My 10 Year Old Downloaded Grindr

“This app is taking forever to load,” my 10-year-old son Chase said as I was driving. It was just the two of us in the car and he was fiddling with his iPhone*.

“What app is it?” I asked. He isn’t supposed to download anything unless he has our permission.

“It’s called Grindr,” he said. I nearly crashed the car.

iPhone5_Splash“You can’t download that,” I said quickly, full of panic and resisting the urge to reach over and snatch the phone out of his hands. I was certain the app would load faster than any app has loaded in the history of all apps and his profile would be automatically complete and naked selfies of men would flood his phone and his brain.

“I can download it; it’s just taking forever,” he said.

“No. I mean you aren’t allowed to download it. I’m saying no. You’re not old enough and, besides, you didn’t ask for permission.”

“Oh, I’m sorry,” he said. He hates even remotely feeling like he is somewhat near being in trouble.

“It’s okay. Why do you want to download that app anyway?” My panic was fading a little.

“I was looking through lists of the top iPhone apps and I saw that they had a list of the top LGBT apps and that’s so cool that they even have LGBT apps. I wanted to show my support and Grindr was the top LGBT app, so I wanted to download it to show my support for everybody who is LGBT and let Apple know that they should make more LGBT apps,” he explained.

Chase is the best person I know. When he’s old enough, and if he goes that route, some person on a dating app would be lucky to meet him.

“That’s very sweet. That app is for adult gay men who are looking for friends and boyfriends,” I explained.

“That’s cool,” he said.

I reminded him about the rules that came with his phone – including no downloading apps without approval from Matt or me.

Later, when we had a moment to ourselves, I told Matt that our son was loading Grindr to his phone.

“WHAT!?”

Then, I called my brother to tell him.

“WHAT?!

Chase had the best intentions in mind…and he had a $30 iTunes gift card burning a hole in his pleather wallet. You see, Chase’s birthday is today, May 7. My first-born son, the one who made me a mother, is 11 now. Yesterday I took him on a lunch date. I watched him eat his hamburger. I just stared and stared and stared. He is beautiful to me. I could watch him forever. But he doesn’t want me to. I embarrass him.

He’s a tween. He has a playoff football game this weekend. After much prodding, he asked for a leather jacket and a coffee mug for his birthday. He wants steak for dinner. I took him to buy new sneakers; he now wears a size bigger than mine. I’m helping him become self reliant, but dread the day he leaves the nest.   I love that he loves all people and wants to support the LGBT community. He just can’t show his support by downloading Grindr.

How would you suggest an 11-year-old boy who identifies as straight show his support for the LGBT community?

*To some, the fact that my 11-year-old has an iPhone will be the thing that sticks out to them most in this blog post. I explain myself only to avoid receiving a shit-ton of comments and emails voicing disapproval of this. Chase does not ask for anything. Ever. We have to beg him to write Christmas and birthday wish lists. This past Christmas, the only thing he asked for was an iPhone. We were eligible to get one free from our wireless provider, so we did. And, we gave it to Chase. He deserves it. He’s the awesomest. End of story. Thank you for your concern.

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141 Responses to My 10 Year Old Downloaded Grindr

  1. Kate says:

    What a great reflection of the parents he has! Would he consider starting a LGBT/straight-alliance student organization in his school? A starting point: http://groundspark.org/download/IE_Guide_08_Final.pdf

    • robmast37 says:

      omg…i am new to blogging and new to this site…you are one of the first bloggers i came across and i have spent the last half and hour reading through your blogs regarding your sons and your husband….i only pray you see this because i really hope to get to read what i have to say…unlike your very blessed son…not chase but the other one that at this exact second i can’t seem to recall the exact phrase you to describe him so i am just going to say the “trans” wonderful one…wow what an amazing young man and how super blessed is he to have two such amazing parents who have worked this hard to not only understand but to as well support him for being just exactly as God created him to be. And that Chase of yours…seriously? At that age he is that understanding and supportive of a brother…oh wow awkward moment for me I just realized I am not sure hoe Chase refers to his sibling but please trust me my heart is the right place here….that he, without anyone else being involved, wanted to download what he saw as the #1 LGBTQ website on amazon…i can not lie, when i was reading that paragraph i was doing so through tears……and then you and Matt…..I truly and finding myself without the proper words I want to convey…..please don’t take this as me somehow putting your acceptance, love and understanding ranked below my Matt’s…..if my words fail to express just how much I feel you all should be applauded please forgive me for that is definitely not my intention……you have two of the most luckiest children this world has ever seen….I am a gay man…and i was raised penecostal….because of that i kept my true feelings secret for many, many years and i cried myself to sleep so many nights out of fear of upsetting my parents or God……it took me such a very long to be able to realize I am exactly who God intended me to be and it took me even longer to be able to admit that to the most important people in my life…..sadly my dad died without ever getting to know who I was truly born to be, and i can not applaud loudly enough for you and Matt for your complete and total love and acceptance of your sons for being just who they were meant to be according to God’s plan…..this is so inspiring to me and I have never met nor read of any parents being this unbelievably understanding and accepting of their children when it comes to issues of gender or sexuality. I applaud your family like I have never applauded another soul in my entire life. And I want to say something else but I don’t want u to take it as me in any shape or form downgrading the utterly amazing mother you are…..cuz u totally blow my mind and u have got to be for mother of the century somewhere someday……but reading all the things u said bout your husband being a cop and real tough guy and the total mans man…..when i read about him wanting to be the one to be there so your son could see the disney princesses with him…….omg doll it was like a damn broke and i just bawling…………………i love my parents i truly do and although my dad is gone slowly over the years my mom is trying to do her best to understand but our family has a very long deep rooted penecostal history and although i know her and my sisters love me they still ultimately feel i am a sinner that will go to hell when the lord comes again………….i’ll never be able to change that and i have had to come to accept it……………so when i read such an amazing set of blogs from such amazing parents as you……………it truly truly moved me and i think your boys are so blessed in so many ways but i believe they know it and i think you and matt are probably two of the most amazing parents i have ever heard of in my life………….as i said i am new to this site and new to blogging and i am not super tech so i really hope i have done this right and you guys get to read it…..if i did do right…can u please let me know even if just one word you got to read this…would mean so much to me

