RAising My Rainbow

If I Die: How to Raise My Gender Nonconforming Son

To My Hubby,

I’ve never told you how much I worry about losing my life and leaving you and the boys behind. No mother wants to outlive her children, but no mother wants to vanish from their lives in their youth. Length of life is an even greater concern because of C.J., our little boy with uncommon wants and non-traditional needs. Sometimes, when he does something that only a mother could love, I get scared. If only a mother could love it, who will love it when I’m gone?

If something happens to me, and I’m no longer here to raise C.J., remember these things…

Enjoy the unique journey, even though I’m not here to hold your hand through it.

Seek out therapy for you, for him, for his brother. Create a solid team for raising our boys into men, like you and the ones that came before you. It takes a village to raise a child, but make sure to choose the village wisely, one that is well-suited for C.J.

If something that he is doing is bothering you, think to yourself, “Why is this bothering me so much?” I’ve found that the answer usually has something to do with what other people will think or say. Remember, this isn’t about you; it’s about him.

Let him perform. Let him sing and dance and act until his heart is content. He may be the only boy doing it, but if it doesn’t bother him, try not to let it bother you.

Let him be creative, which may mean trips to the craft store. He wants to create and it’s a messy process. Put down newspaper and let him go for it. It may require some direction and participation from you. Have fun! Sign him up for art classes.

Strongly encourage him to try sports. A sport. Any sport. He may not like the typical, considered-to-be-more-masculine sports, but there are other ones. Between fitness and the arts, he will have healthy outlets for release when he needs them most.

Get interested in what he’s interested in. Fake interest. Just as you learned to properly identify all of the Disney Princesses, be able to understand what he is excitedly talking about.

Hold him accountable, there are no excuses.

Surround him with the right people. Protect him. Keep him safe. Be his advocate. You don’t have to write a blog, but you do have to stand up for him. Stay engaged and stay in the know.

Support his spirit, never ask him to get rid of his love of make believe. Make believe with him. Show him that anything is possible and believe it yourself.

Take him to museums and the theatre and concerts and other places you wouldn’t normally go. Continue to brush his hair like Justin Beiber as long as he wants you to. Keep his dress-up drawers stocked. It doesn’t have to be fancy stuff. The Goodwill is good enough.

Raise him strong, with a sense of humor. Raise him smart, with compassion for others and their journeys. Things aren’t “weird,” they are just “different,” and “different” isn’t bad.

Raise him to know that if he needs to talk, you will listen. And, if you don’t understand exactly, you’ll still listen and, then, try to find somebody else for him to talk to who might listen and understand even better. Find him mentors, no matter the subject.

Be his biggest fan. Your job is to love him, not change him. Support him. Let him know that you are there unconditionally.

Remember that holidays are for wonder and joy and impossible things. Create them accordingly. Get him the toys that he wants most, even if it means shopping from the pink aisles, not the blue.

Take pictures. Keep report cards. Keep his secrets. Know his friends.

Remember the names of all of his boyfriends or girlfriends or boyfriends and girlfriends. Remember the names of his bullies. Let the bullies know that you know their names. Never let others feel big by making him feel small. Volunteer in his class.

Encourage him to see the world and seek out inspiration. Buy him books. Hug him and kiss him and tell him that you love him every day, even if he doesn’t want you to.

Teach him to respect his body and sex, no matter his orientation.

Help him be the best at whatever he wants to do: hair stylist, mechanic, lawyer, whatever. He can follow his bliss, but encourage him to be the best at that bliss.

Let him watch Dancing with the Stars. If he continues to be a fan of Paula Deen, or, as he calls her, “The Lady Who Cooks Dinner,” take him to her restaurant. Eat the fried chicken and banana puddin’ for me.

Tell him that I can hear him when he whispers to me and that I’m always watching over him.

