raising my rainbow

The Loneliness of Raising a Gender Creative Son

The body is a house of many windows: there we all sit, showing ourselves and crying on the passers-by to come and love us. – Robert Louis Stevenson

Raising a gender creative child can be excruciatingly lonely; a tear-worthy existence that we walk through and try to shield our children from. We are parents alone on a tight rope, with nobody to catch us when we fall.

I didn’t realize it until recently. And, when I did, the despair of loneliness grabbed ahold of my soul. I know it will not let go for a long, long time.

When C.J. started liking girl stuff and acting effeminate it was two years ago. Life was good. We were just a little different, a little quirky. We were that family with the free-spirited redhead. There was no ache.

Now, there are times when we, as a family, feel desperately lonely and solitary; even when in a crowd.

A two-year-old boy playing with Barbies and dressing up like a girl gets far different looks and laughs from strangers than a four-and-a-half-year-old boy playing with Barbies and dressing up like a girl. Don’t underestimate the isolating and exhausting power of those looks and laughs.

We had lots of young families who we considered to be great friends when our boys were born. Years passed. Friendships ran their course. Homophobic friends? Gone. Friends who judge negatively? Gone. Friends who seriously questioned our parenting? Gone. Then, little by little, space grew between our family and others because of small things that may not be so small.

We are friends with two families. Each family has two boys who are, roughly, the same age as our two boys. We get together and the boys want to play with their lightsabers, Star Wars-style. Two brothers against two brothers against two brothers. Except for that C.J. doesn’t want to play. So it’s two against two against one, C.J.’s brother. It’s not fair. The game nor the fact that C.J.’s Brother doesn’t always feel that C.J. is on his team, has his back, is a true brother. C.J.’s brother gets whacked from behind with two lightsabers at once. We go home.

Another family that we are friends with has a little girl who is less than a year older than C.J., her dress up wardrobe makes even me envious. C.J. adores her and wants only to get all dolled up with her. Usually a dress up diva, the little girl watches C.J. awkwardly. She can’t quite place him in a neat category. Boy? Girl? Tomboy? Pinkboy? She hesitates and doesn’t dress up when he is there because she is uncomfortable. C.J. hopes, every time, that she’ll join him in make believe. She won’t. We go home.

We arrive at a friend’s house and walk into the side yard. We can hear them in the backyard playing baseball. Their oldest son runs over and tells C.J. that he can’t be there. He can’t be in the backyard because they are playing baseball and C.J. doesn’t like baseball, he likes princesses. C.J.’s feelings are hurt, though he tries to hide it. It’s uncomfortable. We stay for C.J.’s brother to have his ups. We go home.

We are in the middle of a dinner party and C.J. runs to me crying and buries his head in my lap. He’s wearing a flamenco dancer skirt and is crushed that a male friend told him that they can’t be best friends anymore. Everyone has feelings, everyone is tender; C.J. more so than other boys his age. Tell a four-year-old girl that you don’t like her anymore and drama ensues, feelings are hurt. Tell a four-year-old boy that you don’t like him anymore and he may hit you or not care at all. C.J. reacts with his feelings and can’t recover. We go home.

Friendships we’ve cultivated for years can seem healthy one day and wilting the next. Superficial friends have superficial questions. Is he still into dolls? Oh, that phase still, huh? Do you mind if he doesn’t wear a skirt around my son? His hair is getting long, are you going to cut it? Why does he like girl colors? Why do you let him do that? When do you think he’ll be more “boy?”

Real friends ask real questions. How are you all doing? Does he get teased? Is it hard for you, for him, for his brother? What do you worry about most? Do you think he’s transgender? How is his brother doing with it all? How does it affect your marriage?

I’m a real person, who wants real relationships. I want to go deeper. I want to be as fulfilled as possible. I want honest connections with people. Sometimes my gender creative child and the way in which we have chosen to raise him – not changing him, but loving him – get in the way. I’ve noticed a lot lately that the elephant in the room is my gender creative son.

Are parents of gender creative kids always a little lonely in a crowd? Are gender creative families isolated? Does loneliness have to be depressing? Can I learn to be happy with superficial relationships? When it comes to friendships, I’ve always been one for quality over quantity. Do I need to change that outlook? Is having Adele’s latest album on replay making my emotional state worse?

I don’t want to live a detached, disconnected, disengaged life. We welcome new families to befriend. But, because of C.J., we’ve learned to approach new people with hesitation. We can’t predict people’s reactions to our wonderfully unique son. If people aren’t cool with the LGBT community, they can’t be a part of ours. If they don’t want to have a talk about gender with their children, then they may not want to meet ours. If they could never imagine letting their little boy dress like a Disney Princess, then our special magic may be lost on them.

Have I entered into a phase in my life in which I am unable to relate to others and them to me? Is my family better off alone than in bad company? Our circle of true friends may be small, but does that make the world small for our sons? Where does protecting your children stop and hyper vigilance begin? My family is going through something people. Let’s not ignore it alone. Let’s live it together.