  2. jordan says:

    Well I think there could be many ways for a straight child to show his support of gay and lesbian people. Depending on the are you live in, he could read up about gay rights, and discrimination issues, and then show is support by vocalizing his feelings on this subject. I very known you tween kids who started anti bullying programs at their schools. I very known one little girl who became so outspoken about the subject, that she actually travels around her state now and speaks to other schools about this issue. One thing to be noted, if your son wants to support the glbt community, i’d highly suggest sitting him down and having a talk with him about the ramifications. He could begin to be bullied himself just by showing his support. People might even assume he is gay, just because he is not ignorant and wants to be supportive. I think it is important to let to him know what he could be getting himself into. And if he still wants to do it, he could even go to events locally. Many cities have gay pride events every year in june. Maybe he could start a sort of gay/straight alliance when he gets a little older in high school. The possibilities are endless. And I think it is beautiful that your son is so kind, so gentle, and so loving. Your very lucky to have such a son.

  3. chris a says:

    For someone his age I’d say the Trevor project. And Ben Cohen’s Stand Up Foundation. There’ll be lots of bullying ahead and tackling all of it not just that based on lgbt is crucial.

  4. Gary Riemenschneider says:

    Give you son a great big hug. He deserves it. The world is changing and becoming more supportive of the LGBT and for him to want to support it is amazing. If he wants to help out check on ur town and see if you town has a LGBT chapter and let him volunteer for them. As a gay man who is in a same sex relationship of almost 12 years and we are also dads to our 5 grown children and grandpa’s to our first grand baby it means the world to us. We say thank you from out hearts. We live in Texas where it isnt legal to marry yet but we know it will be soon. God bless you Chase.
    Gary and Troy

  5. Tessa says:

    If Chase wants to show support, help him make a donation to HRC and he will get a sticker that he can put anywhere. Also, i own a store and we make tshirts and if you give me his size ill send him a straight supported if LGBT rights.

    My daughter turned 11 in April, she is an amazing young girl and like your son never ask for anything. She runs her own small business and has a kind loving heart. When she does not ask for something we do what.we can to give it to her.

  6. David says:

    Help him to get involved in local LGBTQ organizations. Stay away from HRC as they care more about their pockets than the community and have discriminated against the teams community a few times.

    If your city has an LGBTQ-friendly homeless shelter, he can volunteer there. Many queer youth would love to have a friend like him.

    Such beautiful parenting and I love you all for existing. Much love and light to your family.

  7. Drew says:

    This has been the only success story I’ve ever read that involved the word “Grindr”. What an amazing child and astounding representation of you as parents. As a certified member of the LGBT community (haha) I commend and encourage you as parents to continue this amazing work in implementing reality and love in the raising of your [amazing] children. I will say this though… The only thing that stuck out to me was “it’s for adult gay men who are looking for friends and boyfriends”. Oh poor little booger the day he finds out what the app is really used for. Thank the sweet lord y’all intercepted that poor boy from experiencing that of which you cannot unsee that is Grindr lol.
    God bless y’all and thanks for posting. This made my night/day/whatever it is at 3:30AM

  8. Props to you for being an amazing parent :) and props to your kid for being an amazing kid too <3

  9. Brian says:

    Perhaps go with him to volunteer for an LGBT charity. Help him support the community by donating time to help others. Most organizations would love to have an enthusiastic young person wiling to help!

  10. This is super cute. But you can set age restrictions on the phone so he cannot use apps that, for instance, are meant for 18+. If you didn’t already know, of course.

  11. This is an amazing story. The fact you have raised your son to be accepting to anyone no matter who they are inside or out is amazing. You are a great parent. To show support is to continue to do what he is doing. Be an ally, it’s what we need, being a gay male myself I wish I would have had a friend like your son growing up. If your son wants to further help he can start a GSSA (Gay, straight student alliance) They have started at several schools here in my area. It’s a great way to show support and educate.

    Thank you!!

  12. Lucas Hargis says:

    Reblogged this on The Write Frame of Mind and commented:
    I love everything about this.

  13. Steve McApe says:

    This post is in response to the post script pertaining to comments about giving your son an iphone. I am a separated gay father (I came out after marrying a woman – Meg) and I have two children (it’s a long story but Meg and I have a great relationship and are there for our kids first and always).
    When my son was born we got rid of cable TV (videos on DVD/VHS only) and tried to edit toys and the home environment to eliminate the commercial, crass and even overly plastic (we still like Rudolf Steiner/Waldorf educational principles).
    Flash forward to Xmas 2012 and I take my son to BestBuy a few days before Xmas for his 11th birthday. He, like me, has a birth date that is a few days from Xmas so I let him know that he can do what I did when I reached his age and he can combine Xmas and birthday into a ‘supergift’. I had a good year and so his purchase limit was $300.
    I suggested an iPad mini or Wii (hey, it promotes mobility – a first for video games);
    My son looks at me and asks “um, Dad, can I get an Xbox?”
    I immediately think of my hippy roots and sensibilities and my aversion to a range of things that I feel video games promote that are questionable – violence being the top concern.
    Then I reflect on reality – he already plays Xbox nearly every day but he goes to his friend’s house up the street and is there all weekend sometimes.
    “Sure!”
    So we walked to the Xbox display and my son picked out an Xbox system and was nearly bursting out of his skin with glee in a way I don’t think I had ever seen him.
    Since he got an Xbox, now my son and his friends spend time in Meg’s house and we see them much more than before, when he gamed at the homes of his friends.
    Instead of banning violent games (almost all of them are), I will watch my son play the games and simply inform him that while I don’t like the violence and don’t think that the violence in the game promotes healthy values, that I do enjoy the detailed rendering of the game environs (hey, no matter how you feel about the values in GTA5, it is a gorgeous game to watch). I share my feelings about the games he plays and we have some excellent Dad-son time with the games being the meeting point.
    The point in my story is that to critique a parent for giving their child an iphone or an Xbox is unfair when you don’t know the context and to think that you can limit technology exposure by banning it in your house means that your child will just find access elsewhere.
    It’s not about the child having access to the technology, it is about the parent supervising and managing how the technology gets used.
    The people I usually hear criticizing parents like the author or us are frequently idealists who don’t have children themselves.
    Bravo for giving your son an Iphone, he clearly has great parents – and the Grindr story is hilarious!