Raise him to know that his mommy adored him and fought for him as he innocently played with his Barbies in the other room. Raise him to know that you will fight for him. Raise him to know that you wouldn’t want him to be any other way. He’s perfectly-created as is. Never let anybody tell him any differently.

I’ll miss watching you walk hand-in-hand down the street; you and the little boy in the black and white polka dot apron.

Love always,

Your Wife

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  • Mr. Enemabag Jones

    This post brought a tear to the eye of this cold-hearted bastard.

  • JordanMeehan

    Oh my god. Tears. I love this woman so much!!

  • ewe

    I don’t like these motherfucker drama mamas and their pc bs. NEVER EVER DOES THE FACE OF THESE ADULTS SHOW UP IN ANY OF THE PHOTOS. Fuck them and their shame.

  • tefinger

    @ewe: Shame is very different from desiring anonymity.

  • Eric


    Because they’re not doing it for the attention. They don’t want to be famous. They want to be able to live their lives without the attention.

  • ewe

    @tefinger: NO. WRONG. Would they desire anonymity and hide who they were if they were ranting on about their perceived heterosexual child? NO they would not. That is a given and they actually contribute to prejudice, fear, hate, shame and bigotry. Never ever one damn face photo of the adult parents endlessly dribbling on about these crafted theatrics.

  • ewe

    @Eric: nonsense. they want the attention and they want the anonymity which means the whole blog may be a farce and none of them exist except in some roleplaying agenda that is twisted.

  • ewe

    @Eric: They should show their faces and have a transformational catharsis. Now that is something we can help them with. I don’t believe these people are anything but dreamt up characters for a book about… uclhh. I can’t even continue. I don’t care about all their self made problematic crap. She’s a drama queen and now she’s thinkin and obsessing about dying. Those are luxury problems.. please.

  • Steveo

    @Rick: I totally agree! These posts are ridiculous.

  • Art Smith

    I doubt that this lady’s son that she’s “raising” or more likely forcing and coercing to act in bad Trans or gay male stereotypes really is gay or trans at all.

    Kids should be allowed to be themselves but I have been to this woman’s blog site and I read her first posts and it does sound like she wants her son to be the gay male best friend she never had and she seems to paint gay men as being total queens and like the annoying Gay male best friend in the movie “My Best Friend’s Wedding” when in reality most bisexual and gay men are not total queens/femmey and are just like everyone else except they’re bisexual and gay.

    This kid is going to need A LOT of therapy when he grows up! I’m sure her other kids that she neglects over this one will as well and if one of them turns out to be GLBT it will be a total surprise to her.

  • Eric

    The hope for the future that this blog series creates in me is always quickly dashed by the comments…

  • lemon-lime

    Man, somebody let all the trolls out of their cages.

    I think this woman is doing the right thing. I was very dubious about her railroading her kid into being one thing or another, but its clear if you actually take the time to read all her posts that she is simply trying to be supportive of what are clearly things that the kid wants. She constantly references attempts to broaden his tastes, as any good mother should, and he constantly teaches her how those broader interests are able to be folded into his existing identity.

    Stop hating so much and enjoy the ride.

    I for one am very glad that they are protecting the identity of their child. The ones who show faces and tell names are the attention whores. They are clearly doing this for the right reasons and sharing their story because they were asked to do so and they feel it might give other parents a rallying point for their gender-non-comforming children.

    I have a strong suspicion that this kid is probably going to grow up being straight. He’ll be a wonderful person, a wonderful boyfriend and a wonderful husband, whether he does or doesn’t end up being gay. And if he is transgendered, she will be a wonderful human being without any of the anxiety or damage that can result from feeling rejected by ones own family.

    If you don’t like what this woman has to say, shut the fuck up and don’t read it. You’re bitchy and flippant comments aren’t contributing to this conversation in any constructive way.

  • Mark

    Is this husband a complete moron? Has he been absent or something? Why does he need this amount of hand holding. Does he not raise the children in any way whatsoever? This is mostly an embarrassing calling-out of an absentee dad. I also agree with the negative comments that came before this one.

