Trampolines Or Cheerleading: C.J. Goes to Summer Camp

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.

It’s still summer break here and I signed C.J. up for a special morning camp at the gym where he takes gymnastics. By the way, he has officially been promoted from a Tumblebee to a Kinderroo, so you might want to get your tickets now for the 2024 Summer Olympics. Consider yourself warned.

We arrived bright and early: C.J., C.J.’s Brother, Uncle Uncle’s boyfriend and me. We signed in and I asked the sweet little innocent camp counselor what was on the agenda for the day.

“Okay. Well. We have free play from 9 to 9:15 a.m., stretching from 9:15 to 9:30 a.m., then we put the kids in groups based on their age and gender,” she said, seemingly thrilled to be able to answer my questions so thoroughly.

Uncle Uncle’s boyfriend looked at me and I was glad that he got the chance to see what I to deal with on a constant basis.

“What do the different gender groups do?” I asked.

“Well, the girls do gymnastics, cheerleading and dance and the boys do soccer, rock climbing and go on the big trampolines.” Again, so proud to be capable at her job.

“My son might want to go with the girls,” I said.

She hadn’t been instructed what to do in this situation. Deer in headlights. I scooped up C.J.

“C.J., do you want to do gymnastics, cheerleading and dance or soccer, rock climbing and trampolines?,” I asked.

“Trampolines!,” C.J. replied excitedly, already bouncing.

“It looks like he’ll go with that group, then,” I told the camp counselor, refusing to call it the boy group.

“Alrighty,” she said, relieved. You and me both, sister.

My son wanted to go in the boy group. (Actually he really just wanted to bounce on the trampolines, but I’ll take it.) I walked out of the gym feeling a little different. My son chose to go with the boys and do “boy” things. I’d have to get used to the idea.

“Why do they have to break them up by gender? I bet there are five girls in there who want to climb that rock wall. Hell, I wanted to climb the rock wall!” Uncle Uncle’s boyfriend said as we walked to the car.

“As a child, I would have much rather climbed the rock wall and bounced on the trampoline than do a cheer and dance routine,” I said, wishing that they would break the kids into groups not by gender, but by activity preference. But what did I care that day—my boy wanted to be in the boy group.

And the next day he wanted to be a cheerleader.

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  • RomanHans

    That’s one stupid-ass camp. Do they feed the boys corndogs while the girls get salad?

  • Thomas Maguire


  • Spike

    Team C.J. !!!

  • kurt_t

    Oh boy I can so relate to this. Stop me if I’ve told this story before. When I was a grade school kid, like around 2nd grade, 3rd grade, one of the kids in the boy clique at my day care center was, according to the staff, a girl. Now all us boys knew better, but who were we to question our superiors? So we would just roll our eyes as our friend got escorted off the baseball diamond to participate in whatever girl activity had been planned for the day. Then we’d scramble to find a fill in for shortstop. I didn’t realize that kind of silliness was still going on.

  • smacr

    If ewe don’t like it ewe don’t have to read it.

  • Jon Tom

    What an awesome mom! Most parents wouldn’t give their child a choice.

  • xander

    Welcome to Camp 1989? Why can’t the kids pick which activities they want to participate in?

    And CJ’s mom’s perpetual obsession with ‘girl’ and ‘boy’ activities is starting to wear thin.

    The trampolines do sound fun, however.

  • Kim

    This is my first time reading this blog.Cute. I’ve got to go back and find about Uncle Uncle(smile) I’ve never understood why people who have a problem with a blog like this continue reading it. Don’t torture yourself life is too short

  • Mr. Enemabag Jones


    I see what you did there.

  • ewe

    @smacr: Well i do have to read it because it is necessary to stay on all types of charlatans who profit and benifit exploiting the LGBT population and this woman and her husband are on that list. You watch. She will be out on a book tour in twenty years showing off her HETEROSEXUAL son and all his past stereotypes. She will be insinuating that she thought this and she thought that but look…he turned out fine. (codeword for normal in her mind. If it wasn’t she would not be so bent out of shape about her effeminate son.” She is a creep.

  • purples

    These posts are really creepy

  • Canadian

    ewe an idiot.

  • Ruhlmann

    @ewe: Jesus fucking christ you are annoying.

  • Lily

    I always wondered what it would be like if it was my son I was learning this with instead of my daughter. My daughter gives new meaning to the word tom-boy, I have fought for her to be allowed to be one of the boys at a number of different things and admittedly gloat when she does it better than the boys, she would have looked at the girls doing dance and cheerleading and begged to leave rather than do something so girly and would have grabbed a soccer ball and started a game with the boys. Fortunately in Canada it’s not Boy Scouts, it’s just Scouts and it’s open to both genders(the idea of Girl Guides makes her sneer)and thats where she has found her place, the only girl in a Scout Troop and no one bats an eye cause she fits right in. My son on the other hand would have gone with the boys out of peer pressure but would much rather have done dance, soccer and trampolining.

  • ewe

    @Ruhlmann: well that’s not very nice of you.

  • Joshua

    However “annoying” to quote a few she may come across what stands out is not a lack of concern but a strong pride in her child for being who they are without remorse regardless of opinion because this is her kid not yours or mine and honestly if you want to hate on straight allies such as this woman. Who has a column on an exclusively gay blog, doesn’t that tell you something. Namely she is taking all the lessons to heart that so many gays who came before us fought their asses off for. If you want to bitch do yourselves a favor and realize that as far as parents go this little dude could do alot worse.

  • Adam

    This whole blog sounds like the woman is making it up, has an extreme victimization complex, or both.

  • irisgirl

    another good one…………I wonder how CJ’s brother reacted during this exchange–I’ll bet he gave Mom one of those smiles with a silent message, when CJ chose the “boys” activity!

    of course the focus is CJ, but I’d like to hear more about Uncle Uncle’s boyfriend, and how he blends into the family dynamics. He’s obviously a close family member, to be included on a routine family errand.

  • Mike in Asheville

    @Adam: Perhaps a more benign twist of Munchausen by proxy syndrome?

  • ewe

    @Adam: Exactly. Someone is fabricating this.

  • Kevin

    This mother is starting to scare me. She’s sounding more and more obsessed about her personal issues with gender and whether her son is boyish enough. Hey Mom, back off and stop smothering your son.

Comments are closed.