  14. What a cool story. Cool, straight but not narrow kid, cool parents.

  15. Clearly, you’re nailing parenting. Great job!

  16. AB says:

    This was really sweet. Maybe PFLAG would be a good place to support/ask for a good LGBTQ2S app.

    http://www.pflagcanada.ca/en/index.html

  17. The thing that stuck out for me from this story was the word “pleather”.

  18. Dan says:

    I think you’re doing a great job as is.

  19. Marti says:

    Every child capable of working one, and is ever out of your sight… SHOULD have an iPhone with the “Friend Finder” app connected to yours. That way you ALWAYS know the exact location of your child at all times.

  20. Josie says:

    I love everything about this article. Congratulations on raising a wonderful son!!

  21. MichaelFulk says:

    It think your son is amazing. Not knowing where you Matt and Chase live I don’t know if this applies but several cities across the country and a couple in Canada have gay rodeos. Check out IGRA.com and see if any of the affiliated associations are producing a rodeo near you. They are quite fun and the animals are treated humanely. The have some campy events as well as regular, speed, roping and rough stock events. By showing up and supporting an IGRA sanctioned rodeo you can all show your support and have a great time will you are at it! Sincerely mike Fulk – Dallas, Tx. aka Miss IGRA 2012 Victoria Weston.

  22. Mike says:

    This brought a tear to my eye, it brings such joy to me when I see people that are raising children with love, honesty, tolerance and openness. Amazing kids are made by amazing parents.

  23. Lucas says:

    Tell him that the best way to support is by being the best friend, listener, and comfort that he can possibly to anyone who needs it, and to speak up if he hears people in school bullying other kids. Its understandable that you wouldn’t want your son to be on a dating site because you never know who is on the internet, and what they may be trying to do, but his desire to support a cause and his incredible level of empathy is a testament to how well he has been raised so far.

  24. Jacob Mayer says:

    Teach him the value of respect for other people’s opinions, the importance of viewing people as individuals – not groups, and of always doing what is right over what is easy (they are seldom the same)

  25. Elizabeth says:

    Prepare him to stand up to the harassment and bullying his peers will soon undertake against LGBTQI persons.

    • 'Angela' (John) says:

      Oh come on now!

      Of course that IS a possible scenario, but it’s not the ONLY one, and a lot of other unpredictable factors will be at play. This sounds too much like looking for trouble, rather than dealing with it if you happen to run into it, which is a much more practical approach.

  26. osakaben says:

    Good grief, you’re amazing parents of an amazing person. I’ve not read your other posts, so I’m not up to date with where you are, but have a look at whether there’s an LGBTIQ support group at Chase’s school and being involved on that front; wider campaigns are things like Ben Cohen StandUp foundation or Dan Savage’s It Gets Better project.

    Amazing.

  27. Andy says:

    Amazing work raising this kid. He will be an important example to tolerance as he grows up and becomes a leader in some way some day. He’s leadership material already. Great job!

  28. JYC says:

    Chase is an amazing kid with such a kind heart… I think someone suggested having an apple account where he has no password can work. But I like the idea that you guys have him the liberty to make decisions and stay discipline…

    If I’m not wrong, iTunes does have some various options for parental settings.

    Your family is an inspiration to me…

  29. Adam says:

    Get him involved in HRC… That’s a great way he can show support and it’s a great cause… Sounds like your doing a great job parenting

  30. Joshua Garvey says:

    Does he have an allowance? Ask him if he’d like to show his support by having a portion of his allowance go as a donation to a group like The Human Right’s Campaign.

  31. Alex says:

    Reading this story I assumed that the parents were both males, even when you used the word ‘mother’ it still didn’t click (you get mums and dad in same-sex relationships too!). I’m slightly ashamed that I assumed that only the child of an LGBT(Q) couple could raise a kid to be so understanding and accepting. Keep up the amazing work.

    • Fran says:

      I made the same mistake Alex. As open as I think of my self I still have a long way to go.

      • Joey says:

        I did the same .. And I’m a gay man …. I was humbled and surprised to learn I was wrong … Amazing job mom !! Two things should happen here … 1) god should make more hearts like your sons 2) god should make more moms like you

  32. Stephen Milligan says:

    I guarantee you, you have a WONDERFUL son. He sounds fantastic and I love him for supporting us LGBT people! Honestly can’t think of a way for him to support us…

  33. Reblogged this on trista is short and commented:
    I would be honored if my hubby ended up working for them :)

  34. Kevin says:

    There are so many cool things in this article I don’t even know where to begin. But you’re right. Grindr is not for kids, or even for some of the adults I know. But the fact that you would even consider supporting Chase should he decide on a different orientation without panicking, or going into a murderous rage, speaks volume about the tolerance, understanding, compassion, and love you have for him, and for your fellow human beings. bravo!