  • Shannon1981

    I loved this blog once upon a time, but in recent months my bullshit detector has sounded more and more loudly with each new post. I think she is stereotyping gay men in a harmful way, and the whole damn family needs a therapist STAT.Also, who is to say that this kid, “CJ,” is naturally effeminate, and not just being coerced into liking certain things by his attention whoring mother? Using kids for your own ends is disgusting, and that is exactly what is going on here, methinks. Furthermore, the other son is being told to lie about his brother’s effeminate traits, she said so in that “lie like a celebrity” entry, the father is a former ‘phobe/bully(or at least I hope it is past tense), and she seems to be looking validation and possibly a book deal. Ye Gods, some people don’t need kids.

    You need a license to drive, hunt, fish, all sorts of things, but any idiot can pop out as many children as they like and fuck them up in any way they like. Shit like this is proof that this somehow needs to change.

  • Vinci S.

    Wow. There’s a lot of jadedness going on in this thread.

    The letter was beautiful. I’m going to assume the mother had the best intentions. Perhaps the father works all the time and doesn’t know the kids as well. I’m not sure how she’s “turning her son into the gay male best friend she’s always wanted.” I suppose it’s possible, but when there’s no evidence either way, why assume the worst? It’s not as common for a boy to like girl-things. Rather than discourage her child, as some mothers, even today, would, she’s supporting him in his interests without judging him. And she’s providing her husband a perspective that most straight men don’t have and need.

    My mother wouldn’t have ever written a letter to my dad in case she died, let alone one like this. Perhaps it is a “luxury problem.” So what. She’s a mother looking out for her son’s best interests. And she’s setting herself as an example to other mothers (and fathers). I’m sure there are plenty of them who have read this who never gave it a thought before. It makes you think. It made me.

    And I find it ironic that ewe accuses her of being an “wanting attention anonymously.” Pot, kettle. Like I said in the last thread, ewe, you’ve been f*ked over in life and I hope you find peace within yourself.

    Thanks for sharing Queerty.

  • Syl

    Gah, are we being raided by /b/ or what? Trolls everywhere!

    Look, I don’t know if the woman is forcing her kid to be this way for publicity or to fulfill some weird fantasy. Who knows? If she is, yes, she’s a bad mother. Although parents have done far worse to their children because of mental health issues or selfishness.

    It’s also completely possible her kid is exactly as described. I’ve seen them myself. There are trans kids, and just really feminine but cisgender (and not even necessarily gay!) little boys. They’re real and adorable. If that’s the case, this woman is a wonderful mother, and I wish I’d had one half as understanding.

    As for the people talking about stereotypes, you’re being the stereotype of cynical bitchy queens.

  • Roger Rabbit

    The letter was beautiful. Thank you for sharing!!


    Don’t forget to add advice to your other son as well. He will miss you just as much, if not more…

    Mr. Rabbit

  • Hermes3X

    This letter is beautiful. Every parent raising a ‘sissy’ boy should be required to read it.

  • declanto

    I remain hopefully skeptical when I read her posts. It this too sweet to be real? Does the sentimentality make me sick, or should I cry a little? I want to believe it’s real, but my cynical self says “one moment, please…” If it’s real, she’s doing the right thing by remaining anonymous. We all know there are some seriously f’ktup people out there. Seriously, I just choose to believe in her and her son. I’m such a push-over. Generosity is a survival trait.

  • Right Wingers Are Socioptahs (John From England)

    Hmm I’m not as bitchy as some of these commenters but she seems obsessed with this kid because he is the ‘other’ to her. She isn’t the brightest spark which I guess why everything is so absolute in her life ‘husband is a dumb man who can’t raise a boy who doesn’t burp and fart’ ‘men are useless and only do sports’ ‘women are nurturing and like crafts’ ‘all gay men like barbie dolls’ etc etc etc

    Her life is one big generalisation with very little complex thinking or understanding of the human mind.