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  • Ian Awesome

    awwwwwwwesome post from an awesome parent with an awesome son. :) You may not know it now but someday your boy will thank you for letting him be himself.

  • ewe

    There they are again disguising every bit of identity through the art of photgraphing backsides. AGAIN. AS USUAL. Full of shame. These nuts are offensive to LGBT people.

  • ewe

    And these so called “rainbow people” routinely censor all negative comments on their blog unlike Queerty. Why Queerty celebrates this paranoid hypocrisy is beyond me. you sound desperate.

  • Cam


    I’m not sure where this rabid anger comes from. It has long been known that many people don’t like to put their kids faces and identities up on blogs for just anybody to see.

    That said….

    I’m not sure why CJ, when he is given all the freedom in the world can’t also be taught some of the other games that other kids like. Baseball wasn’t my favorite, but in addition to letting me do what I want, my parents made a deal that I also join the pee wee baseball team to meet more friends in the neighborhood. Again, wouldn’t have been my first choice, but I made friends that I had all the way through high school. CJ gets to dress up and do what he wants, why shouldn’t he learn that sometimes it isn’t all about him and he should help out his brother, just because they are brothers and that is what family does.

  • Luke

    @ewe: So why aren’t you posting your picture and address? It’s only common sense to not post your children’s faces and exact names openly on the internet. It’s a safety thing.

    And to CJ’s Mom: In my experience, parents of gender creative kids attempt to change them into the norm. Girls get away with being tom-boys until junior high/high school. Boys are expected to be on the baseball team well before then. I played baseball until it became a try-out thing at about 13…I didn’t play because I enjoyed it – I played to make Mom and Dad happy and to fit in. It’s what boys do. I should’ve been in music classes, acting, art, something besides spending my summers doing something I didn’t particularly enjoy.

  • Dee

    My son (now 26) was, in my parents words, a girly boy. He loved dolls, colourful clothes and cuddly toys. He was nuturing and caring.
    At school he looked after the kids that hurt themselves, taking them to first aid, sitting with them til the bleeding and tears stopped. He played in the wendy house and held tea parties.
    He also played football, had terrifying light sabre fights and rode shopping trollies into walls after watching Jackass.
    He grew up the straightest male I’ve ever known. He still loves the traditional ‘female’ aspects of life.
    He married and I’m going to be a first time grandma soon and I hope my grandchild will grow up to be as wonderful as his father. Whether male, female or anywhere inbetween that child will be loved and cherished by every member of their family.
    Our family (not all family shares blood by the way) include – a furry couple, gay, lesbian, transgender, otherkin and so many different nationalities I couldn’t fit them all on here.
    My daugther is bi-sexual, beautiful, intelligent and happy. Who cares who she loves? Just be thankful she’s happy. Like I am. For both my kids.
    Our neighbours dislike our ways, our beliefs, our friends and let us know what’s ‘wrong’ with us. It does p**s me off but I look at what I’ve achieved and gracefully turn my back, flip the bird and carry on regardless.

    Sorry for the ramble. I blame the medication
    Dee x

  • RuBrawl

    I think you’re marvelous, and if I knew you, I’d consider it an honor to be friends with your family. It’s my dream in life to adopt queer kids whose parents don’t accept them and kick them out. I’m glad that you’re providing such a great example of positive parenting.

  • JR

    @ewe: Funny: I’m an LGBT person–G, to be specific–and I am not the least bit offended by CJ’s mom’s posts. In fact, I believe CJ is incredibly lucky to have parents who are allowing him to figure out who he is without feeling the need to remold his behavior. I also know that I’m not the only one who looks forward to her posts. Not by far.

    Her refusal to identify her family by using pseudonyms and photography angles is neither shameful nor homophobic. It’s what any sensible parent would do to protect his or her children. (And yes, if you are a parent and you have such an inflexible view of what CJ’s mother is doing, I am saying you are not a sensible parent.) Who they are and where they live are not relevant to the accounts she shares. By protecting her anonymity (as well as her sons’, her husband’s, and all of the other people she describes) she is able to be forthright in a way that she could not be if she had to fear how her neighbors would react and how these posts might affect her son when he matured. There are no retractions once something hits the Internet. I shudder to think what would be out there about me had the World Wide Web existed when I was a child.

    Queerty readers have shown support for this family time and time again, which clearly indicates that you do not represent the LGBT community. You’re welcome to speak for yourself, but stop trying to convince the world that we all share your close-mindedness.

    My only criticism of “Raising My Rainbow” on Queerty is that its exposure is limited. While many of us look forward to these posts, these thoughts and feelings should be shared with a wider audience. What CJ’s shares should be read by the people who ask if CJ is still playing with girls’ toys and whose children tell CJ he is not welcome in their yards. So many of us already understand the fears she expresses and the loneliness she feels; it’s the people who think we should have fewer rights and hide our love who should be reading this.