  35. Isla says:

    My advice? I would suggest creating an Apple account where you and your partner know the password, but not Chase, that way, you are able to take comfort in the fact there is no possible way for him to be downloading apps or music you don’t want him having on his iPhone. This way, he’ll just have to come to you or your partner.

    Second of all, this isn’t the 50’s – Children are a lot smarter these days, thanks to the internet, and are more aware of the world around them. If you and your partner have decided that you want your son having an iPhone, you and your partner have decided you want him having an iPhone. It’s that simple. It is nobodies business, but yours.

    • Isla says:

      Oh, and as for helping him show his support for the LGBT community? Just remind him to keep up the mentality he has – The fact he wants to support the community is such a great thing, and so long as you encourage that behavior, he’ll have no problem finding new ways to support the community.

      • Wade says:

        I completely agree. You sound like an excellent parent with a child who is going make the world a better place and you rightfully, should be very proud! So, “how would you suggest an 11-year-old boy who identifies as straight show his support for the LGBT community”? Support can be as simple as standing up for fellow peers in the face of ignorance, knowing when to share his voice and when it is more appropriate for others to be heard, grasping an understanding of queer terminology and teaching others what is appropriate, attending a pride parade, learning about queer history, signing online petitions against oppression and discrimination around the world or volunteering for a queer organization(s) of his choosing. Sometimes I feel we have been socialized to think that blindly throwing money at causes or accumulating certain products and services is the way to make a difference. Instead, I would put emphasis on assisting him in educating himself on queer history, as this is the best way to show his support and everything else will fall into place.
        Side note: A good book to pick up for him to read one day (I would read through it first and make your own parental judgement on when would be most appropriate) is, “Dude, You’re a Fag: Masculinity and Sexuality in High School”, by C.J. Pascoe. While I am sure there are many others out there, this was the first one that came to mind for me, as it would be very valuable for a young, straight identifying man who wants to be supportive of the queer community, while navigating his life through middle and high school.

  36. quesarahw says:

    You’re doing it right. Bravo!
    Please tell Chase that the best way to help LGBT people is to speak up when others are being bullied, and to speak up when people say mean things about others, even if they are his friends.
    We can stop the climate of hate if we stop allowing safe spaces for people to display that hate. We need to make safe places for people, not hateful ideals.

  37. Liam says:

    I think your son is great! But obviously downloading Grindr is off limits! I look my little sister to her first Pride parade, her first movie exploring same sex relationships. I share blog posts and vines and tweets with her about funny and caring stories (like yours) so she can grow up to embrace and appreciate diversity, and show support for the LGBT community. Thanks for sharing!

  38. Jaydan says:

    Hi there, I am a 18 year old gay male. I know that there are lots and lots of rainbow and LGBT bracelets on eBay and other sites like it. I think that he would like that. There is also lgbt sites that sell t-shirts the are for supporters and LGBT people like http://www.fckh8.com. Hope this helps :)

  39. Andrew says:

    It sounds like your doing an amazing job as a parent and Chase is an amazing kid. Thank you for sharing

  40. Stacey says:

    What a cool story!
    I’m not sure where you live, or I’m not sure if this has been suggested (I haven’t read the previous comments) but it might be fun/cool taking him to a lgbt pride parade! Usually every city has one, and they usually do the parade daytime where anyone can attend

  41. sotoadmin says:

    If you really think his sexual preferences are nailed down at 11, you and I need to have a conversation.

    • Matgo Styles says:

      My sexual preferences were pretty nailed down at 11 in the same way many of my male peers had girlfriends at that age.

      • 'Angela' (John) says:

        Is it TOO obvious to point out that all people are different, and will do things when THEY are good and ready? Age has nothing to do with it!

      • sotoadmin says:

        At 11, my sexuality was not known. In my teens, I was heterosexual. In my twenties, I changed my mind. It’s not impossible, much as it may be inconvenient to those who prefer to credit some sort of weird brain thing, or genes.

      • mdaniels4 says:

        Jeez Louise someone got defensive quickly. Wonder what drives that? You’ll note I said the vast, not all humans, and certainly not down to the individual level. And there was absolutely no accusation of YOU having had emotional trauma, so please let go of that. As I said, it is rare except for underlying circumstances to switch gender attraction biologically. Rare, certainly not impossible but certainly rare. As far as sexuality being a social construction, I assure you it is not. Just witness the entire world, and world history should prove that to you. I don’t care how many of your friends believe that but honestly they represent a very small number and consequently have little statistical validity.

        Look lots of conservatives believe being lgbt is a choice, so that give them the cojones to spew nonsense and justify their hate. Just because lots of them agree does not mean their point has any validity. By your logic then, you’d have to agree with their point of view, that it is a choice, because all your friends say it’s a social construct, NOT biological, and that puts you squarely at odds with science. And since it is a choice that only about 15% of the entire population makes, then the conservatives would be right, lgby is a bunch of weirdos who get what they deserve for going against nature by choice.

        Now we all know that logic is so wrong on so many levels, so how would you like to proceed in this line of debate?

      • sotoadmin says:

        I was enthusiastically heterosexual for many years. Then I changed my mind and became lesbian, when I started meeting lesbians and saw how obvious it is for women to be wholly with other women. . Don’t I know my own mind?

      • mdaniels4 says:

        Thank you, Soto, I believe you understand my point. You are still enthusiastically heterosexual biologically, but through choice, has chosen for your own reasons, perfectly valid, to express differently, as you see a better payoff for doing so.

        Gender is a social construct. I could give you a personal perspective on how I choose to go against that construct. But I won’t because it adds nothing to the issue at hand. Suffice to say I made a conscious choice, not biologically driven to do so, because I found the construct to be nonsensical. Gender construct in society has changed many times in history, so the change reflects the view of society on what is a man, what is a woman. We’re in the beginnings of that today again, and high time it came along.

