Reading Rainbow: I Wrote A Book

raising-my-rainbowIt’s time for me to come out. My name is Lori and for nearly two and a half years now you’ve known me as the blogger C.J.’s Mom. And, now I’m an author. Or, I will be on September 3, 2013.

I’m coming out in a big way and you, my loyal Queerty readers, have had a hand in it.

You shared my writings with people through social media, emails, conversations and, sometimes, during whispered interactions when you knew the other person would benefit from reading about my sparkly son. Because of your support I caught the attention of some pretty important people. Now, in less than five months, I’ll be sharing our lives with a broader audience when the Random House’s Broadway imprint releases Raising My Rainbow — my book based on my blog.

It was with a massive amount of thought and consideration that I agreed to write the book.  Should we risk our anonymity?  In doing so, would we risk our safety? Did I even have the time to write a book while maintaining my career, our home and our children’s sense of normalcy?  Did I want to be the face of a cause? What would C.J. and his brother Chase think of the book now? What would they think of it in 10 years?  20 years?

In the end, C.J.’s Dad, Matt, and I were and continue to be certain that a book like Raising My Rainbow is needed to encourage the world to change for the sake of gender nonconforming and LGBTQ kids. We have to try. We have to try educating as many people as we can about children like C.J. so that hopefully, growing up and thriving from childhood to adolescence and beyond is the least painful experience possible.

The book is a lot like the blog. It gives people a glimpse into our lives in hopes that they will see that we are not weird – we are just different. And, different isn’t bad. Different can and does happen to anybody. Your neighbor. Your coworker.  Your friend. Your enemy. You.

The book is about expectations. You don’t always get what you expect when you are expecting. When your child is born you expect that their sex and gender will align. Sometimes they don’t. You expect that your male child will like traditionally male things and that he’ll be physically and emotionally attracted to a woman. Sometimes that doesn’t happen. There is comfort found in expectations, but when those expectations are squashed when your child is three, four or five years old you start to question why they exist at all. You build new expectations and try not to be jaded when people around you hold tight to the old ones.

The book is about empathy. It took us a while to realize that what we want most from other people is empathy. You don’t have to fully understand gender, sex and sexuality; we just ask that you have an open heart and an open mind.  Imagine for a minute what our child and we have to go through on a daily basis. What would you do if you had a child like C.J.?  Judge less and imagine more. Treat others how you want to be treated. Period.

The book is about the evolution of a family. When our son grabbed that first Barbie, we set out on a journey of evolution – though we didn’t know it at first. The evolution was slow and, at times, didn’t feel like it was moving forward or felt like we were fighting it. But, it happened; no one in our family is the same person that they were three years ago. Now, I wouldn’t change this experience for anything in the world. I couldn’t always say that.

Finally, the book is about equality. There’s a new civil right movement happening in our country. It astonishes me that in 2013 we need a civil rights movement at all. It should be a given that all people are created equal and should be treated as such – whether it’s on the playground or in the nation’s capitol. The book is my way of taking a firm stand in the movement. It is my way of publicly saying that my son and brother deserve the same human rights and human decency taken for granted by the majority of the country’s population. I want my son to be treated like a human being.  If you can’t tell if he is a boy or a girl, then just treat him like a person.

As I move toward September 3 with excitement and fear, I hope that you will accompany me. You will never know how much you mean to my family and me. You all have taught me the difference between sex and gender; you have taught me how to parent an LGBTQ child; you have taught me how to get lip gloss out of my son’s hair when one particular makeover went awry; and the list goes on and on.

The blog will continue to exist as an outlet for me. Will I only be Lori now? No, I’m also C.J.’s Mom. Which names will I use? I’m not sure. I have to see what feels comfortable. Will there be identifying photos of our family on the blog now?  Nope. I’ll continue to amaze you with my nondescript iPhone photography skills. Will I keep you updated on book news from now on? You betcha.

For us, life continues to be an adventure. I’m glad that you are along for the ride. I hope that you continue to be. Wish me luck and buy my book and thank you, thank you, thank you for being such a rad blogosphere family.


