Raising My Rainbow

What If It’s Gay?: If God’s Giving Out Gay Babies, Sign Me Up

Raising My Rainbow is written by the mother of a slightly effeminate, possibly gay, totally fabulous son. She’s chronicling their journey on Queerty right here. Read up on RMR‘s cast of characters.

What is it? A boy? A girl? A gay?

Is it a boy or a girl? What if it’s gay?

The same two questions I heard repeatedly during both of my pregnancies.   It seemed like everyone who knew me couldn’t resist asking — though they would sometimes try, hesitating mere seconds in an attempt to seem casual.

The first question is understandable and predictable. But, why the second question?

Because my brother is gay.

And, I love him.  And, he’s my best friend.  And, I accept everything about him, no questions asked. He’s out as out can be and proud as proud can be.  I wouldn’t want him to live any other way.  He is a huge part of my life, which I would never hide or ask to play small.

Living in Republican, conservative Orange County, Calif., all of this is very new and different and hard for friends to understand.  For many, my brother is the first gay person they have ever met.

My answer to the first question was always the same.  I have two boys.

My answer to the second question also never wavered, though it did start to sound completely canned by the third trimester of each pregnancy.

And, my answer was: If God’s giving out gay babies, we’ll take them.

Why? Because I really didn’t, and don’t, trust them to just anyone. Better my home and my heart than those of my neighbors who still say “that’s so gay” when they really mean “that’s so lame.”  Better with me than with my Mormon friends who are trying desperately to adopt a child into their family to be raised strictly in the church. Better under my care than that of the homophobic police officer acquaintance who thinks homosexuality is contagious and tied to pedophilia. Better me than a lot people.  It would be my privilege and honor to raise a gay child.

So I thought. So I still think.  But, raising a possibly-gay child is tough as hell.

It’s a …. gay?

I don’t know if my youngest son, who is three, is gay. But if I had to belly up to the table and place my bet right this moment, I’d be at least 75 percent sure that he is.  Truth is, it breaks my heart. Not for any reason other than the pain he will have to endure in life.

I read somewhere that having a child is like having your heart walking around exposed outside of your body.  It’s true. I have these two little boys that I’m trying to raise into men and they’re skipping through life, flinging my exposed heart here and there with every adventure.  I’m vulnerable as hell when all I want to do is protect them.  It seems impossible.  Add to that that my baby is slightly effeminate and possibly gay — something deemed to be worthy of only teasing and bullying by so many. And it’s just about too much for this mom to take.  I’m not alone.

Dad is a recovering bully who fears that karma won’t be a bitch to himself, but to his lookalike son. It’s enough to make a girl need a permanent prescription for Xanax or martinis, or both.

My brother, Uncle Uncle, soothes us.  He assures us that gay people are some of the strongest people in our society.  They build a thick skin and learn early to become chameleons.  They are smart and clever people of character.  All of that makes me feel better. They also love their mothers and are excellent sounding boards for style decisions. I breathe a sigh of relief and hope.

I haven’t been chosen to be my son’s mother to change him.  That’s not my job.  My job is to love him.  To love him and clap and cheer for him.  To be his biggest fan, no matter what.

This week he was pretending to be on an “exploring hike” with his buddies and insisted that he was wearing imaginary high heels with rainbow glitter. Hooray!  He wanted to brush and braid my hair for 30 minutes every night, hoping that it would grow like Rapunzel’s. Bravo!  He wanted to try on a wrap dress in Macy’s and have me tell him that he looked pretty.  Beautiful!

I’m not here to change him. I’m just here to love him.

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  • Joseph

    Would you really want a “homophobic police officer acquaintance who thinks homosexuality is contagious and tied to pedophilia” around your slightly effeminate and possibly gay son? Great blog btw your son is lucky to have a mother like you. Your son’s like will he a hella lot essayer knowing that you have his back no matter what

  • Pitou

    Thanks for being an awesome Mom! This cold world needs MORE Moms like you! Keep up the good work. When you’re unable to care for yourself in old age, it’s likely your fabulous Gay-son will be the one doing it.. and chances are he’ll always remember, and be grateful for your compassionate, fabulousness-embracing nature.

    Thanks for being a good Mom!

  • kernelt

    my heart melt with every words… and it’s true we need more mothers like you. It would be great to have all that beautiful words publish, because I’ll be the first to read it all and to my future children. Reassure them that no matter how bad the world outside is, home where I’ll be will, warm them through and protect every steps they journey far…

  • Jennifer

    The world needs more mothers like you. Thank you so much.

  • D.R.A.

    You think your son has a 75% chance of being gay? Why?

    What about your older son? He might be gay, too – why do you exclude him from the discussion?

  • D.R.A.

    And must you mention that he’s MAYBE GAY ZOMG in every single post you make? We get it; he might be gay. You know what else he might be? Heterosexual. Bisexual. Asexual. How about you mention those things, too?

  • TommyOC

    Am I the only one who finds it weird that this mom is so eager to slap a “gay” label on her son? Doesn’t it sound like she’s painting him – and his future self – into a corner?

    At what point does “speculation” turn into “expectation?”

    Don’t get me wrong. She’s an awesome mom. She clearly will accept her son for what he is, regardless. And the world needs lots more of those. And the challenges she faces in raising an eccentric little boy in “The OC” is something I can totally relate to (considering I live there myself).

