My Son Wears Dresses; Get Over It

If you have EVER doubted the awesomeness of C.J.’s Dad, you must read this essay that he wrote for The Atlantic.   How often do you hear what it’s like to raise a gender nonconforming son from a dad’s perspective?

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And, I wrote an essay for the Huffington Post about my family’s coming out stories.  Here it is for your enjoyment.

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Tomorrow (Saturday) NBC’s WEEKEND TODAY will feature a segment about our family and the book.  Set your DVR!

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Fox 5 in Washington D.C. welcomed me into their studio yesterday. Here’s a clip of the interview that aired live on their morning show.

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Yesterday afternoon, I was part of an hour-long talk on The Diane Rehm Show (NPR) about gender nonconforming children.  Fellow guests were Andrew Solomon, Dr. Edgardo Menvielle and Allyson Roberts.  To listen to the discussion click here and look for the “Listen” option in the upper left-hand corner.

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Raising My Rainbow was the September read for the online Left to Write book club — where bloggers/members create a virtual discussion about a book and how it relates to their lives and in turn, everyone’s lives.  Click here to read how nearly two dozen bloggers reacted to my book.

About raisingmyrainbow

RaisingMyRainbow.com is a blog about the adventures in raising a fabulous, gender creative son.
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29 Responses to My Son Wears Dresses; Get Over It

  1. Marilena says:

    I just found your blog and now can’t wait to read your book. Parts of what you wrote about are familiar…one of my 6-year-old twin girls (first grader) bought half of her school clothes in the boys’ department this year. She is an amazing, loving, intelligent, spiritual, emotional kid who knows who she is but is trying to balance that with society’s views. She is lucky in that I think society is more accepting of a girl wearing boys’ clothes than a boy wearing girls’ clothes, but it was still heart-breaking to watch her on the first day of school. She had had her new shirt and belt (“just like Daddy’s!”) laid out for two days, but after she got dressed she started having worries that she would get teased and ended up changing. I can’t tell you how much it meant to me that on the second day of school she got right into those clothes and wore them to school without a second thought…school is safe for her, at least for now, and for that I am so grateful. I can’t wait to read more about this journey that you and your husband are on with your wonderful children.

  2. prozacbrownie says:

    This was wonderful. C.J. and you are so lucky to have a wonderful man, husband, and father! Bravo! You all are an inspiration to me!

  3. Jeff says:

    I just read the article your husband wrote for The Atlantic. I am in awe…and in some tears, as well. Your husband is awesome; and an awesome dad. When I finally got the courage to come out as gay to my dad (over the telephone from thousands of miles away, since I knew I wouldn’t be able to do it face-to-face); he cut me out of his life. I haven’t seen my father in twenty-two years. It’s just great to hear that it’s not always that way, and that there are some incredible dads out there like Matt.

  4. Elizabeth Callahan says:

    Thank you. to both of you. my son is 4, and he also loves to wear nail polish. me and his dad are not together, and have not been since he was 3 months old. the one time he wore the nail polish to his dads side of the family. they made a big deal and he came home crying not understanding why they made him take it off. I wish more dads were like your husband!

  5. How could anyone ever doubt the awesomeness of CJ’s dad? His essay is just plain perfect and should be part of a required reading new-parent handbook.

  6. Jennifer Day says:

    I read your husband’s article on Facebook, and just want to congratulate and thank you. I had several gay friends growing up, and I wish more people could be tolerant of it.
    I know if any of our children were to be gender creative, my husband would have a hard time as well, but he would still be a wonderful caring father. Which is incredible, considering the Bible Belt area we live in; not everyone is so lucky.
    Thank you for being awesome, supportive parents.

  7. bahlbabies says:

    I love this! My son loves babies and helping me around the house and wearing mommies clothes and shoes. Your story has shown my husband it is nothing to be ashamed of!

  8. I just wanted to say congratulations. All this publicity you, your family, and the book are getting is fantastic! What a gift you all are :)

  9. I loved this. It made me happy to know it’s not always a bad experience out there.

  10. keshiaw says:

    Reblogged this on The Greatful Mom and commented:
    A great article from the Dad of a gender non-conforming son.

  11. Damon says:

    I found your blog through the link at The Atlantic after reading your husband’s article. Good for him for not caring whether your and his son where’s dresses and “likes girl stuff.” That is fantastic!

    Having said that, I also feel that folks who make vulgar jokes and say mean things should have the freedom to do so. Are such people unpleasant? Yep. Does their expression of unpleasant feelings through vulgarity degrade them? Oh yes. Should they be ridiculed for their willing subscription to ignorance and stupidity? Absolutely!

    They should be made to feel small and undeserving of fatherhood. But they should also be allowed to make distasteful comments without the threat of violence – like a punch in the chops or via laws).

    I realize your husband did not suggest or advocate either approach to suppress the comments of others. But I felt it was worth putting out there just the same.

    Again, I applaud your (and your husband’s) support for your son. :)

  12. The essay your husband wrote just totally brought me to tears. What an awesome man!!! Congrats again and again on your book. I’m enjoying it.