  • ShuN1981

    I’ve found this article very touching… My heart goes out to CJ’s parents, and to all those parents in the same situation…
    It’s hard to find support sometimes… But It can come when we least expect it…

    Oh, and @ewe, they’re talking about a 4-year-old; OF COURSE they’re not going to give full information or post pics of his face! Things are hard as it is without having strangers bashing them on their parenting decisions!!!

  • Jay

    Girl, no one said leading a revolution was easy.

    I think she is amazing. I’m sure a lot of parents can actually relate to her, including those with gay children. Its difficult to “go against the grain.” We all know this, whichis why I think we should all support her. Its people like her who are making the world a better place.

    I hope when I have kids of my own they won’t be ashamed to say they have two daddies.
    Its unfortunate that they too will have difficulty making friends and maintaining relationships.

  • Chuck

    First of all, these people who keep questioning this woman about her son need to mind their own fucking business. This reminds me of what Ed Koch said when a reporter asked if he way gay, he replied, when was the last time your wife went down on you? Point being, it is none of their business and what gives them the right to question or comment on another person’s sexual life.

    To answer one of the questions, YES it’s better to be alone than to be around haters. Does her son actually WANT to go on all these outings? The parents and straight brother need to find their own social satisfaction without dragging the gender creative son along if there is any possibility that he will be treated unkindly. That is what being a parent is all about.

    Go out and have fun with your husband and leave C.J. with a trusted relative or babysitter. These family get togethers shouldn’t involve one of your sons it he will get hurt. That’s really a no-brainer.

  • Abirdwillingtobeitself

    @Dee: Furries? Otherkin? Let’s not get out of hand.

  • inoits2

    First off I think she is a wonderful loving mother who cares a great deal about her kid. However, this whole series makes me very uncomfortable. Just because a boy likes girls toys doesn’t mean that they are going to gay or transgendered.

    It sincerely disturbs me that she is doing this to the kid. She is creating a terrible future for him because the reality of the world is that people are not accepting. She should allow him to play with whatever he wants but she should not encourage him.

    I feel her blogging is exploitative and that the matter should be a private family issue. I fear he may grow up and resent her for allowing him and his family to be humiliated and avoided just to prove some sort of PC point.

    If he grows up and is gay or transgendered than she should be full supportive. I think at this point though it is best not to label or encourage a child to be non-gender conforming. She is setting him up for a lousy life. She has to remember we live in a world where she either accepts that people dislike her for what she is doing or accept societies judgement.

  • Jeffree

    Mom’s written two other posts about CJ’s friendships with a boy & a girl who were also gender creative. What happened with those friendships?

    There are so many places CJ could explore his more creative side: art or acting classes, gymnastics/tumbling, Swimming could be fun, too. In those settings he might be more likely to find friends with common interests.

  • Ruhlmann

    @ewe: It is instinctive in a parent to protect their child, perhaps more so on the internet. It amazes me that you would make so much of their desire to remain annonymous. This is a five year old kid for crying out loud. I am not offended by their annonimity as are others here not. Your dime store psychology is comical and annoying at once. Why do you need to know who these people are?

  • bobinboulder

    @ewe: You’re an ass… the kid is 4 years old and they don’t want his face all over the internet. Has nothing to do with being proud and everything to do with protecting a FUCKING 4 YEAR OLD! Believe it or not, there are nut-jobs out there, not unlike yourself, who would do this kid harm if they knew who he was. So get over your selfish need to see the kid’s face, and instead, imagine that he is EVERY gay child that ever was. That really is the point of the whole blog.

  • ewe

    Being a gay man or woman is not being gender creative you idiotic numbskulls.

  • ewe

    @bobinboulder: nothing you said explains why the parents are hiding. Which is what i said if you bothered to comprehend. Is being straight gender creative fool? You are enabling discrimination.

  • ewe

    @Ruhlmann: dime store psychology? HA. Everytime anyone says gay people are different from straight people based on their sexual orientation (good or bad) then gay people are being targeted and you are obviously the one who needs to stay on the therapy couch.

  • ewe

    @JR: no whats funny is that you think that because you don’t find it offensive then all L(G)BT people should feel the same way you do. The people you think that should be reading this are more than happy to see that these people forever remain anonymous. There is no reason why these parents cannot identify themselves. They are dispicable.

  • ewe

    @Jay: This is no revolution. We have some anonymous person that has a blog about some supposed son she doesn’t even acknowledge is homosexual.

  • ewe

    @ShuN1981: oh and ShuN1981 yes they are indeed talking about a four year old and created a blog to obsess on his sexuality.

  • JR

    @ewe: Yay! I was so afraid I’d be overlooked.

    Never at any time did I assert that everyone feels as I do. I did suggest that there are many who disagree with you. Clearly I am correct.

    Can you explain–in a logical and non-ranting manner, if possible–why you feel it is incumbent upon these parents to reveal who they are? I’m not requesting a diatribe. I would, however, like to understand your reasoning. You clearly have strong feelings about this topic. In all seriousness: Why?