    I do agree that she also needs to see therapy because her world is so black and white. Or maybe she also needs to visit Europe? Or find some liberal friends from the East or West coast?

    Either way her life is very cookie cutter which may explain why she is so amazed and in awe that she has a son who likes barbies.

    Big deal.

  • Right Wingers Are Socioptahs (John From England)


    Lol, generosity is also the survival trait that makes you feel good and sanctimonious but completely clueless to what destruction is being caused.

    See do gooding Christian missionaries going to africa to enlighten the people with a gun and a bible. See the doting mother turning a blind eye to her child been sexually abused by the dad. See self righteous people giving money to dodgy charities that are pocketing the money to become millionaires.

    I could go on and on. It may make you sleep at night that you wish to see the world through rose tinted glasses but it doesn’t actually help the people you pretend to care about.

  • declanto

    @Right Wingers Are Socioptahs (John From England): Dear John, please don’t attempt to dictate who I may or may not care for. Your presumptive labeling has nothing to do with me. You don’t know me. Your own chauvinistic views of the superiority of European culture is narrow and uninformed. Generosity has nothing to do with interfering, know-better missionary evangelism, a European invention.

  • Cam

    Very touching post. As for sports that your son might like….

    Swimming, Tennis, Figure Skating,

    Individual sports that he can participate in but not have to immediatly conform to the team.

  • Lucky Luke

    I thought this crap wasn’t getting posted anymore. Too bad it’s back.

  • Carlyloo

    I do not understand where the complainers are coming from. There is no evidence in this letter that she is forcing this kid to dress a certain way or do anything. She says repeatedly “if he continues to” want to do something or “encourage him to try various ” sports until he finds soemthing he likes. She says to let him find his own creative outlets. She always acknowledges that the kid may turn out to be of any sexual orientation. I do not see stereotypes in this nor do I see her pushing the child in any direction. This smacks of those people who bitch because Brad and Angie let Shilo dress “like a boy”. Finally, I see no attention whore here. There are no names or faces that would bring that attention. Is it possible that this is made up? Sure. But even if it is fiction it sounds like a solid example of how to raise a feminine boy to me.

  • ewe

    @Vinci S.: and i think i already told you that you are full of it. You go around saying people are racist for hating what Tracy Morgan did. I hate what Tony Perkins does and he never even said he would stab his son. Not one peep out of pc reactionaries like you that don’t know what they are talking about at all. You are a hypocrite on this thread as well. I don’t have a blog masturbating about my impending death so your comparison here is just as pathetic. It’s you that is demented.

  • lairy

    I have just discovered your blog and have read all postings in one go. The are beautifully written and thought provoking. I comend you on the way you look at life it is truly awe inspiring.

    What I can’t understand is the negative coments you recieve. It is unfathamable to me that people can be so spiteful and ignorant. If they hold these beliefs why are they reading yor blogs anyway, is it for the soul purpose to be mean and uncaring. (I don’t think they were intended as your target audience)

    From someone who appreciates your posts I look forward to many more and hope the negative coments you recieve don’t get you down.

  • Mike

    People who don’t particularly care for this feature and question the motives or even the validity of this mom or this kid existing are not trolls. They are people who don’t love the column like you do. Differing opinions do happen. Accept that they’re there and move on.

  • Mike

    @Right Wingers Are Socioptahs (John From England): “Or maybe she also needs to visit Europe? Or find some liberal friends from the East or West coast?”

    She’s from Orange County. Sometimes I imagine the blog is written by Vicki Gunvalson and she’ll try to peddle her book as a fiction piece on Bravo’s Watch What Happens Live. lol.

  • ewe

    @Mike: really? Orange county? I thought it looked like Mill Valley but Orange County makes so much more sense now. They spend their days going to the corner to catch the school bus for their kid while snapping photographs of everyones backside. It is the most rediculous closeted exhibitionism i think i have seen so far.

