Since my last post, I had a bad day, for seven days in a row. It all started when I realized that I’m expected to work on April 29, the day that I really need to be at home in front of the television watching the wedding of His Royal Hotness Prince William of Wales and Waity Katy Catherine Middleton. I should have taken it as a sign from the monarchy that this week would suck royally.
Last Monday’s post summarizing the results of a survey that I conducted about raising homosexual and/or transgender children got people to think and question. A few of the results keep popping into my head. Seven percent of people would rather their child be missing his/her left arm than love someone of the same sex. Wow. I keep thinking it, seven out of 100. Seven armless children.
If people had to choose to raise a straight tomboy girl or straight effeminate boy, they chose to raise the girl. Not one person elected to raise a straight effeminate boy. I caught myself looking at C.J. several times this week and thinking, “Nobody would choose to raise you.” I’d lift my chin up and think, “Well I’m honored and proud to raise you. I’d choose you.” I want to look into his four-year-old hazel eyes and make him understand that I would choose him, even if nobody else would.
Then, along came toemagadden; which, of course, all started when J. Crew ran an ad featuring its president and creative director Jenna Lyons and her five-year-old son Beckett. His neon pink toenails made a lot of people see red and made me feel blue.
In his Fox News blog, self-proclaimed super-smarty-pants Dr. Keith Ablow made it clear that he doesn’t approve of Ms. Lyons and all of us moms who are set on not changing our kids, but celebrating them, loving them and raising them to be exactly who they were created to be. When it comes to parenting, according to Dr. Smartypants, we’re doing it all wrong.
It’s the gay men and transgendered (and even the lesbians, bless you girls!) who tell me that I’m doing what they wish their parents would have done for them as children. It’s all the people who grew up “different” that tell me that raising my “different” child the “same” as everybody else just isn’t going to do. Shame on Dr. Smartypants for making a mother feel small for making her child feel big.
As “America’s Psychiatrist” he would serve a greater purpose by making an informed diagnosis and offering helpful treatment. The social commentary he offered in his Fox blog failed to do that. It was rude, judgmental and sarcastic; three things a psychiatrist has no business being while on the clock. Be an ass in your free time, please.
I found it interesting that, in his blog post, he writes negatively of Facebook. For shits and giggles I looked him up on the F-B. The good doc has 3,127 friends! Goes show that my theory is right, never trust an adult with more than 500 Facebook friends; get a fan page.
The final blow of the week? Queerty.com, the leading website for LGBT news, ceased operating this week. Queerty.com and David Hauslib have been so good to me and RaisingMyRainbow.com. They syndicated almost all of my posts, helped me find a larger audience and answered silly question after silly question when I was three mojitos deep at The Abby. Cheers to David and whatever fabulous adventure he conquers next.
Who wants to syndicate my content now?
I absolutely love your blog. I wish I had a mother that felt the way that you do. My mother (who is Caucasian and I only say this so it makes sense with the quote) once said to me, “I would much rather my child marry a black person than be gay.” And yet somehow she doesn’t think that she’s close-minded or bias. It seems amazing to me that I, as well as my four siblings, is/are definitely on the flip side of “close/open-mindedness, when we have parents who are very close-minded.
Keep up the great work, raising your boys. I hope to be at least half of the mother you are when I have kids.
Have you heard about this child? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mnd7wpEh9ME&feature=related I thought you might be interested. It may not be what you’re dealing with at all, but all the same, I think it’s probably something you can relate to, anyway.
Oh, and I think I something closer to 600 “friends” on Facebook. But I’m 27, so all my childhood and high school friends are on there. So is everyone I knew in university, and so are most of my adult friends. But I can be trusted, I swear! 😉
Queerty stopped? I just saw post dated today…
Wow, Ablow is an idiot. David Reimer had his genitalia removed as an infant, his name changed to Brenda, was raised as a girl and treated as one by everyone he knew for the first thirteen years of his life, and wasn’t told that he was born male… and despite all this, he *still* identified as male. So all that doesn’t change someone’s gender identity, but painting a boy’s toenails pink will?
I love reading your stuff. Since Queerty is gone, which is a reason why I was reminded
much about your blog, I’d be happy to post it on Sodahead.com in my postings there, though some on that site are very hateful and plain vicious. But I’d be happy to speak up for you and your son there. It’s totally worth it.
I am on Sodahead… The only reason I saw this is someone posted something bad about it. Though more of us were there to defend this awesome mom then anything. Since them I have been reading this.
lol I know you.
Love this post, thank you. 🙂
I have admired you as a parent and ally since I stumbled across your column. How I wish I had a mom like you when I was growing up! Now that I am a seasoned mix of fairy and bear I hope you inspire more parents with gender non-conforming kids to parent as you do. As for those pseudo shrinks with their sad and outdated ideas; pay them no mind – there is not enough fairy dust in the world to make them fabulous.
As to where to syndicate – I agree that Towleroad.com is a great potential partner.
“even the lesbians bless those girls” Aww we love you too!
Dear CJ’s mom,
I am a straight woman, I haven’t got children yet but I am a primary school teacher (if that counts for anything in experience in raising children) and I totaly agree with you : Mr Smartypants is an ass.
You’re an amazing mother ! You’re going to help both of your boys to grow up being confident and not ashamed of who they are. They’ll always know you’ll be there for them, and love them, and support them whatever they’re doing and that is the best possible present any parent can do to their children.