        Sexualiry on the other hand is almost certainly biologically based, specifically neurological in origin, and as such cannot be magically changed, which is why the lgb community in particular has fought so hard to overcome the prejudices. And rightfully so. There may be some factor of nurture and experience in the mix too, but it will be a long time, if ever we get to the point of separating even a remote proportion of how much.

      • sotoadmin says:

        Every time I challenge the heterodoxy, I get told I don’t know my own mind. Really, I give up. ‘I’m really still heterosexual’? How very offensive.

      • mdaniels4 says:

        It certainly wasn’t intended to be offensive. You’re obviously then in a quandary. You said you were now exclusively lesbian, after making a choice to do so. A choice, not a biological drive, but a choice. That choice gave you a payoff in being complete and whatever. In the same paragraph you were enthusiastically heterosexual. So either you are a biological lesbian, who was faking it as a straight, denial of true self until you figured out who you really were, or you are still basically heterosexual in being but choosing to express differently. And that is ok too, just part of the learning of self. But strictly based on what you so determinedly pointed out, you were straight, then magically became gay, and i said that was very rare, to which you believe otherwise due to all your friends. Or you are really bi, but based on your comment, I don’t think that’s the case. I’m really confused by what you are saying. And basically in this venue, I think your political nature of your belief system can be confusing to the entire point of the blog, as we all explore the 3 characteristics of sex, gender and sexuality and how this relates to one littler boy and his family.

      • sotoadmin says:

        Yep, it was pretty magic. Made a lot of sense to me. Still does, 40-odd years later.

      • Nathansouthe says:

        @sotoadmin : Lesbians go back and forth ALL the time. So it isnt “shocking” to me that you were a heterosexual for years and now lesbian. I am sure you will be heterosexual agaain one day. People who choose and are not BORN this way are able to do that. But ass far as my “Genes” and “Brain Things”, you really should keep your “lips” closed….

    • mdaniels4 says:

      Actually Soto, if you read the literature, the VAST majority of humans know intinctually by the time they’re 8 or so which gender they are attracted too. Many earlier than that but have no language around their emotion. To switch affections is most unusual unless due to emotional trauma and is a mental shift and acceptance, or even sometimes you do in fact fall truly in love with someone of the same sex, and make the conscious choice to stay with them and make the allowances for that. That’s rare too given the social belief in a binary world, but it does happen.

      • sotoadmin says:

        You can believe in your vast crowds, I believe the vast majority of my friends who believe that sexuality is socially constructed, at least in part, It seems women say this more than men do, can’t imagine why. And please don’t accuse me of ‘emotional trauma’ FFS.

  42. Melissa says:

    Sounds like he’s doing a great job of supporting the LGBT community already!!!

  43. Nique Lektra says:

    I just think it’s fantastic that at only eleven years old he has such a healthy attitude about this topic! Whether he’s straight, or ‘G/B/T is irrelevant – it’s wonderful to see him have such an open mind. In my experience, young people are quick to label things in a gender stereotypical fashion, and anyone who acts outside their hetero-normative box gets labelled “so gay” or “weird” etc. and they want to turn their back on the person or thing (if it’s a game etc). It’s sad to think that in a lot of these cases they’re just reflecting things they pick up from their family and friends and that all too often these close minded opinions go unchallenged. This thinking tends to spawn other thoughts about what’s normal and what’s not, resulting in young people being afraid to admit who they really are for fear of being bullied or mistreated. Sexual orientation shouldn’t matter to anyone other than the individual. I wish your son (and your family generally) all the best in the future. I hope he continues to be a confident, open minded young man – and I’m sure he will be :D

  44. David Morse says:

    Happy Birthday to Chase! Best big brother ever! Your birthday is only four days after mine. Don’t be in a rush to grow up. To be 11 again. A wonderful age.

  45. I didn’t even take in the part about the iPhone. Seriously, readers will give you grief over something so trivial? I’ve been in Chase’s fan club since I read the book last autumn.

  46. Pingback: Watch: Straight Bros Use Grindr For First Time | DanNation.org

  47. KC says:

    Thank you for sharing this story. Your son is wonderful human being! I hope I could meet and hug him for his awesome attitude! And thank you for being a great parent to him! *hugs* ♡

  48. Pea Em says:

    This is a beautiful story.

  49. jujichews says:

    What about setting up a regular donation to a LGBT organisation / charity in his name? (I’m talking a small amount a kid his age could conceivably earn through pocket money!)

    I know you have to be over 18 to do this in many places, but maybe you could do it with parental support?

  50. Eimear says:

    Your son sounds like a great human being, it makes me really happy to see young people being so supportive of LGBT rights/causes/people. He will probably cringe a bit when he’s older and looks back :P save that story for his future girlfriends or boyfriends. And I had my first phone at 11 (unfortunately they didn’t have iPhones way back in 2001). It’s a good way to give kids responsibility.

  51. merakiandco says:

    I love this post! Boys are an adventure. We have a 2 year old, a 4 year old and are expecting our third boy (gasp) in early July. I have been working with our local chapter of SAGE (Services and Advocacy for GLBT Elders) recently and hope to participate in some of their public events with our boys. Thanks for this wonderful blog and sharing your experiences!

  52. kennethz3 says:

    Smart kid and remarkably well-educated parents. Keep it up!

  53. Beautiful child with amazing parents. Wish you all happiness x

  54. laurence says:

    If you haven’t seen, you should totally show CJ the winner of Eurovision song contest 2014. It’s a HUGE song contest in europe, and this year a drag queen won (by viewers votes, it’s great). I just commented on the first and best article on your blog http://www.eurovision.tv/page/news?id=austria_wins_2014_eurovision_song_contest

  55. Steve says:

    Your story really touched, you have a wonderful family, I’m a older male (50) and it made me wish I was only 10, so I could grow up around people who don’t care what your orientation is.