    But I can’t help but think this whole trumping up of the gay card is going to leave this mother somewhat disappointed if the kid turns out to start liking pickup trucks, sports, and – above all! – girls. I can’t help but wonder if this special “bond” mom has built up around her “75%” gay son would take a hit when she realizes he’s not into hair braiding and mani-pedis anymore.

    I’m not trying to be mean, but that’s where I see this as possibly going.

    But if this mom stays true to her beliefs, she’s going to have two well-rounded, whole-hearted sons, boys who are completely comfortable within their own shell and accepting of those around them, in whatever form they take.

    But mom… lay off the label-giving. It’s a trait you shouldn’t want your sons to have.

  • HD G Vid

    We love you mom !

  • Richard in DC

    It’s very easy to focus only on the possibility of discrimination, I know that my parents were certainly afraid of that in my case. However, I’ll tell you that being gay has really only ever created opportunities for me. I’ve had employment and travel opportunities, and have had deep deep relationships that I know I would not have had if it weren’t for the fact that I’m gay. Coming out to people is more often met with an instant honest and open connection with people than with hatred and bigotry. By the time your son is a grown man, the adversity that young gay people meet with today will be a distant memory. Fear not, if he does turn out gay, and whose to say that he will, he’ll be fine, if for no other reason than he has a mother who will teach him to be strong.

  • adman

    Keep an eye on that cop. Seriously…And officer, if you are reading this, quit stroking your hard on at the thought of punishing this “abominable” child, the rest of us are on to you. Oh, and don’t bother trying to come out, either. Too little too late, you safety minded bitch-bred layaround muthafucka. The hets aren’t reading you right, but you’re coming through loud and clear, homie.

  • justiceontherocks

    @Joe: You are the first person to post on Queerty after a full lobotomy. How’s that working out.

    BTW – no serious mental health professional thinks your arguments have any merit. Not that you can comprehend that sentence.

  • Shannon1981

    @Joe: Why don’t you tell that to the medical professionals who said it IS NOT a mental illness nearly 4 decades ago and took it off their list? I am so sure they’d love to hear all about how tons of research and money was wasted because you’re right and they’re wrong.

  • David Gervais

    JOE: (who can’t back up up his remarks with his real name)

    ” American Journal of Psychiatry describes paraphilia as “recurrent, intense sexually arousing fantasies, sexual urges, or behaviors generally involving:
    -Non-human objects
    -The suffering or humiliation of oneself or one’s partner
    -Non-consenting persons ”


    “In the current version of the DSM (DSM-IV-TR), a paraphilia is not diagnosable as a psychiatric disorder unless it causes distress to the individual or harm to others. The DSM-5 draft adds a terminology distinction between the two cases, stating that “paraphilias are not ipso facto psychiatric disorders”, and defining paraphilic disorder as “a paraphilia that causes distress or impairment to the individual or harm to others”.

    “paraphilias are not ipso facto psychiatric disorders”

    So if you have erotic feelings for trees or womens shoes, you do not have a disorder, you’re just different. JOE, your opinions seem to follow those of the long ago discredited John Money.

    I’ll leave your inexplicable comment about schizophrenia out of this.

    JOE, you said: “But the fact remains, homosexuality is a mental disorder in the truest since of the term.” Nothing you’ve said comes close to supporting that. So far, you’re the only person in this discussion to have “a paraphilia that causes distress or impairment to the individual or harm to others”.

    JOE said: I’m sorry but I hate seeing science sidelined by political correctness.”

    And I’M sorry to science sidelined by illogical, unsupportable quack opinions.

    source(s): http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paraphilia

  • tavdy79

    Better my home and my heart than those of my neighbors who still say “that’s so gay” when they really mean “that’s so lame.”

    I hope I’m not the only person who sees the irony in that sentence?

  • read the APA lately? you know, in the last 30-40 years?


    you need to buy newer psych books honey.

  • Richard in DC

    @Joe- Interesting comment coming from a man reading a gay blog. Let me know when you get busted getting a blow job from a Meth dealer in an alleyway behind a porn theater just like your buddies George Rekers, Ted Haggard, and Larry Craig… I’ll swing by the jail and let them know that the exhaustive research you conducted while taking a dump during the coffee break at Sunday services shows that you actually have a paraphilia, a mental disorder.

  • TiggerTampa

    Way to go mom! Please don’t assume he will suffer some sort of tragedy because he is gay. Many of us grow up in great homes and lead happy, fulfilling lives where our orientation is not the only thing that impacts our lives.

  • cccole

    You talk about raising your little boy into a man. What if your child is transgender? Have you researched what this looks like at a young age so you can be prepared if C.J starts expressing the desire to be/belief that he (or, in this case, she) is a girl? Would you accept this as well?

    Same goes for him being bisexual, asexual or anything else. I think you’re awesome, but please remember that sexuality is fluid and identity markers are socially constructed!

  • Hey

    There’s a study about how the percentage chance of a son turning out gay goes up each time the mother gives birth to another male. The testosterone in the male fetus can get squashed down by the mother’s immune system which is used to estrogen being the dominant sex hormone in the body.
    I’m sorry I can’t find the exact source for this, but do a bit of searching past Google’s first three pages, and it will be there.

    That being said, the oldest was probably excluded from this discussion because this is a blog about the second son. The oldest displays stereotypical male behavior while he second simply doesn’t. True, oldest could be gay and we’d be none the wiser at the moment, but the younger is showing possible signs now. The younger is the subject of this series of posts.

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