Raising My Rainbow

Can ‘Totally Fabulous’ C.J. Make it On The T-Ball Team?

Raising My Rainbow is written by the mother of a slightly effeminate, possibly gay, totally fabulous son. She’s chronicling their journey on Queerty right here. Read up on RMR‘s cast of characters.

Uncle Uncle’s favorite day of baseball season? Picture day!

He was a little boy born with baseball blood. His maternal great-grandfather was drafted by the Chicago White Sox in the 1930s. His maternal grandfather traveled Latin America playing in the Pan American Games. His paternal grandfather coached youth who went on to play in the pros. His father turned down a possible baseball scholarship to play football in college. Even I was a decent shortstop in my days playing fast-pitch softball. But, Uncle Uncle struck out at t-ball. And C.J. is more like Uncle Uncle than anybody else in our family.

As the 80s approached, Nana Grab Bags would sit in the stands every weekend with her Farrah Fawcett hair, Gloria Vanderbilt jeans and cry behind her enormous sunglasses as her baby boy struck out at t-ball while every other player easily managed to hit the stationary ball off of the stationary tee adjusted perfectly within their strike zone.

“I love my baseball costume,” C.J. said as he twirled in front of the mirror in his team t-shirt, workout pants and baseball hat. “It’s called a uniform,” I said as I smiled.

Uncle Uncle didn’t seem to mind. He loved to pick daisies in the outfield and tap dance for the bees. He was completely oblivious to the game being played. When the innings dragged on he kept himself busy by reenacting both fantastic acts of Annie and singing all of the songs from memory. Flourishes were added here and there for dramatic effect. Every once in a while he would grab himself and hop around yelling — so loud that spectators at neighboring fields could hear him –“Mom-meeeeee, I have to go peeeee-peeeee.”

Nana would wipe her tears with great dignity and lovingly escort him to the bathroom.

C.J. has been watching his big brother play t-ball, and now baseball for most of his life. He loves to be down at the fields, play with the other siblings and get Icees from the snack bar. “When I gonna’ play baseball?,” he asked a few weeks ago. His request was perfectly timed, as the local recreation department was just about to start a t-ball league for three and four year olds. “I love my baseball costume,” C.J. said as he twirled in front of the mirror in his team t-shirt, workout pants and baseball hat.

“It’s called a uniform,” I said as I smiled.

At the field they assembled the kids. C.J.’s hat fell off. He put it back on and looked at me. “Does my hat still look otay, Mama?,” he shouted across the field.

“Yes, baby.”

“Do I still look like Strawberry Shortcake?”

“Yes, baby.”

The other moms looked at me.

C.J. “takin’ a knee” before the big game

“Spread your legs, get down and get ‘baseball ready’,” his coach instructed. Apparently C.J.’s legs don’t spread. His knees were stuck together. With them together, he bent over with his little rump sticking out. His knees, together, went from one side, to the other, to totally in the way as he tried to lower his hand-me-down glove to the ground. A grounder rolled passed him. “Oh, my!” he exclaimed. “Oh, dear!” he breathed as he ran after the ball.

C.J. playing t-ball looked as natural as Charlie Sheen giving a heartfelt sermon at the local mega-church. C.J. gets my congratulations and praise for sticking with it, but at the end of the six-week season he decided that he didn’t want to sign up for t-ball again. That’s fine, we’ll give it a go again later.

Next week he starts gymnastics.

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  • Alfonzo

    Kudos to you for being so supportive of your son. Some parents may find it futile to have their kids try sports when they may appear to be what I call “obviously gay.” Maybe base/t-ball aren’t the right sport for him, or not the right sport for him yet. Maybe they don’t offer a league with his sport.
    I tried a few sports and did okay playing flag football in eighth grade, but I sucked at baseball. I later gave softball a try, in adulthood, and found the team I was on was the wrong one for me. Even later in adulthood, I discovered rugby. It was perfect because most of the people I played with never played before and it was an even playing field. I had found my sport, but I wasn’t in the right place until a position took place and I was made the #2 position, hooker. Yes, there really is a position in rugby called hooker, and I was pretty damn good at it.
    Maybe your son hasn’t found the right sport, maybe he never will, at least you are giving him the chance to try a few and make the deicision himself instead of forcing him in or worse, nto giving him the chance. Maybe his place is in the arts, or math and science, maybe even social issues and politics. Whatever the answer, it’ll be some time before you find out.