  • ewe

    How dare they say that anyone who identifies as LGBT is being creative with their gender. They are as offensive as right wing fundamentalists banging their book.

  • ewe

    These parents look at their son as if he is a visiting alien. I find that offensive as too fucken bad if anyone doesn’t like that.

  • wtf

    @ewe: You don’t know if that child is gay. He is playing with his gender role, from the perspective of what is typical in our society. Where is all of your vitriol coming from? Why are you so angry? She doesn’t need to post pictures of her kid at all. So you think it’s fake and that it’s somehow offensive that she is supportive of her child’s choices and his behavior? I don’t believe it’s shame, it’s more likely a safety issue. There are insane people in the world who might wish her and her son harm. People who rant and rave and sometimes do crazy scary shit. You know. People like you and your crazy ass. LOL. Oh, and BTW: go fuck yourself you stupid whore.

  • inoits2

    I can kind of see where you are coming from ewe, but honestly you raise a real point about not exposing their identity. Reading the entries I sometimes wonder if the family is real at all. There is no proof that it isn’t a hoax. If it is real then she has taken an innocent child and turned them into a cause to blog about.

  • ewe

    @wtf: WE do not even know if the child is real. And don’t be telling me what roles people play with regarding gender. That’s bullshit. I already addressed the safety issue if you bothered to read the previous comments. And BTW you still have no idea whether what you support is complete fantasy which makes you the stupid fucking whore.

  • ewe

    @inoits2: are your heterosexual relatives being gender creative fool? And if so why is it no one has ever bothered to talk, write or blog about that. The standard is not heterosexual leaving everything different from that an enigma to be researched.

  • ewe

    nothin about nothin has to do with this kid anyway. It has to do with the twisted parents who are plain ol bizarre. They act like they are in the victorian age.

  • inoits2

    @ewe: First off I agree with you so don’t call me names please. Hetrosexuality is the norm in our society so anyone not adhering to the het definitions of gender is considered gender creative. Because of this difference and the fact that gender identity is such a hot issue right now it seems reasonable to write about it. However I take exception to this when it involves an adult writing about a child who happens to like dolls.

  • ewe

    oh look at the little girl who likes to play baseball. she is so special right? yeah right. She likes fucking baseball. Grip reality. this is not complementary to LGBT people. This is singling them out and analyzing them under a microscope by the people who are in charge of nourishing them. The child has no freagin idea about nothing except he is who he is. when that happens society usually says well look at him, what a free spirit. It’s bullshit. There are people everywhere that do not identify as straight and straight people need to get the fuck over themselves.

  • JAW

    @Chuck: #12

    I Think that you missed the point when you made your point. Ed Kotch was saying sexuality is nobody else’s business but their own. This mother has taken CJ is is making the child what Mom thinks he should be.

    Mom seems to be exploiting CJ for her own fun. There are many girls that are active in all kinds of sports including base/softball, soccer, Lacrosse etc. when CJ went to the backyard, CJ was trying to say that he wanted to be around the boys playing ball… but they felt that he did not fit in. What is Mom doing to teach him how to play ball as well as other boy things.

    I feel sorry for CJ… Mom is screwing up his life. I bet that Mom always wanted a girl, so she is making CJ the girl she never had… Mom need HELP before she screws CJ up for life

  • ewe

    @inoits2: sorry i was in the heat of the moment with the bitches who decided that if they put me down they could silence me. It is not the norm to be straight if you aren’t and i challenge that word you are using. Gender identity is not a hot issue for me. I am glad you can stop and see through this for the possible hoax it may be. I really feel they are going to fuck this kid up if they are real because all they do is compare him to heterosexuality.

  • ewe

    i still have no idea why and how i am being gender creative just because i happen to be gay. What’s up with that propaganda. That is the straight agenda folks.

  • inoits2

    @ewe: Ye you are right if you arent straight it is “your” norm. To you not being straight is normal as it is for me. But I am speaking in terms of the world we live in and hets that make up the majority. We have no choice but to live in their world. GI may not be an issue for you but again with rights being forged everywhere it is certainly an issue for trans people and the xstian right.

    That said, you are right! That kid is going to be a mess and it will be her fault for making an issue out of nothing. This latest entry makes me even more irritated because she is whining about people being mean to them. She only needs to look in the mirror. She should stop and think about the way people are treating her. It certainly wouldnt be because the kid is “gender creative”. It’s because they think she is robbing the kid of a happy childhood with friends.

  • drums

    It’s weird to read about a mother treating her child like an 19th century anthropological study. I’m not making any judgements about her as a person or how she raises her kid, but I personally don’t like the tone of these blog posts because they sound exploitative. All kids are weird in some way (I insisted on singing my words instead of talking for about six months straight, and another time my parents let me register in school under a different name because I thought it was more “me”), and many parents choose to be supportive and loving without making a big announcement about it.

