With the lull in between C.J.’s baseball and gymnastics careers, I thought it was going to be a slow week. Then, Raising My Rainbow was on the front page of The Orange County Register’s Sunday edition.
Read the article here. Bonus feature: C.J.’s Dad speaks for the first time about raising C.J. As part of the spread, Walker scored an exclusive interview with Cheryl Kilodavis, author of My Princess Boy. Check it out.
The feedback from readers has been overwhelming: negative, positive, judgmental, encouraging and, most of all, tear-jerking. We heard from a lot of Orange County families who feel like they have to hide with their effeminate, gay and/or non-gender conforming son; when really we all want to walk in the sun. My family is not alone, I always knew that.
Reporter Theresa Walker and photographer Cindy Yamanaka were super supportive of the blog, kind to our family and treated us with great care. To them I am thankful.
Any-who, since the story hit newsstands, I have made good on my promise not to peek at the comments left by readers on the publication’s website. My BFF (a.k.a. Auntie KK) says that Register readers are proving to be even more close-minded and judgmental than she expected; which is a shock to me, because after 13 years as my partner in crime, she is pretty good at, both, expecting the worst of people and then not giving two shits about what they think.
Our journey sure is unique, thanks for joining us.
I discovered and am enjoying your blog!
I think I can proudly say that by allowing my son (who is 20 and gay) to be who he was- and I take my hat off to my spouse This is not to say there – that my son has grown up to be a happy person. I live in our small, conservative hometown as son is now in university…a wonderful, church-based, liberal one where he has not received any bullying as he did here. He is a leader on campus. He still is contacted by kids here who need help and he refers them to me for assist/advice.
My son was totally not interested in group sports. He loved theater and acting. We were criticized for this. We always said, that we wanted him to be exposed to many different things and we would take our lead from him. He was very interested in dress up (“blanket drag” as some call it!) and imaginary things. He is gifted at art and has a wonderful voice. He loved space camp, but loved interacting with older people at our local nursing home! We drove 3 hours to the nearest big city to expose him to many different types of things and we were able to travel to many places and that has helped form who he is, also. His grandmother adored him until her death…..it was much harder with his grandpa. It continues to be difficult with his grandpa. Our son is not out to him but we are sure my dad knows. He doesn’t want to address it we think, so we all leave it alone, like the pink elephant.
Love your blog. I truly hope this generation of kids will find it easier to be themselves- and that parents will have it easy. It has been a long road and we have been shunned by a few just because our child is gay….. but most have been supportive. I send your family our love.
Raising my rainbow
It takes alot of different courage to stand with our children and it takes alot of different courage to handle a crisis. As parents we leran to handle the crisis we learn to handle the disappointments we experience with our children and manage to get through it. But today has become a very cruel world not matter what the child is rather they are poor, if they are of a bigger size or small size. we have experience with the issue that yu are facing with your son and it is something that we dealt with and we have moved past. We have a gay brother and he did marry his partner and it was the best day we had we spent the day like any other wedding honking the horns and taking pictures. We also have lesbians in our family and they have not changed at all as to who they are or what they do. Our children were very young when we found out that our brother was gay. we handled it and our children have grown since and they have excepted thier uncle very well. I really don’t care what a persons preference is as far as sex goes it is not our place to judge anyone it is up to god. We have far more worse things to worry about than someone’s sexualaity. we have thousands of Americans without jobs we have children starving and we have thousands of people homeless and all we are worried about is someones sexualality just blows my mind. Youare great parents standing behind the choices your son wants to make for his life their is no better love than that. If more people and parents woould stop think and worry more about the choices thier family is making the world would be abetter place than worring about someone else’s sexuality. My opinion with this issue of sexuality I don’t care if you are straight gay lesbian or what ever as long as you follow one rule when you come in my door show me respect and my family respect and that will always be open but when you stop showing respect then the door is closed.
I am so happy to have found you. You are so not alone. We are here too, locally, and my son is now twice as old as yours and still quite rainbow. And a beautiful person!
Congratulations on the article. Since discovering your blog, I have told all of my friends and family about it and told them they need to read this! It lifts my spirits every time I read a new entry about you and your family’s fearless and compassionate life. Keep it up!
It’s really exciting that you’re getting notoriety for you blog. I guarantee for every parent that reaches out to you for advice or comfort or to let you know they’re there, there’s at least 10 more who don’t but want to.
You’re changing lives in so many more ways than one, and it’s wonderful to observe.
If just these negative people telling you´re exposing your son would know how much help it´s bringing to another parents of raibow boys around the world (brazil here!)they´d not judge you in such harsh way!
Thank you very much for your courage and beautiful soul!
You are a wonderful, compassionate, and courageous mother. A very close friend of mine in high school who had struggled all his life with his gender identity killed himself. His family tried to make him fit into the prefabricated male mold and I believe that this process slowly killed him. Bit by bit, with each “no don’t dress that way,” and “why are you acting that way,” parts of his true self died until he had nothing left to hold onto.
It is a comfort to me to see you raising your son in such a beautifully respectful and true manner.
Those who have issue with, what I say and how this woman is raising her son, may be interested in my educational background…… I have a BA in human development, a MS in clinical psychology and am completing my doctorate. I have spent the last 20 years working in pediatric and newborn intensive care managing life support as a respiratory practioner……She is keeping his heart and soul alive in my most personal and professional opinion.
God bless you, C. J. And your family. You are a true inspiration for humanity. Haters are ganna hate, and Fu*k them. But the love, kindness, acceptingness, and courage your family is showing will endure for many years to come. I want to say thank you from the depths of my soul for shining a beautiful rainbow in these crazy times. You are changing the world one blog post at a time. God bless and lots of love.
Negative people take note: America Land of the F R E E ! My husband was killed while serving in the Marine’s and was killed 20 years ago (Persain Gulf Operation Desert Storm) defending this country,For Your FREEDOM, so all you Negative closed minded people could state your nasty opinion’s, But MORE IMPORTANTLY so Cj could wear his beautiful toe rings, and be WHO HE WANT’S TO BE!
I spoke out FOR your cause to the OC editor. We had a great chat. LOVED the final out-takes.
I wanted to let you know that we continue our support of RMR here in Texas. Though a RED STATE, we love our whimsies here in Houston. I talk about you nearly each week.
Just know that you have a great understanding of your child and naysayers are always out there when the squeaky wheel gets the reality show and they don’t! Long Live the Mommy Blogger!