  56. Aaron says:

    I just wanted to say that you are an amazing mom, and Chase sounds like an amazing kid. This is one of the funniest, sweetest stories, and it really warms my heart, because Chase is part of a generation of LGBT supporters who are going to end the lack of acceptance in our society. You should be very proud, Lori. :)

  57. Ally says:

    Mine has had a phone since what most people would consider to be a ridiculous age and I got criticized but to me it was a safety thing not a social thing. If I turned around and he wasn’t behind me, I wanted to know I had a way to get a hold of him and I also wanted him to know he had a way to get a hold of me. By the time he was 11 or so he had worked his way up to an Iphone and is on it constantly, but phones are a huge part of their lives these days. He really came out of his shell when he started texting and FB with people and I don’t think it’s a bad thing. It’s just how this generation learns to connect with others. If it’s all he did, it would be a problem but it’s not so it it isn’t.

    My son has also always been open minded, accepting and will be the first one to speak up on gay rights and I’m very proud of him. Last weekend we were at one the more romantic spots in the city (me and a bunch of 15 year olds ._.) and we saw a lesbian couple get engaged. The kids went up to them to congratulate them and we were helping them take some pics and it was a really nice moment. It struck me just how far things have come. That they could get engaged, that they cold do it publicly and that the first reaction they received to it was strangers sharing in their joy.

  58. lsawyer713 says:

    How would you suggest an 11-year-old boy who identifies as straight show his support for the LGBT community?
    – I would suggest taking Chase to a PFLAG meeting. Maybe you could go along with him so he can see what it is like. That is a good way to show support and if there is a Pride celebration coming up in your area, take him to that too. CJ would love all those fancy dresses the drag queens wear!

    Oh and for the iPhone for Chase – it really is not of anyone else’s business that you gave that to him and sad that you had to explain it.
    Love reading your blogs! Laurie

  59. he sounds like the sweetest kid. im impressed that someone his age can have such an open mind! well done

  60. Oliver says:

    Beautiful story. It made me laugh and was soooooo adorably cute too! Yes, he does sound like he’s a great kid and you are doing an amazing job raising him.
    Happy belated birthday. May you have many, many more and may they all be happy ones!

  61. Chase says:

    There are so many ways Chase can support the LGBT community. We can always use more allies and advocates.

    Do some research on GLAAD.org. Spirit day is a great way to support LGBT youth as well as anyone that is being bullied.

    I think educating your son on issues LGBT people face will help him to better understand how he might be able to act as an ally. Having the knowledge will help him be able to educate his friends as well. Which would actually be great for a sports team where most LGBT people have trouble being excepted. Boy Scouts is another example of where LGBT people are not being excepted.

    These are areas where I personally think it’s age appropriate for him to be able to support. But do some research on your own and then research with your son and find out what causes he feels he could support.

  62. Michael Barber says:

    You might encourage him to become friends with gay kids his age. There is a child activist in Knoxville, TN who was just honored by GLAAD. His name is Marcel Neergaard and he’s 12 years old. http://www.glaad.org/blog/video-out-country-star-chely-wright-and-12-year-old-lgbt-advocate-marcel-neergaard-get-standing

    I believe he is on Facebook so they could meet through that venue if you allow him to have a FB page.

  63. Laura K says:

    My 11 year old got her iPhone for her 11th birthday. You aren’t alone.

  64. Matt O'Neill says:

    “I’m from Driftwood” isn’t an app but it’s a positive LGBT site about coming out. Or, have him download the Logo App. It has a bunch of TV shows on it, I’m sure he would get a kick out of RuPaul :)

  65. Here is probably one of my favorite sites to shop at: http://www.fckh8.com/ And since Chase is only 11, I would suggest maybe the rubber wristbands they sell that so many kids seem to love and wear today. They also have stickers and buttons as well. As for t-shirts, they have a few that are child appropriate. Legalize Love, Straight Against Hate and one with a heart and the equal sign in the middle of it.

    Oh and I also found this on the site.I’m thinking this one may be more up Cj’s ally if he likes to color. This link lets you view the coloring book and if you think it’s appropriate for him, you can then dl’d the pdf file. http://www.mediafire.com/view/d1jqu9udjo9h16j/LittleLeoLikesLipstick-ColoringBook.pdf

    If I can think of, or find any other things/sites that might be helpful to Chase in showing his support for the LGBTQ Community, I will share them here.

    Thank you for sharing your children with us. <3

  66. ravinj says:

    They don’t have an app any more, but he could create entries on refuge restrooms.org. Their site is intended to guide both the disabled and trans or gender-nonconforming people to public restrooms they can safely access.

  67. Bennett says:

    The 2 best ways Chase can show his support for the LGBT community are to help start or continue a GSA , Gay/Straight Alliance, for the students…. The gay kids in his school will totally appreciate his helping make safe, supportive space for them.

    Two is, he could volunteer with one of the many, MANY LGBT charities in the OC, LA area. For example, OC Shanti works to assist people with H iV and AIDS in Orange County. My group, LASPI, is looking for people who want to help us staff the water booth at the Long Beacg Pride festival. We are a fun group of men and women who dress like whacky nuns to raise money we then give out to lesser funded LGBT charities.. I’d be happy to suggest additional charities he might volunteer with, but I bet you yourself know a number of them too.

  68. My son just showed me a video by Game Theory talking about how video games are anti-LGBT. I’m tossing a link up onto my blog tomorrow but it’s this one: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XdmJXHJLZ6M&list=PL35FE5C4B157509C9&index=2

    At the end of the video he mentions several games that show the LGBT community in a more positive light. I didn’t check to see if any of them could be played on an iphone but they’d give him some options. That was so sweet of him.

    Also, happy 11th birthday to Chase. Jeremy considered 11 to be the biggest, most important birthday ever (way beyond turning 13) because both numbers were the same. It’s mind boggling how fast they grow.

