, most of it under the general heading “But what will people THINK?!” (I sometimes wondered who it was we were performing for, who exactly was this panel of judges whose high opinion was so important.)

    But how do you know where the line is between encouraging and pushing, between fulfilling your child’s interests or satisfying needs of your own through them? (Like those creepy pageant-moms who doll their kids up in Fisher-Price hooker-wear and swear that little Swan really WANTED to have her hairline raised an inch by plucking.)

    Having watched families reinforce strict gender roles (doctor/soldier kits for the boy, Little Miss Dress-Up for the girls), I’ve seen how harmful and damaging that can be. But regardless of a child’s intrinsic personality and interests, shouldn’t a mix of skills be encouraged, even sometimes pushed? Shouldn’t even a “girly” girl be taught to fix a flat tire or a clogged sink (and in the process get her hands dirty) or the prototypical “all boy” be taught to cook or iron, regardless of whether they ‘want’ to or not? We’re all a mix, I think, and while it’s great to encourage it’s also important not to ignore other necessary skills regardless of a child’s gender, sexuality, or even level of interest. (I’m not saying CJ’s mother does that; I haven’t read enough to form an opinion.)

    I guess what I’m saying is that just as I wouldn’t want to raise a little girl who was helpless outside of narrowly proscribed “female” skills and interests (or the reverse for a male child), that’s true of a “tomboyish girl” or a “somewhat effeminate boy” too. It sometimes seems to me that some (the “princess boy’s” mom for instance)parents who are so proud or encouraging their child’s so-called “gender-variant” interests are doing the same thing in reverse and it can be equally limiting.

  • Adam


    Except now you’re “TheRealAdam”


  • Zzee

    How does she know her son is “possibly gay?”

    When I was a kid, I had a math video game. I played it nonstop. When I got home from school, the first thing I wanted to do was play my math game. I beat it several times.

    Guess what? Not a mathematician. Use my cell phone under the table to calculate the tips at restaurants.

  • C

    You are a great mom. I know there are people on here who criticise you for assuming your son is possibly gay, but I think you are wonderful for being so supportive of your son and disregarding those who disapprove of your acceptance.

    To those who are laying into this woman for thinking her son is probably gay, I must ask how you all have come to know her son better than she does? Sure, there are those of you out there who played with (dolls/GI Joes) and turned out (straight/gay), but your own experience doesn’t represent what the poster’s son’s will turn out to be.

    I’m fascinated that people will always be able to extract terribleness from such a wonderful thing like this. The mother loves and accepts her son, simple as that.

  • mikey

    Society says ( for the most part ) dolls are for girls and truck’s are for boys. and being gay is very very weird or bad .although this idea seems to be becoming less and less the norm . Society seems to believe it can dictate every aspect of your’s and my life’s. Its what happens when a group of people with the same idea pressure others into believing the same. society does not necessarily have your’s or your child’s interest in mind. even if they say they do. It has its own interests at heart. but it sounds like maybe you have (unintentionally) decided he is. maybe he is, maybe he isn’t. You sound like a great mother and your heart is in the right place. just Remember, A doll does not make your child gay, trans-sexual, or any other type of person that is ” abnormal or minoritized from society “.
    on the lighter side… I was around his age when i had my first girl friend. it was rainbow bright ( yeah you heard me!!) and i was going to marry her.Ill leave out the gory details but you get my point I hope.
    anyways… long story short. I played with doll’s blah blah blah. I grew up blah blah blah. I,m straight, married… you get the point.

  • Joe

    Socia; 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 its not child who wants the dolls, its you who wants your child to want dolls.

    Sad and pathetic.

    Theres nothing wrong with a kid being gay and liking dolls, but is something wrong with forcing it upon him, you terrible mother.

  • Jeffree

    @Joe: I hate to break the news but none of the Mom’s actions constitute child abuse or endangerment. Plus, Social Services doesn’t have a national phone number that you can call. Unless you know the jurisdiction, you’re just a crank caller with no evidence, distracting them from their work with actual cases that need attention.

  • ~PR~

    @Joe: correction: it is you that is sad and pathetic. you are also rather stupid as well. your coment may have been hurtful but I couldn’t help but laugh at just how pompously righteous and idiotic you manage to sound at the same time. get back to worrying about your kids… and hope they don’t turn out f-d up as a result of your foolish views!

  • Ogre Magi

    @Joe: Joe, you are a damn monster!

  • Brendan ·

    @Joe: man, you’re cranky and over-reacting. You really need some cock in you, stat.

  • Balder Freyson

    I was a slightly effeminate, possibly gay, totally fabulous son myself. I didn’t always ask for ‘girls toys’ for Christmas but I remember one year during the gift exchange for school I got a wind up helicopter, one of my friends (a girl) got a baby doll. I wanted to trade, so did she, our mothers were okay with it. The teacher was not, my mother was livid, especially after the helicopter managed to break a few days later. Mom always provided me with dolls to play with whether it was a Cabage Patch named April, or a little black rag doll with red lips she sewed me herself. Mom passed away a few years ago and I never told her I was gay, but sometimes I think she had figured it out. It’s important to let your children be who they want to be, no matter what everyone else thinks.

  • JustinW

    I love that you love your son so completely as he is. Right on.

  • andrea

    @Mike: Gender specific. Whats next, telling your daughter her job is to stay home and be a good mom….

  • Bert

    Just a heads up to various people, as I’ve found this surprise some people. Many gay men aren’t effeminate or would play with dolls as a child. As a gay (50+) guy, I can say I didn’t have any interest in dresses, dolls, being fabulous, etc. On the other hand, I did come home from school telling my Mom what the other people were wearing plus I have a serious platonic love with sneakers / plimsolls.

    There are lots of gay men, such as Bears, Chubs, those into leather, etc who’ve never looked once at a dress. And there are many who love to do drag and lots of straight me who love to cross dress.

    In my case, I knew around 10 or so that I like guys (certain adult actors on TV really interested me “down there for some reason”). Once I got to 12, I knew I was gay and shows like the Brady Bunch were a real turn on with Greg and Peter. While I avoided showing anything except a solid guy attitude at school, when I got home the year book was where I could dream about the older and slightly younger male students.

    My point is looking for the outside at stereotypes might be quick, but its not accurate.

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