  • Riiight

    I was what you would call a gender creative boy, and my parents let me play with whatever I wanted, and I still remember worrying that people would find out. I remember when I was about 9 I was in a toy shop and my school teacher was in the line behind us, and I silently thanked fate for that day being a day that I wasn’t buying a doll or a pony or somesuch. I had No shame when I was younger. My mum was telling me the other week about a time when I was roughly CJs age, quite happily playing with an Ariel doll in a chemists, and a woman questioned my mum about whether I was a boy or a girl (while wearing male type clothing) and, after my mother giving her a look like this woman had just landed from mars got a hefty “well done” from this lady as if my mother was doing something ground breaking and monumental for allowing me to play with Ariel. My mum wasn’t. She was letting her child play with a bit of plastic that happened to be a different shape to the other bits of plastic that boys generally played with.

    I learned the shame that happened later on in my life, and I was teased for being a “girl” f

  • inoits2

    @Riiight: I remember wanting so badly to play with my cousins Barbie. I loved the sparkly dress and shoes! I was very jealous of my cousin and admittedly I was ashamed and knew I would have been teased if I had. However had my parents actually encouraged me to play with them that would have caused many problems for me, my family and their friends.

  • Ganondorf

    I suppose we should be relieved that this is the avenue that an obvious narcissist uses her spawn as a prop to garner attention and express herself as a special snowflake, then, say the darker alternatives. Munchausen by proxy or the child pageant/modeling abuse come to mind. The latter with those lifeless plastic smiles on their synthetic little faces, hiding the pain of mommy’s failed suburban ambitions expressed at the expense of a normal childhood (now there’s a therapy bill I’d like to collect! The gift that keeps on giving). Perhaps this treacly self-indulgent copter parent will snag a book deal (if eat, shit, fuck can be made into a movie, this certainly isn’t out of bounds–and it’s quite a fashionable topic) or a reality teeeveee show. Wouldn’t that be wonderful?

  • Riiight

    apologies, my phone decided not to co-operate.

    Anyway, I was teased for being a “girl” and sometimes things were harder than it might have been If I’d been a stereotypical boy, but I am soooooo glad my parents allowed me to be.

    Kids will go for what they are attracted to, and they will soon let you know if they aren’t having fun. Any shame he grows up to have will be because of the judgements of those who are going to put him down. Even if one day he decides he is going to be a logger in alaska and not shower for months, it doesn’t mean that his childhood playing with ponies will be a waste, a sham or proof he should have been made to wear cowboy costumes instead of princesses. Nor does it mean it’s something he Should feel ashamed off.

    I am now a twenty one year old and life is pretty good. I had a good childhood, and hopefully I’ll have a good future.

  • Riiight

    I hate the implication that if something is difficult or if it is going to go against the grain then we shouldn’t do it.

    If we followed some of the advice the people commenting on this topic would suggest, then the gays among us would nee hold hands with partners, or would never have partners. Or we would all pretend to be straight.

    If this kid grows up to be gay an his parents said “no honey, you’re gonna go date some girls and you’re only allowed to be with guys in the house because auntie margie thinks dating boys is something only girls are allowed to do” then you’d be horrified.

    Why is this kid allowed to grow up and potentially go aginst a large part or society by dating a fellow guy, but his mother is being the worst kind of stage parent for allowing her kid to play with toys and dress up in clothes that other people don’t like?

  • bobinboulder

    @ewe: You are a monumental dipshit… lemme connect the dots for you… if a=b and b=c…. then a=c. Show the parents’ photo/faces, and its not a great leap of monkey logic to find the kids. In fact, it’s EASIER to find the kids based on the parents picture, than the other way around (adults have things like addresses, cell phones, more and easier accessible public records, than do children).

    Are you only slightly older than the child in the story? If that is the case, then I forgive you for your incredible ignorance and obvious belief that the world should work as you see it. If, in fact, you are in the double digits of human age, then STFU and quit being annoying.

  • inoits2

    @Riiight: Young children need our guidance because they cannot and should not be allowed to make their own decisions until they are old enough to decide for themselves. Being a gay teen is a whole other issue. Allowing a kid to play with toys and dress up as a girl sometimes is okay but perhaps it causes more confusion and shame when you PURPOSELY take your kid to a party dressed as a princess where they are ridiculed. She did this in an earlier blog post.

  • McGullen

    @inoits2: Yeah, I thought this could seem to be forced sissy behavior by a domineering mother.

  • inoits2

    @McGullen: If you really care about your kid you would not take them to a party in a princess dress (whether he wants to or not) to be laughed at by his peers. This is wrong and cruel.

  • Ganondorf

    THAN, even.