  69. susinnaomi says:

    Chase sounds awesome. LOVE your disclaimer :)

  70. Jay says:

    Chase would probably be the most mature person on Grindr in all honesty. I only have it on my phone for amusement. Would he be interested in creating his own LGBT positive app? Services like appmakr are amusing and a good option if he isn’t interested in computer programming with code.

    Happy Birthday Chase!

  71. Isabelle says:

    What a great story & what a great kid! Happy Birthday Chase!!

  72. I don’t have a suggested for you but wanted to thank you for the laugh lol Sounds like such a sweet boy and innocent and funny mistake! Also, loved your disclaimer at the end haha.Make your own parenting choices – you know what’s best for your son :) Goodluck.

  73. Geoff says:

    Wonderful Story! And, frankly, I think Chase may be the best person I know too.

  74. Kids are awesome. Seriously, this one made me grin.

    If there aren’t apps out there that Chase likes and you find appropriate (OMG Grindr is sooooo hilariously inappropriate!), maybe he could think about making one. The Kandu app gives kids an introduction to how to make apps and program in general, and there are a lot of other tools that enable kids to learn programming and create their own stuff. (One of my friends created a game to teach his kids programming, but he’s a programmer.) Here is an article along those lines:

    http://www.edutopia.org/blog/7-apps-teaching-children-coding-anna-adam

    I hope Chase is having an excellent birthday. :)

  75. emiklio says:

    is he 10 or 11 i dont understand

  76. I know he’s only 11, but does his school have a GSA, or similar group, he could get involved in as an ally? Other ideas that come to mind, playing off his reluctance to ask for things, are a t-shirt he could wear that shows his support, or even donating birthday/Christmas money to an LGBTQ cause.

  77. Chris Topher says:

    I think you are doing parenting right :)

  78. Lance says:

    Happy Birthday, Chase!

  79. Lisa says:

    My 11 year old has an iPod touch, which is similar. I have it tied to my account so any apps he gets show up on my iPod as well. Plus.I have to put in my password, which helps.

    I think he can support the LGBT community just by being himself and modeling acceptance in front of his peers.

  80. I didn’t read all of the comments so someone might have already said this but have him get the HRC’s Buyer’s guide. Apple will know he downloaded an LGBTQ app and also he can make sure to support businesses who support equality. Maybe this will even help him come up with wish lists.

    https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/hrc-foundation-buying-for/id345618414?mt=8

    He also might like the “Love Conquors Hate” apparel that is sold in the hrc store. I am wearing the t-shirt right now and it definitely raises attention. I always explain the to me this saying goes beyond LGBTQ equality and is just about acceptance.
    shop.hrc.org/love-conquers-hate-collection.html

    • genavieve says:

      Amen to this! I was going to suggest HRC, too. The “Love Conquers Hate” apparel is awesome and it’s a great way for him to identify as an ally. I love that at 11, he’s this aware and committed.
      That said, I had a hearty chuckle that he downloaded Grindr. I’m glad his innocuous comment alerted you before he got a somewhat different kind of an education. Kids!

  81. Allison says:

    This is so awesome and hilarious-what a good big brother! I really hope I get to meet those two someday! :)

  82. jonathanmayo says:

    Reblogged this on chitchatjonny and commented:
    So hilarious and heartwarming!

  83. jonathanmayo says:

    Happy Birthday Chase! Here are a few of my suggestions for how an 11 year old boy can support the LGBTQ community: write a letter for a cause to an elected official, write a post of support on social media, volunteer at an organization such as PFLAG (which may be difficult for someone so young, but a lot of orgs have specific volunteer opportunities for young people), throw a block party or make a lemonade stand and raise money for your favorite organization!

    • Marilyn weinman says:

      Ditto on all these ideas ! He is an awesome kid…for sure ! Happy Birthday to you Chase🎂🎉

  84. NotoriousDSG says:

    Happy Birthday Chase!! You’re the coolest big brother anyone could ask for! On behalf of the lgbt community, thanks for all your support!!

  85. ali says:

    Happy birthday, Chase! My little Lucy is a birthday buddy, she’s 1 today. :)

  86. riselikeair says:

    Absolutely wonderful and touching story. Thank you so much for sharing and the biggest of Happy Birthday wishes to Chase.

  87. Kim says:

    Happy birthday Chase! What an incredible kid. My gender creative son’s sisters (who are both very little now) will hear all about Chase. He is quite inspirational!
    The ‘you can play’ idea sounds great. Would PFLAG have any suggestions?

  88. As always, you’re doing it right. Isn’t funny how these kinds of things with kids always seem to happen in the car?

    PS I’m gonna fanboy a bit because I see that Dan Woog commented on your post! Loved your books, Mr. Woog!

  89. in my short search of apple’s app store, I found several apps with business listings for LGBT friendly places, but they are all city or region specific – there might be one for your area. GLSEN and PFLAG and Trevor Project do not have apps, but you could go to any of those organizations and ask.

  90. Gabrielle says:

    Happy birthday to Chase! What a wonderful, caring young man you are raising.

  91. I’m pregnant with my first right now (a boy!) and I hope my kids turn out awesome as yours, and that my husband and I are as good parents as you and Matt are. My husband and I have talked about how we would handle having a gender non-conforming child, a gay child, or what we would do if they decided they were completely transgender and wanted to change. Luckily it was a very short conversation because we completely agreed that none of that would matter to us and we’ll love the child for who they are, not who we want them to be. I think part of my confidence in that comes from reading your blog and sharing bits of it with my husband over time, so thank you!

  92. samatwitch says:

    Happy Birthday, Chase! What a great kid.

  93. Jenny Schaffer says:

    Happy Birthday to Chase! Best big brother ever!