And if it is of any comfort, I would choose to raise whatever children I’d be lucky enought to have : boyish girl and girly boy just the same as boyish boy and girly girl.
Take care, Eleanor
You could also reach out to bilerico.com. They’re expanding in several ways, now with “bureaus” in DC and Indiana.
Love that your parenting your kids how they need to be parented.
Hey, CJ’s mom! I check your blog every day, and I just wanted to let you know that I think you’re a really great parent. I love my own parents, but I would give anything for them to be as supportive of me as you are of CJ; I’m FtM, and my mom told me outright that she would never accept me. Please never stop celebrating CJ’s individuality and letting him know it’s okay to be himself. He’s awesome just the way he is.
First of all, Dr Smartypants is blogging for Fox News. Enough said. Secondly, if there were more parents who think like you do and who treated their kids the way you do, Dr Smartypants would probably lose a good portion of his clients. Third, I never trust a psychologist who blogs.
If I had a news site I so would syndicate your content in a second!
Dear CJ’s Mom, It does sound like a bad week, but I hope my post will cheer you up. I grew up in one of those families that would have preferred to have an armless child over an effeminate boy like me. Because of this I grew up feeling broken and alone, as I entered adolescence I struggled to be something I wasn’t, trying to be better than armless, trying to figure out what it was that made me me so that I could squash it and be the something everyone wanted. As a young adult I didn’t have the tools I needed to exploit what was special about me and was a full fledged liar so desperate for approval I would say anything I could think of to get it. As a mature man now, I still struggle with the mistakes I made and feel behind in my life. Luckily, I found happiness and fulfillment, and I do try and embrace who I am and not what I’m not. I know my story may not seem like something that will put a smile on your face, but knowing that your child will grow up feeling safe in your home and confident that at least his parents think he’s awesome should give you the piece of mind to know that you’re building a foundation for your child that will allow him to make you proud and joyous for life. Thank you for your blog, in some ways it lets me relive my childhood and put in place values that my own parents missed. To be honest, I would have loved to have been raised by armless, legless, earless, mouthless, whateverless parents if it would have meant I could have been raised with as much love and acceptance as CJ. Keep posting, people who need this message will find it.
It’s not just gay & transgendered folks who think you are doing the right thing. I’m straight and I think you are doing an amazing job of raising your son. I had the kind of parents who would have fought mightily to change me if I had been gay. They aren’t crazy enough to have disowned me, but they never would have accepted it. So even though I never had to deal with it, just imagining what it would have been like makes it clear that your acceptance and celebration of your son is the right thing to do.
And don’t be too disheartened about the survey results (except for that losing a limb things – that’s just insane). But as for the choice of raising a tomboy vs an effeminate boy, you were asking people what they would prefer and honestly, who wouldn’t prefer the easier road? And society more easily accepts a tomboy. It’s not that anyone looks at your son (or a child like him) and thinks “Ewww, I don’t choose that” – it’s just that people know that it would be hard – not just for them as parents, but for him as a child and no one would choose a difficult path if they could avoid it.
I hope this week is better!
I applaud you for raising C.J. the way you are, encouraging him to be who he is. It is a parents ultimate role to be supportive and five our unconditional love to our children. I for one would choose to raise a son who is effeminate. There are some people out there who would and you have to keep in mind that it is getting better out there. I am so sorry you have had such a horrible week. I think you should reach out to Ellen DeGeneres. She always champions people who are doing what you are doing. I did send her a blubr about your blog but I think you should do this and let her know what you are doing. She would definitely be interested. It all ties into the bullying aspect which most people are trying to prevent.
I’m straight and I love your blog..AND I think your a great mom for loving your children just the way they are…you have inspired me to blog about my own little guy. Keep doing what your doing<3
You should contact Towleroad.com. I’ve personally found them to be much better than Queerty.
You might try AfterElton or AfterEllen… AfterElton has a similar audience (likely a big overlap with Queerty), but perhaps a tad less tawdry…heh AfterEllen has a lesbian parenting column, so maybe they’d be interested in another angle…
“Shame on Dr. Smartypants for making a mother feel small for making her child feel big.”
You’re bigger and better than any SmartyBigAssPants on TV. I wish you were on TV telling everyone how to raise their child to be a complete and wonderful little person.
I’m with Jeffrey on this. Reach out to Andy at towleroad.com. He seems to have a little more journalistic integrity and the commenters never seem as bitchy as queerty’s. The only thing I credit queerty for in the past year or so is introducing me to your blog. I hope you find someone else to help you spread you message. Keep up the great work.
I read about the whole toenail debacle and was just as furious that a so-called mental health professional was making such horribly sarcastic, mean comments about something so innocent. I’m currently in grad school for family therapy, and I hope to be a dissenting voice to “professionals” such as Mr. Ablow. Check out Jon Stewart’s take on the situation: http://www.thedailyshow.com/watch/wed-april-13-2011/toemageddon-2011—this-little-piggy-went-to-hell
I love your blog! What an awesome, supportive mother you are! I will definitely be keeping up with it.
The boys and I in Dallas will spread your word. Keep up a positive attitude and the toenails delicate pink.
I dont really pay attention to anything on fox. I have found very few things on there that aren’t close-minded and ignorant.
Check out towleroad.com. I’ve always preferred them to Queerty anyways.