Lori Duron/C.J’s Mom/Blogger/Author/Candlestick Maker

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  • orcanyc

    Congratulations Lori and family. Thank you for being so brave.

  • QJ201

    Lori, your wonderful blog was brought up students in my human sexuality class discussion on gender.

    “There’s this lady that blogs about her son who likes girl stuff and how much she loves him and how she deals with other people’s issues with her child.”

    Make Barbara Walters cry when she gets you for the interview!

  • yaoming

    Isn’t this book a little premature… like by about 15 years? If the kid were all grown up now and we knew how it turned out, it would make more sense, but right now it’s just a (brief) story about a (little) boy who likes girl stuff.

  • bledoutcolor

    I love this woman! :)

    That said, this is the most FAB~U~LOUS plug for a product ever. Sparkly son. Lol.

  • bledoutcolor


    It’ll be REALLY awkward for CJ if he grows up straight and/or cisgendered lol. That said I have a feeling that Lori will make it big. She has a unique story that needs to be told (or rather CJ does) and I think many other families like hers and curious straight people in general will benefit from it :). I think if the book is marketed right that it will blow up, for sure :).

    Best of luck to you and yours Lori! Thank you for being a compassionate, loyal, and all around awesome ally (and your husband too) to the LGBT community over these past two years :). Good vibes!

  • Dixie Rect

    The charade continues! Buy my book now, pretty please? Will it be in the fiction section? It should be, I’ve never read such ill written fiction in my life.

  • dkmagby

    @yaoming: The story is probably more about her as a parent dealing with a gender nonconforming child and her approach to parenting said child. She clearly has a lot of experiences already that show the challenges of trying to be a loving, supportive parent to a child whom most of society does not understand. Her book will probably help many other parents of LGBT youth who want to learn how to navigate the challenges facing their families ahead instead of just sticking their heads in the sand and denying anything different about their child; giving them absolutely no support as they struggle to figure out why they are different.

  • Dixie Rect

    “Will there be identifying photos of our family on the blog now? Nope. I’ll continue to amaze you with my nondescript iPhone photography skills.”

    Of course not, because its all a lie, and none of it is real. All of the photos are stock photos from, where else, the internet. F-you! We are so on to you! No one will buy you pack of lies, also known as this silly lie filled book.

  • yaoming

    I still don’t get it. So the kid’s a boy and likes pink, girly things. So what? If he’s gay, he was born that way. It’s genetic and there’s nothing in our DNA about the color pink and sparkly dresses. If,. on the other hand, the kid is trans, he’s pathological and he’s going to need treatment and support in the future. Which one is it? We don’t know… which is why I said this story is premature (assuming it’s true).

  • bledoutcolor

    @yaoming: Wait what? Trans people are “pathological”? You realize people said the same thing about us gays for YEARS right? Stop telling people that they are diseased when you haven’t walked in their shoes. It may not make sense to you or I, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that the person is some sort of defect.

    Unless you meant by “pathological” that if he was trans he most likely would had Gender Dysphoria and the treatment for that is SRS (sex reassignment surgery), then you are correct. However if you meant he would need therapy to convert to cisfender then quite frankly f*** you sir.

  • bledoutcolor

    Also to Lori and fam, ignore Dixie Rect please. Not all gay people are as bitter and hurtful as he is, and many of us support you and your family and look forward to your success. I also totally understand and commend you taking steps to keep your children and family at large safe, as the Internet can be a scary place and there is still a lot of homo and transphobia in the world.

  • Caliban

    Whether CJ turns out to be straight and “cisgendered” or not, the central story of a parent dealing with and supporting a child’s interest in things often not considered appropriate for their biological gender is interesting. I can remember subtle discouragement from my parents about pursuing certain interests that might be perceived by others as “gay,” like taking dance lessons, for example. When I wanted to take Karate they were happy to encourage it and take me to lessons, but discouraged other things with facial expressions, tone of voice and asking pointed questions (“Are you really sure….”), and deliberately putting up roadblocks.