  94. Happy Birthday Chase! I also want to say thank you for being clear and kind and non-shaming to him when he downloaded the app. Situations like this can turn into major shame fests.

    I also want to say, I think there is a way to set the App Store using parental controls. This will help prevent these kinds of things from happening. I don’t have children, so don’t know all the ins and outs but perhaps that’s one solution.

    I also would agree with the guy who said perhaps look through the apps with him. Decide together what’s a good one.

    You guys always inspire me. Thank you!

  95. xlorix says:

    Wow – what an amazing son you have. I have no advice – but will be stalking this for advice!

  96. JAMES says:

    CHASE!!! Gives me hope that the future may indeed turn out to be the ones who save the world. If there were more parents like you EVERYONE would have a chance in this world. THANK YOU and A HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO AN AWESOME KID!!!

  97. Khai says:

    I laughed out loud. I snorted my coffee. And I awwwwwwwweeeeeddddd all through the mop-up, then came back to write this comment.

    I would suggest that you help him pick a few appropriate LGBT apps to download, if he really wants to do that, and I would also suggest that he get involved with an organization that does like, sign painting in support of gays or something– a physical THING HE CAN DO to show his support.

  98. Lisa W. says:

    I’m glad the app took a long time to download! Happy birthday to an amazing child. Thank you for writing another fun, spot-on post. The world is a better place with you and your offspring in it!

  99. Lane says:

    Sounds like excellent parenting to me! As a gay dad, I can only hope that I do as great a job as you appear to be doing. Happy Birthday, Chase!

  100. codygrey says:

    Perhaps go through the available apps listed in the Apple Store under LGBT and select some together. There are also organizations out there whose products you can wear that show support, such as Legalize Trans. Going to Pride will also be a fun and great opportunity for him to show support and even allow him to be himself. Finding YA books that are LGBT in content will also allow him an opportunity to show support and also create discussion about being a teenager and LGBT, especially since he will be getting to an age where he will begin to seriously reconsider his identity and sexuality (if he so chooses to, of course).

    All in all, happy birthday Chase!

  101. 'Angela' (John) says:

    The choice of whether or not to give Chase an iPhone or not was yours to make, and you made it. What we think about it is immaterial – it’s okay for some kids, and not for others, and only you are in a position to make that decision.

    I don’t know personally of any suitable LGBT sites for Chase, but Dan Woog’s suggestion sounds pretty solid to me.

  102. polyleigh says:

    Seriously you have the coolest kid ever! To be aware of how huge a deal it is that there are specific LGBTQ apps and to want to support that- awesome !!

    Parenting- you and Matt are totally doing it right!!

    Happy birthday Chase!

  103. Justen says:

    Love that he wants to show his support! If you want to avoid accidental downloading of adult apps in the future, you can check out the parental restrictions on the iPhone that would prevent downloading of any apps rated for adults: http://support.apple.com/kb/ht4213

  104. mdaniels4 says:

    Happy birthday to chase! What a nice young man. What great intenrions. Perfect teachable moment too about kids not understanding certain things in this world so asking is not only the smart thing to do but the way they get even smarter. I do this all the time insyead of headrushing into something.

    Btw, as I’ve mentioned many times before in my comments, one doesn’t need to have to explain anything one does to anyone else. An iphone for an 11 year old is something you chose to do, it hurts no one else, and therefore they don’t get to tell you anything unsolicited about your choice, so no need to explain. Even positive comments are as useless as the negative one you may get. They may feel better but they hold the same value.

  105. Diane says:

    Thank you for sharing your family with all of us who can relate, and maybe even more important….those that don’t have a clue. You are amazing!

  106. foodradical says:

    Happy Birthday to Chase! He shares the same birthday as my sweetie!
    Chase sounds like he is an amazing young man with a super awesome and supportive family! Good job to all!

  107. Karen says:

    Your son has a huge heart. And he loves his brother and uncle. Thankfully, my son hasn’t ever asked, but we have had the conversation about porn already, because one of his friends was caught at the age of twelve surfing porn sites on his mothers phone.

  108. Ed says:

    Happy Birthday Chase

  109. Monica Converse says:

    I think YOU are the awesomest!!! Amazing kids have amazing parents. That doesn’t happen by accident!

  110. pepibebe says:

    That is hilarious and brilliant and oh-my-lawd you are doing an AMAZING job raising both your boys. To hear his reasons behind downloading it and his reaction when you (sort of) explained what it was all about – I’m blown away by his acceptance & support of it all. That said – Dan Woog’s app suggestion sounds like a far better match for him lol! ;-)

  111. Becky says:

    I think you can tell him he already has shown support: this is one of those examples which smacks down the stupid arguments some people make who will try to tell others that kids “won’t understand” the concept of different sexualities when, in reality, it’s the parent/guardian who’s afraid of having an open and honest discussion with their young children about the world and the people who exist within it. I suspect there are a lot of people who will be helped simply by you sharing this story.

    A+ for parenting, please keep sharing your awesome stories like this.

  112. Laughing out loud. What an awesome kid you have.

  113. He will be in middle school/ high school pretty soon, and for most LGBT kids that means bully central. The best thing he can do to show support is to stand up for and support any LGBT kids who might be picked on. I wish there were more kids like yours at my high school!

  114. Dan Woog says:

    I know Chase is an athlete. He should check out the “You Can Play” project (http://youcanplayproject.org/). Their website is filled with info on straight athletes supporting the LGBT community, particularly gay teammates and coaches. There are dozens of fantastic videos from pro, college and even high schools on the website. Chase would love them, and the You Can Play project would be delirious with joy to have support from a 10-year-old (or is he now 11?). I hope he has a wonderful birthday, and that his parents and brother have a great day too.

    PS: Very intelligent decision on the iPhone. You are great parents in many ways!

    • Jamie says:

      I’m not sure y’all have one in your area. It there is a group called GLESEN you should check it out

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