  • BrightSun

    You know, I really get the feeling that the trolls, disagreers, and complainers of this woman’s blog and her posts have personal issues of their own that they need to work out.

    I mean, this woman is trying to raise a possibly gay son in a non-restrictive, non-conforming way to the best of her ability. Why is that fake? Why is that detrimental to her son?

    Somehow, I think that deep down inside, these haters secretly wished that they were raised with love and were allowed to be who they were when they are a kid. I’m pretty sure most of us had problems growing up queer. And that is where the bitterness is coming from.

    As for comments about her other son and CJ’s father, have you stopped to think that they might try to bottle up CJ’s fabulousness? There are countless lines on this woman’s blog that said CJ’s brother and father were embarassed by him and hinted that they would like CJ to act like the stereotypical boy. Is it any wonder this woman wants to tell her husband to raise CJ against the grain? Whether he becomes straight, gay, or something else, it’s up to CJ to decide. No one else has the right to force him to be something he’s not. Especially since we know first hand how it feels like to hide our true selves from the world.

    I’m ashamed that the ugly queens here want to force social constraints on this poor boy and conform him into another plastic doll. She is the only one fighting for her son’s individuality. Everyone else wants him to conform. Why is her parenting a bad thing? Especially when we are constantly fighting against said social constraints and conformity.

  • Scott

    Wow! Where are all these negative comments coming from? Speaking as someone who was CJ as a little kid- this mom sounds great! She is doing all the right things to suPport and love her son. I was allowed to play with the toys I wanted (“girl” toys). My parents loved and supported me and allowed me to have s magical childhood–until 2nd grade. I had a teacher who was concerned that I wasn’t playing with the other boys- just the girls. It was horrible and I didn’t understand why my parents and teacher were suddenly forcing me to play with the boys and keeping me from playing with my friends. It was very isolating. I was forced to join little league. I hated it. I remember I would always bring my backpack with me with my care bears inside. When I was on the bench I would put my hands in my backpack and hug my stuffed animals as best I could without anyone seeing me. I did make a couple of male friends throughout the years, but they never liked to do the same things as me. As an adult my parents love and accept me and my husband of 12 years. They see now that forcing me to play with the other boys was perhaps their greatest parenting mistake. I’m glad CJ’s mom is not making the same mistake.

  • Ernest

    Cj’s mom is the mother you wish you had Ewe! The way Ewe responds sounds like a bitter old fag whose only pleasure in life is the hand he fucks. His rants reek of childhood misery and failure in life. Anyone elses happiness is his arch nemesis, he can’t stand any form of joy by himself or seeing it in others, this goes for compassion as well. Talk all that shit Ewe, it’s time you see a dr for that constipation so it comes out of your ass instead of your mouth.

  • Tommyixi

    I wish my mother had written a letter to my father like this when I was a child…

  • SammySeattle

    I’d bet that the dad would step up if the mom died anyway. Dads can surprise us that way.

  • Vinci S.


    -Please cite an example of where I’ve called anyone a racist. If you can’t, I’ll assume that you’re lying.

    -I never read any Tony Perkins thread on this site, so can you hold be accountable for not leaving any comments?

    -Take a look at the overwhelming response to your comments. And then take a look in the mirror.

    That’s about all the attention I can muster up for you.

  • ewe

    @Ernest: You have no freagin idea what you are saying. Every silly word is a figment created in your own hateful head. You are a joke. I think it is hysterical when assholes go after people they don’t know by going after their relatives that they don’t know. Grow up.

  • ewe

    @Vinci S.: you assume a tremendous amount as it is. Adding this to it is no surprise or big deal. I can only “hope” you won’t bother me again with your mustered attention.

  • Vinci S.