    So even if a parent isn’t dealing specifically with gender issues there’s still a lot to be said for accepting the kid you’ve actually got instead of the one you’d imagined.

  • Dixie Rect


    How can you support them, if you don’t know who they are, or if they even exist? Tell us about how you will support them? Buy her fake book? That’s what they want you to do, its all about making money. It’s a sham – wake up.

  • Keith

    @Dixie Rect: I can empathize with the anger you portray. Waking up every morning and hating yourself takes its toll. That being said, however, what is your point exactly? Oh yes, her story is fake…let’s see. Its my opinion that you really can not make this shit up. Well, ok, yes you can! However it would take a fairly talented writer and you (in all your infinite expertise in fiction) have deemed Lori a poor writer as far as fiction is concerned. Wanting to keep her children and family with some sense of anonymity is something I 100% support…otherwise they’d be publicly open to the “Bitter Betty”s out there. Perhaps you know a few? Betcha do!

    So, add a little sugar to the piss in your corn flakes dear and spare the rest of us your bad temperament. <3

  • yaoming

    @bledoutcolor: If this boy grows up to identify as a female (in a biologically/genetically male body) I’d call that “pathological”.

  • Dixie Rect


    I love how when you have an unpopular opinion or speak the truth you get attacked personally. You don’t know a thing about me, but you feel the need to insult a complete stranger. Sit down, Keith.

  • bledoutcolor

    @Dixie Rect: I support them because of benefit of the doubt. Yes she could be a fake, but she could just as easily be a REAL person with REAL struggles and a REAL family that she loves who loves her, and I’m not about to risk alienating a REAL ally or more importanlty risk hurting a real person and her family. How would it make C.J. feel to read what you wrote? Instead of acting like a jaded cynical d-bag, I choose to support her and her family even if it is just through well wishes and verbal support. Leave the poor woman alone for chrissakes. Surely you have something better to do than troll a “nonexistant/fake” mother of a possibly lgbt child on the Internet.

    Grow some empathy, your not setting a good example for our gay youth (of which I am admittedly a part of) nor are you winning straight people to our side with your sour as lemons attitude. More flies with honey and all that.

  • bledoutcolor

    @yaoming: That’s not being terribly understanding. Again, empathy. How would you want someone to treat you? Regardless of whether transgenderism is legitimate to you or not, the transgendered person is undeniably still a person. Like Lori said if you cant tell what gender someone is treat them like a human being. And no human being should ever be referred to as pathological or diseased just because you don’t agree with the way they express their gender. I’m not trans but I like to think I try to stand up for them as much as I can, not out of any cause but out of plain human dignity and empathy. I may not agree with transgendered being lumped in with sexual orientation issues. I may not agree on some of the things they lobby for. I don’t know whether trans people really are “born that way” like gay people are. But its none of my business one way or the other: they are human beings. Treat them with compassion. Period.

    Even though as I stated above, I don’t understand trans issues, I can still be empathetic and try to educate myself and be an ally for them. Everyone deserves basic humane respect. That’s all I’m saying.

  • Dixie Rect


    1. I don’t care if CJ reads anything – he’s not real so how can he read?

    2. I guess its ok to alienate and risk hurting a real person? Nice – whatever happened to ‘it gets better’? I guess it does better as long as I agree with you, yes?

    3. You are too funny, and I’m pointing and laughing in your face!

    4. ‘Your well wishes and verbal support’? Oh please, what a joke! Fake Lori wants you to buy her book, she doesn’t give a crap about your words!

    5. Just sit down, shut up and learn something. And get me a sandwich! LOL

  • Jack

    wrong! the story here isn’t about cj’s sexual orientation, now or in the future. cj is GENDER non-conforming now, right here and now, and the issues involved are in how he is treated as the small, and fabulous, child that he is. clearly, you have not been a reader.

  • RomanHans

    Well, let’s drop another shoe here. I thought it was pretty obvious this caring mom would have to drop her anonymity to publish the book, and a quick Google search in fact turns up her name. Lori Duron. So the kid’s name is C. J. Duron.

    Lori, remind me — what was all that stuff about protecting your kid?

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