    It’s certainly not implausible that raising my rainbow is an overweight fifty something year old bald gay man who lives in a condo in lauderdale with a little pooch or a cat. I mean, queerty isn’t “journalism” (no blog is, and no blogger is a journalist), and its main function is generating advertising revenue through site hits (that’s the whole reason blogs have commenting sections–further incentivizing hits and ad revenue. That’s not how they start, usually, but that’s how they end. Ironically, on many blogs–especially gay blogs– the comment sections are much more stimulating than the posts themselves, and that given how stupid, insipid and all around awful most comments are, teehee). That being said, if she were real, she can’t be blamed for wanting to withhold identifying photos (and c’mon, you’re saying some industrious queen couldn’t provide fakeys?). I guess we’ll never know if this a night listener scenario. Oh tragedy.

  • Riiight


    If nobody ever does anything then nothing will ever get done. Confusion comes not from the interest, but from the conflict with other people. “I like this. When I tell them that I like this, they laugh at me. They don’t like x. X must be wrong. I shouldn’t like x. But I do like x.” that causes the confusion and the confusion can turn into shame. Knowing that there is nothing wrong with liking X, and knowing of other people that also like X builds confidence.

    Maybe parents should be judged for supporting unfounded bias and passing it onto their children.

  • inoits2

    @Riiight: Frankly I think shame is underrated. Many things in this world cause us shame and it’s a fact of life. Shame is not necessarily a bad thing as it can shape us to be better people. In fact shame can change anti-gay folks when they realize they may have hurt people.

    I am not suggesting everyone conform. I am just saying that we live in this reality and have to perform in it and it is unfair to use a child to further an agenda.

  • Polo


    This is about a mother’s child. She doesn’t want to out him to the public for further ridicule. By revealing her identity, she reveals her son’s.

    Frankly, I see no problem with a parent taking the extra step to ensure the privacy of a FOUR year old. Did you get that? CJ is only 4 year old???

    Too often in our culture, parents are only happy to make their children into little celebrities that ends up causing years’ worth of therapy bills.

  • bobinboulder

    @inoits2: So… who did the Theresa Walker (local reporter for the Orange County Register) visit and write an article about that kicked off the whole website? Was the reporter imaginary too? Was the newspaper imaginary? Have you ever read anything more about this story other than what has been published here on Queerty?

    Asserting that the whole things has been the creation of someone’s imagination, the fantasy of a victim of Munchhausen by proxy sufferer, or the invention of a person with an ulterior motive, really says more about the accuser, than it does the actual author of the blog.

    You twats are like JFK conspiracy nutjobs, Obama Birthers and Moon Landing doubters… believe it or not, MOST of the time… things are what they appear to be.

    There is PLENTY of evidence (non – photographic) to prove the actual existence of these people beyond the pages of a blog. HOWEVER, there is absolutely NO evidence whatsoever that:

    *The story is completely fictional
    *Any mental illness is involved (aside from the readers herein)
    *Anything other documenting one person’s experience in raising a potentially gay child is a motive for writing such a blog

    or finally,

    * That they are, in fact a family of gay vampires which explains why they cannot be photographed.

    So… reach around… using both hands, and forcefully pull your head from your ass. The view is much better and you won’t have to smell your own bullshit.

  • Adam

    I have to agree with many of the posters on here. I am ridiculously happy that the mother is very supportive, and initially liked this feature very much, but over time, they’ve started to sound a little exploitative. He’s your son, he’s not an anthropological study, as someone said in an earlier comment. These blogs seem to dissect every little difference and paint them as some huge non-conformity, which can be just as damaging as trying to suppress these. He likes pink, he likes princesses, this doesn’t mean he’s transgendered or gay or “gender creative.” It’s wonderful that the mother isn’t trying to quash these impulses, but it seems that sometimes she’s trying to corral him into them. And I must be honest, the cutesy little names do call into question the validity of the blog.

    I do not mean to call out the mother’s fitness as a parent. Clearly she cares a lot about her son and clearly it’s a big issue for her and yes, we should be talking about constructions of gender in children, I just don’t think this blog goes about it in the right way. I do not think it’s appropriate to be blogging solely about one aspect of your child. By having the entire focus of the blog be on CJ’s ostensible gender non-conformity, it dehumanizes him. Which is the worst thing of all. Imagine if someone had a blog whose sole focus was on the fact that their child was not of the same race or was mentally handicapped, and the blog was entirely centered on calling out instances when that child faced adversity, it would leave a bad taste. As somebody else said in the comments, all children are weird.

    This entry especially seems to underline the feeling I get that it’s more in the mother’s head than anything. It seems to have an undertone of blaming CJ for other issues in the family. If the mother truly didn’t care about CJ’s gender non-conformity, she wouldn’t be having this blog. I think the subject matter could make a fine essay or article in the vein of Anne Lamott. But at this point, it’s gotten excessive, it seems exploitative, and it just feels wrong.

  • inoits2

    @bobinboulder: The fact that you are so angry about the possibility that it could be fake leads me to believe you have your own doubts.

    I think any reasonable person might come to the conclusion that it MIGHT be a hoax. This latest entry has a tone that comes across as whiny and I suspect its intention is to get you to feel sorry for her and her family.

