We All Have A Book Inside Of Us Waiting To Be Written

In June, early copies of my book arrived and I wrote a letter to introduce it to booksellers. With the release of my book less than one week away, I thought I’d let you read what I wrote to the people who will be selling my book. – xoxo, C.J.’s Mom

June 2013

Dear Reader,

When I was in college studying English literature, my favorite professor told the class that we all have a book inside of us waiting to be written. The thought both excited and terrified me. I pushed it to the back of my mind as I graduated, landed a corporate job, got married, and got pregnant. My first son made me a mother ten years ago. My second son will make me an author on September 3, 2013.

My professor had been right. I had a book in me; I just couldn’t know what the topic would be until I started raising a boy who is a girl at heart.

My six-year-old son C.J. is gender variant or gender nonconforming or gender creative or has gender identity disorder, whichever you prefer. As C.J. simply explains it, he is “a boy who only likes girl stuff and wants to be treated like a girl.” While my older son is a typical boy who has turned me into a Lego engineer, video gamer, and football mom, my youngest son is a unique boy who has turned me into a princess stalker, hairstyle guinea pig, and Rachel Zoe of the Barbie world.

Two and a half years ago, I started an anonymous blog called Raising My Rainbow. The first blog to chronicle the adventures in raising a fabulous, gender creative son, I started it to sort through my emotions and to connect with other parents of gender creative kids and former gender creative kids themselves. I blogged twice a week, my work became syndicated by one of the leading LGBTQ news sites, readers in more than 170 countries tuned in, and gender studies students and faculty at more than fifty college and universities have asked for more.

Me (third from the right) with the amazing people I've been working with from Random House and ICM.
Me (third from the right) with the amazing people I’ve been working with from Random House and ICM.

Now, in less than three months (less than a week now!), I’ll be sharing our lives with a broader audience with the release of my blog-inspired book, Raising My Rainbow. I’ll also come out of the blogging closet and identify myself.

The book gives a glimpse into our lives to show people that we aren’t weird—we’re just different. And different isn’t bad. Different can and does happen to anybody. Your neighbor. Your coworker. Your friend. Your enemy. You.

Raising My Rainbow is about expectations. You don’t always get what you expect when you are expecting. You expect your child’s sex and gender to align. Sometimes they don’t. You expect your male child to like traditionally male things and be physically and emotionally attracted to a woman. Sometimes that doesn’t happen. The book is also about empathy. It took a while to realize that what we want most from other people is empathy. We don’t need people to fully understand gender, sex, and sexuality; we need them to have an open heart and an open mind. Finally, the book is about the evolution of a family. Though we didn’t know it at first, when our son grabbed that first Barbie we set out on a journey of change. No one in our family is the same person he or she was four years ago. Now, I wouldn’t change this experience for anything in the world. Shamefully, I couldn’t always say that.

I recently met with that favorite college professor of mine for a glass of wine and to catch up. I wanted to tell her that she had been right. I did have a book in me—but I had to experience life and meet my Barbie-loving, dress-wearing son to know what the topic would be.

All my best, always,

Lori Duron

Exclusive to Queerty ReadersClick here to read the first three chapters from Raising My Rainbow: Adventures In Raising A Fabulous, Gender Creative Son.

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  • hyhybt

    Let the unjustified nastiness begin…

  • betrthanu84

    Love this so much. Love the column, excited for the book. Equally excited to learn that Ms. Duron is a a fierce looking b*tch to boot!

  • yaoming

    I went and read some of the book excerpt (and I’ve read plenty of the blog-posts) and I don’t understand how this child could be described as “gender non-conforming” when he’s doing absolutely everything possible to be “gender-conforming”: pink-colored clothing, lipstick, earings, glittery nail-polish, etc. He’s just a boy trying to live out a “little girl” stereotype – which appears to me to be some kind of contrarianism. There’s nothing genetically encoded in females that makes them want to have long hair, wear dresses, put on make-up, etc. If a boy today is supposed to wear jeans, he wants a skirt, but what if he lived in Scotland or Greece or some other place wear men wear skirts (kilts & foustanellas)? Then would he be begging for trousers? It’s just a child’s (negative) reaction to cultural sterotypes… and good for him.

  • Kieru

    With as young as the child is, I have to question the whole “My child is…” idea. Your child is 6 years old. Yes he may be any or all of the things you describe, but at 6 years old NO, your child does not have the mental or emotional capacity to understand what those terms mean or whether they accurately describe any aspect of his sense of self.

    That makes me feel like the whole thing is somewhat exploitative. What happens if in a few years your child adopts stereotypical male gender roles and continues that role through life? Would he appreciate a book and a blog talking about how he’s mommies special little rainbow, or would he find that a little awkward and perhaps invasive.

    Even if he turns out to be as the mother describes, how will he feel as an adult… having his childhood laid out like this without consent? It’s always a slippery slope when we use our children as the subject of any sort of media.

  • Dixie Rect

    Sounds like another paid ad disguised as a blog entry.

    Will it be in the fiction department? It should be – this is all pure ridiculousness.

    However, even if this is remotely true, child protective services should be called and that kid should be taken away from this disturbed woman who has chosen to exploit her son for cash.

Comments are closed.