Raising My Rainbow is written by the mother of a slightly effeminate, possibly gay, totally fabulous son. She’s chronicling their journey right here on Queerty. Read up on RMR‘s cast of characters.
C.J.’s Dad and me: So, when we get home from Colorado we have to unpack, pack, drop the boys off with Pa and Grandma Grab Bags and, then, we are headed to San Diego.
Grandma and Grandpa Colorado: What are you going to San Diego for?
Me: Well, we are going to a conference for bloggers, because I started a blog about raising C.J.
Them: What’s a blog?
Me: It’s like a journal online that other people can read.
Them: We’re not on Facebook.
Me: It’s not Facebook. It’s like a website where I can write whatever I want.
Them: On the Interweb?
Me: Yes, the Internet.
Them: Are we blocked from seeing it, like Facebook?
Me: No it’s not blocked, you can see it.
Them: We don’t really go on the Internet and we definitely don’t do Facebook.
The subject changes seamlessly to talk of the weather, cinnamon bears being more aggressive than black bears, and the neighbor up the street who loved his hunting dog more than his wife.
Grandma Colorado: You know, our good friends told us that you were writing inappropriate articles about C.J. online. This must be what they were talking about.
My heart sinks into my stomach, which drops to my knees, which start to shake. My face feels flush as I’m filled with anger and sadness.
Everyday people disagree with my choice to chronicle my adventures in raising C.J. and my skin has grown thick. But, when the criticism comes from closer to home the pain is fresh.
Me: Not everybody agrees with my decisions initially, but if they really take the time to read my writings, they usually change their mind. You know, I actually kind of have a lot of people reading my blog and I feel like I’m doing something important.
Grandma Colorado: Well, I don’t know. I don’t go on Facebook. All I know is we’re going to love C.J. no matter what.
Me: Well, that’s all that matters.
Silent minutes absorb the evening.
Grandma Colorado: I just can’t believe that C.J.’s Dad is so forgiving of C.J.
Me: What do you mean?
Grandma Colorado: I can’t believe that C.J.’s Dad is so forgiving of C.J… and you, I guess. Because your brother is gay and C.J. is the way he is.
Me: Do you mean forgiving or accepting?
Grandma Colorado: Accepting, I guess.
I say nothing, because if I open my mouth I’m not sure what will fly out. I’m not, by nature, an insecure person. But, in that moment my mother-in-law, bless her speak-before-you-think heart, hit on one of my biggest insecurities: that C.J. being gender nonconforming, effeminate and possibly gay is my fault. That I should be thankful that my husband is a big enough man to not hold C.J.’s gender creativeness and possible future sexual orientation against me.
Me: Well, that just means that you did something right.
Later, I talk to my mom about it on the phone.
Nana Grab Bags: Well, if someone has to be blamed then the blame goes on me because I had Uncle Uncle.
She laughs and I try to, too. If fault has to be found, then we are your girls.
Later, Grandpa Colorado sneaks up behind me while I’m on his computer.
Grandpa Colorado: Can you add your blog to my “favorites” tab?
Nothing more was said—or has been since.
God I hate this series – stop politicising your child’s life. He isn’t “gender creative”, he’s just a young child. Maybe when he grows up he’ll realize he’s gay, bisexual, straight, transgender, a republican, an opera-lover, a vegan, or a million other things. Some of them will be innate personality traits, others learned habits and many a mixture of the two. None of them should have the slightest influence on your parenting of him. When he grows up he’ll find out about this blog and discover you decided he was different and needed to be treated accordingly, and that’s the worst part of it all. Stop talking about being a parent and just be one.
If you don’t like the series, don’t read it. Certainly don’t read it just to complain about it.
@Luke: What? You’re basically saying “you decided he was different” when all she did was *recognize* the obvious fact that he’s not like most other children. That isn’t a judgment against him. He is different. Measurably, demonstrably different. And she’s accepting of him, much unlike virtually everyone else in his life that wants him to conform to an arbitrary gender standard.
You claim she’s treating him “differently.” Differently than what? How other people treat him–forcing him to conform to cultural ideas about what constitutes maleness? The whole point of the series is that she’s refusing to.
Whether or not some of his traits are innate, or learned, or a mixture is irrelevant and has no relevance to his mother being accepting. And sociological observation isn’t, by its own nature, political. People twist it into such.
Your post sucked. Hardcore.
Seems like “Luke” might be a sock puppet of NOM or some similar group.
Making it damn easy to discount his drivel as Conservative rhetoric.
@skeloric: I don’t think you have to be a “sock puppet of NOM” to be transphobic. Lots of guys in the gay community are.
We get it.