    It almost sounds like she is having a change of heart about what she’s doing as suddenly ..duh..it has real consequences. This could also be a tactic to draw the reader in and get you to empathize more in turn making it seem legitimate.

    Just sayin’

  • nick

    I’m just a college kid but I’ve been following your column since it first started. Sometime I wonder if maybe a little guidance for CJ might not be crazy. I’m actually gay but never had an interest in more effeminate toys as a kid, nevertheless there’s lots of things my parents forced me to do (totally unrelated to gender, identity, orientation) that helped me fit in better even though it wasn’t what I liked or wanted to do. I was forced to learn how to sew not a lot but enough to fix little rips & things, I had to learn to swim but got to go to baseball camp to. I was forced to sing in the church choir (in high school I later joined a Jazz Ensemble) even though I thought it was silly.

    As you navigate the challenges of parenting a young male whose gender identity is up in the air more than the average kid’s; I hope you realize that turning down some of CJ’s request for girlish items or play & saying, “no you need to go play____ (a sport, a game, whatever) with everyone else” isn’t rejecting his gender identity but merely molding him to be a well rounded social “kid” not necessarily boy or girl.

    I love reading your column it always leaves me thinking. Best of Luck!

  • Riiight

    Actually, there are blogs out there by parents that focus on their childrena disabilities, learning difficulties ect ect as a way for the parent to both vent about how difficult it can be and yet they still love them and there can be amazing monents.

    The blog was created to talk about the gender non-conformity, so you can’t really expect her to tangent into the childs eating habits or such. You could as easily complain that she doesn’t talk about her older son as much so therefore she doesn’t love him as much, but he more likely thing is that her other sons interests aren’t relevant to this blog.

  • Riiight

    She did have a whole post a while ago about CJ asking if he could play baseball. They look him, he played, he decided he didn’t enjoy it.

    Just a pointer. : )

  • bobinboulder

    @inoits2: So now *I’m* the phoney too?! LMAO! What kind of Bill O’Reilly/FOX News bullshit tactic is that?! “If you can’t out argue your critic, then cast doubt on his character…”

    And if she is making this up… then to what end? What’s in it for her? All that advertising on her site that’s making her millions? The donations made to her by all the sympathetic queers here? The “attention” she is craving?

    I’m not a parent, but nothing that she has written about her experience thus far has seemed disingenuous, false or manufactured.

    Isn’t it easier to believe that what you are reading is simply the documentation of a person struggling with how to raise a kid that doesn’t quite fit in?

    And what about that Newspaper article? It’s here:http://articles.ocregister.com/2011-02-25/news/28637302_1_mom-blogs-cj-barbie

    Are we going to skip over that inconvenient fact?

    You see… I don’t have to make anything up to support the case that the blog is real and genuine… but a person has to come up with some pretty wild shit to support a case that it isn’t.

  • Jeffree

    @bobinboulder: Did Theresa Walker visit with CJ’s mom at home or by phone? The 3/21/11 OCR article, at least, doesn’t appear to mention actually interacting with the family in person.

    Look, I completely understand the parents wanting to protect their identity & privacy, as well as their son’s. But we also have to realize that the “lesbian widow” writing the LezGetReal (?) blog was a str8 man, and the young “lesbian” fleeing oppression in the Middle East was also a str8 guy. Great stories, but untrue ones, so yes, I’m somewhat skeptical.

    I celebrate any parent who helps their offspring flourish no matter how much the child differs from peers, but this series seems like a possible case of an over-involved parent: she’s drawing more attention to herself because of CJ because without him she doesn’t have much of a story to tell.

  • JAW

    @Riiight: #60… sounds like mom did not encourage it enough… now he wishes that he had learned, so he could be with the rest of the boys.

    As others have said… raising kids is tough work. Kids change daily. Kids need to be be exposed to many things.

    When I first read the original story. I thought that Mom was cool. The more I read, the more I fear for CJ. There are plenty of ways that CJ can explore his “Pink side” without going over the Top. When I look at the age of this child and read all of the things that he has gotten, I realize more and more that it is all about Mom.

    Perhaps I had a deprived childhood, But I never, nor did my sisters, ever go to a party in a gown.

    I do not know of any 4 or 5 yo’s that got to decide on their Birthday cake. Mom Backed a cake and wrote Happy Birthday on them

    The over the Top party at Cinderellas castle??? what 4 or 5 yo even knows they can have a party there. It is all about Mom

    The list goes on.

    There are very few girls that live life as “Pink” as CJ does. I think that Child welfare should keep an eye on this family… that is if they really exist… I do think that I saw them on the Today show a while back

  • bobinboulder

    @Jeffree: They’ve got pictures in the article… whether you believe them or not, is up to you.

    I for one, believe the simplest explanation is the most likely.

    For the all the cynics looking around every corner for all the possible angles and creating conspiracies where none exist… good luck with that. But you’d probably be better off spending your energies elsewhere.