  13. Bravo to you and Matt, for being angel parents and human beings on earth that we all can learn about unconditional love and tolerance from. And, to the marvelous CJ, who teaches us all in so many ways. Am half way through your wonderful and important book. Love, Paulette

  14. Ally says:

    Lori, you won the husband lottery with that man.

    • Paula Turner says:

      I think you ALL won the lottery…you have each other and so many people who love and admire each of you as individuals and as a family unit. Amazing article. Amazing family.

  15. mhasegawa says:

    Just finished Matt’s essay and Lori’s book and all I can say is: Incredible! People like you give me hope.

  16. This man is everything, every father should be…Most guys are so easily threatened by femininity.Men who are secure in themselves, don`t feel threatened and know how to be supportive of many people types..Bless you sir

  17. L says:

    Thank you for everything

  18. 'Angela' (John) says:

    I read your husband post Lori.

    Now there goes a TRUE man, not some testosterone fuelled bonehead without two brain cells to rub together. You both have my utmost admiration.

  19. I am so glad to have found this blog quite some time ago. I have tried to make issues of concern to gender creative and transgender people of all ages as part of my blog. I thank you for your pioneering work. The world is slowly becoming a better place but we’ve SaaS long way yet to go. I look forward to a better future for all of us in the LGBTIQ, etc communities and our wonderful allies like you. Thank-You!

  20. Lyssapants says:

    Matt’s letter was amazing. Any kid would be very lucky to have him as a dad!

  21. Lance says:

    Matt’s essay just choked me up. I don’t even have words. Hug him for me, please! :)

  22. R Center says:

    Someone forwarded your husband’s essay on Facebook, and I figured out who he was right away. It was such a strong statement of support for loving and accepting your children just the way they are. Your blog is the first time I ever left a comment on line. I read through a lot of the comments to his essay, and although some were ignorant, many had substance. I wrote a lengthy comment in response to another comment made, and that is even a more public setting. What next?? : )

  23. Hillary says:

    All I can say is that you and your hubby rock! My husband was a firefighter, up until a few months ago when our son transitioned. You spoke our language! It’s really unfortunate that my husband felt it was easier to leave than to stand up to everyone, but the culture is a difficult one to understand unless you live it. Thank you so much for voicing the “dad side” of this story. It truly is a different struggle than our mom struggle. Both are valid. Just different. You both have done a wonderful thing for our community. Thank you from the very bottom of our hearts.

  24. Kevin Bogart says:

    Lori, I’m so glad you got a book deal and are getting this much attention to promote it! I’ve read your blog since last year, and I’ve always been so impressed with the honesty you have brought to this tough topic. Since I started reading, I’ve always thought there was an “alternate RMR” out there in an alternate universe where a young mom with a gender-creative son was smug and blase about the challenges, always knew what to say or do, and dismissed those who struggled with what to say or do with their kid, especially the “at home” vs “in public” debate. Whenever I thought about that, I read your blog and breathed a sigh of relief. These issues are more complex than just LGBT positive vs LGBT negative. Thank you for being an advocate for loving kids for who they are, thank you for giving voice to the notion that the truly caring thing to do is to listen to these kids about what they want to say/do/wear, thank you for creating a forum for this ongoing conversation, but even more, especially, thank you for being honest and talking about how it’s not always easy.

  25. Anonymous says:

    I feel so fortunate to be able to share this with my husband who sounds somewhat like you, except he is not what some consider a manly man. If fact some thought he was gay and we joked when he told a brilliant , handsome doctor who asked him out that he was dating me. He didn’t get furious or insulted not did I. My husband and you are the best men anyone can ask for -wife, son or daughter. I have tears writing this to you and wanted to desperately share how lucky we (Lori) and I are to have you both. I equally understand how it can be hard in your professional role as with my husband. I wish one day our paths cross –add to this all we live in the Deep South and I am sure many fathers are absent or horrified. I love you too for being a strong man and father-Lori don’t worry I am not after him (lol)
    I am just inside “ticketed” as southerns say….

  26. I read Matt’s post earlier today and I loved it. Actually a friend of mine shared it on Facebook (someone who doesn’t follow your blog). I am almost done with your book. I brought it in to show to my Vice Principal today (I’m an teacher) and she says she is going to download it too. :) Thank you!

  27. Brady says:

    I’ve read every entry of your blog; I like to think that I’m quite familiar with the goings-on of your family given the stories that you’ve shared. I bought your book almost as a charity thing, wanting to support you and your family and all the work you put into your blog for so many people to read.

    I didn’t think there would be anything in your book that I hadn’t read before.

    …I was wrong.

    I’m sitting here reading it now, needing to put it down.. but I can’t. I’m bargaining with myself, saying I’ll stop at chapter 5.. then chapter 6.. then 7.. and now 8.. and I just keep reading it. Maybe that was intentional; not creating a decent stopping point between chapters… not sure, but I’m enjoying it and I thank you for sharing it with us.

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