Your kid doesn’t conform to gender “norms”.
Colorado is (apparently) filled with racist, trans/homophobic, technologically inept rubes.
You have a blog that gets less traffic than a GOP office in Berekely.
Has the mother in law suffered a traumatic brain injury, explaining her IQ deficit?
Yeah, boy, your husband deserves a real fuckin’ medal for not acting out like that religious nut in NC who shot the four year old because he thought the kid was gay.
Anyone not willing to accept & love their child should get sterilized BEFORE they ever have sex.
I have two biological children & will always love them, no matter what. And, that doesn’t make me a hero or good person. It simply means I understand what the fuck it means to be a parent.
thanks for posting this blog, please keep it up. I’m a now a fan reader, just ignore the haters and keep telling us your story. all the best from Iceland, E.
Fault?! Fault? I thought it was a wonderful thing and no one was to blame (sarcasm). All of a sudden I see the word “blame” being used and that changes everything. Sounds more like regret and the sudden realization that the experiment in encouraged gender confusion has hit home. What grandma was saying is that she thinks the dad should not be forgiving and should stop her ass.
I’m weighing here to counter-balance the naysayers. I love this blog and read it every time it is posted. Please keep it up.
I love this blog! I hope you continue no matter what.
Wait a minute… how did the In-Law’s friends now about the blog if it’s all anonymous?
I stand firm that this woman has a serious victimization complex and I find this whole venture distasteful. With each successive entry, I doubt the validity of it more and amore.
For a great interview about youth and gender identity please check out:
TransYouth Family Allies Kim Pearson Conversations For Connecting Full Interview
PLAYS WELL WITH OTHERS
I totally 1000% applaud Mom…..The kid is who he is, let him grow into his own skin. Far too many parents do a major freakout when they have a kid who they think may be Gay and attempt to “butch him up”……While I totally agree with letting him be, I would advise reading below and following Kyle’s parents lead…..
When I was in grammar school my best friend was Kyle. We both had an understanding that we were kinda sorta different from the other boys. Yet I was just a “normal” kid who one would never question if I was Gay by looking at nor speaking to me…….
Kyle on the other hand was the queenist adorable little boy one could ever meet. He was tiny and everytime he opened his mouth a rainbow poured out with unicorns riding down it :p Kyles parents recognized very early on that Kyle didn’t fit into the “normal” box for a little boy. Yet they did absolutley nothing to attempt to change his behavoiour, mannerisms, or being. What they did do however was enroll Kyle in martial arts training.By the age of 9 Kyle took to the training like a swan to water. He loved the movements and kicks. By the age of nine he had earned several advanced degree belts…..
Bullies would gravitate to Kyle like bees to honey…….only once! Nothing would make us fill with glee more than watching some fat ass bully always at least twice Kyle’s size land on his ass within a nanosecond of putting a hand on Kyle. After the stars stopped spinning and they saw little Kyle standing over them he would give them the same warning: “You just had your first and only warning. you pick on me or anyone else and I promise I am going to act as stupid as you are”……………
Gender creative. Gender nonconforming. She is an asshole that is does more damage to all of us. Her own son is going to be completely fucked up. She is a homophobe with a magnifying glass. If only “nothing more was ever said – or has been since” was true.
lady seems crazy to me its like there is a difference between encouraging and allowing a child to do what they want and what seems to me to be making him be gay/trans etc as the only path or at least she seems to WANT that to be their path even though they are like 4 or whatever hardly a decent enough age to decide either or.
I love this woman’s posts!
Our gender expression should be a reflection of who we are, rather than something others think we should be.
@dryad: How do you MAKE someone gay/trans etc? My gayness is wasn’t foisted upon me by my mother! If anything just the opposite my parents tried to MAKE me straight!
….mom is obsessed with the idea of “gender non-conformity” and seems like she wants attention. Also fine, let the boy dress as a princess if he wants at times. I just hope they don’t let him go around every damn day dressing in whatever he wants. Kids want to put on cowboy boots and a cowboy hat and ride around in their underwear jump on their bikes and go down the street like that (my 6yr old nephew) good parents say NO! go change NOW! and maybe let them wear one item of their crazy outfit…its called setting boundaries. You know those things that all adults have learn to live with/by. People don’t generally wear princess dresses down the street with a pink boa unless they are going to their local gay bar to lip sync and be divalicious amd tell everyone to make sure and buy this hours drink specials.
You come across as a wonderful person and a wonderful mother. I really hope you don’t stop this blog because of a few negative comments from (I want to write a swear word but can’t). You are helping so many other people by chronicling your experiences; all I can say is please don’t stop and thank you.
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