    Oh, wait, I have an ounce more …

    So, you were lying about me calling anyone a racist. You don’t hold me accountable for not making remarks to something I never read. And you won’t be reconsidering the overwhelming response to your posts anytime soon.

    Roger that!

  • Vinci S.

    And hopefully you can save money for that problem of yours Ernest spoke of, as he has appeared to have ripped you a new one in post #37.

  • Rick

    In 20 years, hopefully we can read this son’s column where he reminisces about his “Totally Neurotic, Possibly Sociopathic” mother.

  • Cj M

    bitter, bitter, hetero-conformists…. God I’m glad MY mother was just as open, accepting, and patently opposed to pigeonholes as THIS CJ’s mom. I managed to get through a REALLY fucked up childhood because she was there for me, my rock, my friend, and yes, the seamstress that made my Dolly Parton costume when i was 10.

    Today, i get to be exactly who i am, transsexual former son and all, when i go see my mom. And she accepts me, her daughter, because *I* am happy, self-confident, and not the suicidal son she COULD have clung to or forced me to be. I am that happy, confident, open, caring, accepting woman that i am today because my mother had the compassion not to force me into her definition of gender, sex, or identity. And all she had to do was let me be me, even if that meant having to fight with the school to let me wear the damned fairy costume for play time and hold her own when my father and grandfather fought tooth and nail against my inborn femininity.

    Not like some people in here…who would rather believe this is all a lie than accept that their own mothers failed to see them as special, rather than unacceptably different.

    I’m so sad for those of you with no hope or belief in basic humanity. Your lives must’ve been miserable to kill your joy so thoroughly.

    For my part, i know exactly what happens when you force heteronormativity down a boy’s throat. You get my dad. Broken, hopeless, burned out white trash who only gets to express his crippled sexuality through a myriad of fetishes, compulsive sex, inappropriate liaisons, and a wicked case of self-loathing.

    Maybe this CJ won’t be gay. Maybe he will. Maybe he’ll be the first transwoman to run for president. I don’t know, and neither do ewe or CJ’s mom. One thing i do know is that CJ won’t have to build his self-concept out of the ashes of his family’s burning desire to be “normal”.

    And based on that, i’m pretty sure CJ and his mom AND dad could give two fucks what a bitter, jaded man who WISHES he had a toy box inclusive of barbies has to say about how CJ’s raised.

  • ewe

    @Vinci S.: not the least bit surprised you enjoy caddy insults made by an equally uninformed Ernest. Look up your posts re: Tracy Morgan. More importantly, if you cannot accept that i think this woman and her entire rainbow family may be fictional characters because they never ever have ever once bothered to show themselves other than their backsides to us like an insult to the readers who are supposed to believe she and her dense husband are working through their shame then that’s just too fucking bad about ya. I don’t write my comments hoping for your approval Mary Louise.

  • Sean

    I have to say that sitting at my desk at work, reading this, I could not help but cry. My mother was as supportive of her artistic, unique child and 30 years later I am proud that she encouraged me to be who I am. There needs to be more mothers and parents like you in the world and I can only say THANK YOU!

  • john

    Thank you, just thank you!!!!!!!

  • john

    @ewe: Please crawl back under the bridge you call home, troll!

  • ewe

    @john: you are rediculous. The only words you can use along with the other true “trolls” here is mocking people you don’t know and accusing them of living under bridges. Get some purpose in your life but more importantly defend yourself by not attacking me personally. I think this woman is a fucking fake. That is the jist of what i feel and what i implied. It’s too fucking bad if you can’t handle it but that has nothing to do with living under a bridge. Grow up with all the other immature brats here bitching and yelling about me instead of discussing the phony bullshit this supposed rainbow child/parent blog with all its backside photos actually promoting shame is all about. It’s not real. You have no evidence these people are real. But go ahead and talk about trolls and bridges all you want. You are the fucked up one.

  • Chris

    @Mark: The article was written for readers as well as the husband — for him it’s a reminder; for us, a snapshot of their life.

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