  • EdWoody

    Oh, he’ll do great at gymnastics. The elegance, the rhythm, the muscles – it’ll be right up his alley.

  • Rick

    How proud you seem to be that you are raising a child with a gender-identity disorder.

    That reeks of bad parenting.

    Homosexuality and “femininity” are not the same thing.

  • DanielS

    Dear Amazing Mother of a Amazingly Fabulous Son,

    I love what you’re doing, and despite what some ignorant and close-minded people might think about how you “raise you’re child” you’re doing everything right. He’ll know that his mother never had a doubt surrounding supporting him, like some mothers do. Also over the course of your year you will obviously make enemies, but of course you’ll make more fans or at least C.J. will and I’ll definitely be one of them.

    Best Wishes,
    Daniel, Fabulous Son of an Amazing Mother.

  • FluffyInDrag

    @Rick: Gender identity disorders are inborn, at least in part. The fact that she is raising that sweet boy to feel good about himself, however he may be, is not going to MAKE him be anything. That will ultimately be his decision and that’s the whole point. He’s being allowed to choose rather than being told “No, boys don’t do that” or “stop being such a girl.” If anything, I know that saying those sorts of things to any child gives them a false sense of gender identity, within themselves and when dealing with others. Goodness knows if he DOES have a gender identity “disorder,” which is only a correct term if you come to have negative feelings about it, the LAST thing any parent should be doing is telling their child how to be the gender their parents want them to be.
    Gender isn’t about baseball or ballet. It’s not about muscles or makeup. It’s not even about the genitalia… it’s about self-identification and what makes YOU comfortable.

  • Jon B

    @Rick: Who the fuck are you to tell this woman what to be proud of? He’s three fucking years old. He could very well turn out to be straight. His mother is simply loves him no matter who he is.

    Two additional points. First, you can say that gay and femininity aren’t the same, and you’d technically correct. But your statement also implies that there isn’t a correlation. Gay guys on the whole tend to be more effeminate, or, that is to say there are more gay men that are effeminate than straight men. Claiming otherwise is just being willingly blind to reality.

    Secondly, are you saying that if her son is transgender she shouldn’t love him? or shouldn’t accept it? Are you saying that her encouragement of her son’s gender expression will have some influence over whether or not he actually ends up identifying as male or female? gay, straight, or bi?

    You should consider joining Exodus International and PFOX, you’d fit right in.

  • LukeJoe

    @Rick, honey grab a cocktail and chill. You reek of repressed Queen!

    @”Alice” I heard you talk about your husband in you podcast for Feast of Fun. [1] Good job on him. [2] It’d would be great to hear from him on the blog. You know I think a lot of the flak you get is from people who are fixating on you being his mom. There are a lot of stereotypes about over bearing moms. I think people would have a great reaction to hearing directly from him.

  • jj

    @Rick: You’re an a-hole Rick.

  • Jeffree

    I tried & failed spectacularly at 3-4 different sports before I found I was good at diving & martíal arts.

    C.J. may need to try a bunch of different stuff before finding something he likes.

    My parents believed that sports were important in building confidence, & they were right, at least in my case. I’m very glad they stuck with me thru all of that, and I hope CJ finds something he enjoys.

  • Oli

    @Rick: how can you think that? Have you ever read anything on child development that hasn’t been produced by Exodus international? Educate yourself. No one is saying that “homosexuality and femininity are the same thing”. There is a correlation in that children who don’t “gender conform” when young have a higher likelihood of being gay when they grow up. This is just fact. So whilst (male) homosexuality and femininity are not literally the same thing, it seems to me they’re pretty linked . It further seems to me that you’re uncomfortable with this, you big tough “straight acting” guy.

  • Cam

    The fact that the kid doesn’t feel different enough to want to stay away from sports is a sign of good parenting I would think Rick.

  • Ru-mor

    U go girl

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