  • Jeffree

    @bobinboulder: Thanks! At least it’s clear that a OCR photographer was there.

    I want to believe what CJ’s mom says, but once bitten, twice shy for me when it comes to stories that seem too good to be true. When there are inconsistencies in the narrative, my faux-dar kicks in. And I sure won’t claim to it being perfect.

    We may never know to what degree Mom’s stories are factual or partly dramatized. Maybe the important thing is that she’s helped create conversations about children who don’t fit in, and how parents learn to deal with them as those kids chart the waters in the wider world.

    P.s. If you’re in CO, I’m jealous! I have spent some time at Naropa….

  • Riiight

    I thought deciding on your birthday cake was quite common? My granny was an amazing baker, so me and my cousins were lucky enough to be able to choose animals, trains, haunted houses, cottage gardens and mouses tea party cakes. I thought choosing what your birthday cake was going to be, even if the choice was just whatever selection the shop had?

    Anyway, the idea here is that if this was a little girl there would be No issue, but because tengas been born male bodies it’s like his behaviour should be restricted and his mother is suspect.

  • Riiight

    I hate auto correct. I somehow ended up adding a Japanese sex toy company to that post.

  • ewe

    @bobinboulder: shut the fuck up. I will paraphrase what a brilliant young woman who stood up to Sarah Palin said a few years back. ” There are laws in this country to protect people like me from people like you.” Dip your own shit asshole.

  • ewe

    @Ganondorf: Notice how you blame a hypothetical gay man of age 50 if you entertain the possibility this is a hoax. Idiot.

  • ewe

    @Polo: re:54 oh yeah i get it alright. I agree the kid is only fucking 4 years old. YOU sista would be arrested and booked on pedophilia charges if you obsessed on a four year olds sexual orientation but this fake parenting blog can go on and on about it as long as it is their own flesh and blood they exploit. Fool. I get it alright. I suggest you open up your eyes.

  • ewe

    @bobinboulder: you are the twat. the fact a real journalist put this into the ether to discriminate against minor children is a disgrace. If you bothered to read previous comments you would realize that this so called fabulous blog you are pushing doesn’t allow negative comments so please take your own head out of your hole.

  • ewe

    @bobinboulder: let me say it more clearly bitch. Being LGBT is a non issue. The people with the problem are the heterosexual parents. and you of course.

  • ewe

    @bobinboulder: 61: turn it around fool. Would you support a 10 year old scrutinizing his/her gay parents on a blog calling them gender creative when it involves putting them down for not conforming. I think you probably would because… oh yeah… you are so enlightened and open minded. BS artist.

  • ewe

    @bobinboulder: Why don’t you answer why gay people are being gender creative and straight people aren’t. Then go puke in your own mouth.

  • ewe

    Well where is the blog by a gay parent flipping out about their straight child. Then we can maybe call it an even playing field. I doubt there is one because a gay parent would not insult their own child for being who they are and they certainly would not label themselves and being gender creative.

  • R.A,

    Caring or not, this mother is sentencing her child to a painful and lonely childhood that no four year old should have to endure. Have we really reached the point where we believe it’s emotionally damaging to tell little boys to put on pants? Not to wear lipstick?
    Who invented this idiotic term “gender creative” as if cross-dressing was putting you on the road to be the next Picasso?
    Certainly we don’t want parents destroying a gay child’s personality, but who among us would thank our parents for encouraging us to be as nelly as we possibly can?
    How many gay people do you know who are lonely because they weren’t swishy enough or didn’t do drag?
    We have reached the point where we can marry, have families, and go as far as our talents and discipline will take us.
    Get the kid a violin.

  • ewe

    @R.A,: lol. i say leave the kid alone to enjoy his life. The parents are there with a camera, a diary, a blog and themselves playing therapist for an issue they are completely in the freagin dark about. This kid is gonna say the one and only thing his parents did do right was not exposing their identities because it’s obvious to everyone with a brain that these parents are cuckoo. And the fact they don’t discuss themselves openly is evidence they are fully aware of that fact. This is no different than a drug addict giving themself rehab in their own home at their own pace with their own rules. Dysfunctional. OH and it’s heterosexual dysfunction in the making. Gender creative of course.

  • Armand

    Are you still publishing this terrible column of the father who is passive aggressive, wanting-to-remove-his-past-memories-of-being-the-garden-bully?


    Allow a monkey to step up to the keyboard.

  • Mich

    @Jeffree: i think they are a real family, i think CJ uncle is Michael Serrato from the Big gay sketch show. He is on the podcast gay pimpin’ and has talked about them a few times. i think he even said she wanted to do a tv show about her family.

  • Diane Caruso

    @bobinboulder: God creates wonderful people and tis child sounds like one of his best…let the child be himself and he will grow up to be exactly who he should be…gay, straight? whatever ..just love him for what he is..a gift from God to be cherished………….MOM

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