The Fraternal Birth Order Effect

The Fraternal Birth Order Effect.  It sounds super serious.  Like a group out of The Da Vinci Code, a fraternity at Harvard or a secret club of the uber-rich and houtie toutie.  I feel like there are secret handshakes involved, aged scotch in snifters, dark wood paneling and signet rings.  Men in ascots for sure.

A reader tipped me off to the Fraternal Birth Order Effect some time ago, but the name seemed daunting and, frankly, I’ve been too tired for research and the new season of Project Runway is in full swing.

But, on Friday night, while my husband was at work, in the quietness of the house after the boys’ bedtime, I could hear Google calling.  I stayed awake until midnight (that’s 3 a.m. in Mom Time) reading everything that I could about the Fraternal Birth Order Effect. 

The Fraternal Birth Order Effect is proven to mean that for each older brother that a physical male has his chances of being homosexual increase by approximately 33 percent.  According to several studies, the Fraternal Birth Order Effect is the strongest known predictor of sexual orientation.  The same is not true for females.  Have lots of older sisters?  It doesn’t increase your chances of being a lesbian.  Sorry, this predictor of sexual orientation is for boys only.

The Fraternal Birth Order Effect holds true for boys born from the same mother but not raised together.  It does not hold true for boys adopted into the same family.  Therefore, it has an “in-utero environmental causation.”  Which is a big fancy way to say it happens during pregnancy.

After my Google fit, I couldn’t stop thinking about all of the boys I know who have multiple older brothers.  I was counting little gay brothers to go to sleep.  I thought of those shirts they sell that say “I’m the Big Brother” and “I’m the Little Brother.”  The last-born son should have a shirt that reads “I Have the Highest Chance of Being the Gay Brother.”

I couldn’t stop thinking about families with lots of boys.  The Beckhams.  The Jonas Brothers.  The Kennedys.  The Marx Brothers.  The Duggars.  Oh no, not one of the 10 Duggar boys…

It is hypothesized (look at me using big words!) that the Fraternal Birth Order Effect has “something to do with changes induced in the mother’s body when gestating a boy that affects subsequent sons. ” (source: Wikipedia)

“The theory suggests that mothers during childbirth may develop antibodies to proteins made by their firstborn son’s Y chromosome, and subsequent pregnancies may stir up those antibodies in an immune reaction that affects the development of a male fetus.” (source: San Francisco Chronicle)

In the next decade or so, C.J. may need a shirt that reads “I Was the Last Son in My Mom’s Uterus and All I Got Was This Stupid Sexuality.”  C.J.’s Brother may very well have stolen the heterosexuality right out of my womb.

Maybe heterosexuality proved no match for the kick ass antibodies my body created in response to carrying my first son.  My antibodies should have capes and masks and patent leather, knee-high stiletto boots.

I was proud of my antibodies for a minute, thinking that they were superheroes.  Then, I thought, what if science learns to alter those antibodies so they decrease the likelihood of the Fraternal Birth Order Effect? Could women and doctors start messing with hormone injections during pregnancy to prevent homosexuality?

Maybe, one day, when I have the courage and energy, I’ll try giving that a Google.

* * *

Are you a gay male?  What is your birth order?  What does your sibling lineup look like?

Are you raising a gay male or gender nonconforming son?  What is their birth order?  What does their sibling lineup look like?

C.J. is gender nonconforming, the second of two sons.



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86 Responses to The Fraternal Birth Order Effect

  1. Adam P says:

    Curious does this apply if there is a total of 3 boys.. Not 4, and has 3 older brothers.. Just 3… Is it still the youngest one then that is gay? Just curious

  2. Trish says:

    I have a bunch of gay friends and they are 90% always the middle child…it is weird…but my older son is gay out of two boys bur I miscarried at 16 weeks four years before I had my son who is gay…so technically he would have been the middle child. So who knows?

  3. Joe says:

    I have 2 brothers, and 1 sister, I am the youngest, and I am gay, my older sister (15) is straight, my older brother (17) Is straight, and my oldest brother (18) is gay. So in reality, I’m the third son, so it makes sense!

  4. Ali says:

    I am the oldest of four boys, and I am pretty sure im the only gay one. I have experimented with females in the past so some may label me bisexual, however I consider myself gay. Though i do not subscribe to this theory, interestingly, I should be the second child in line since my parents opted for abortion for my unborn sibling. That makes the theory plausible, but in light of neither of my younger siblings being homosexual or bisexual identifying, I disagree with the theory.

  5. stephanie says:

    My first born is a 5year old gender creative son (who we refer to as daughter now as was requested) our second child is a girl and only 1 year old 🙂

  6. Amadeo says:

    I’m from a family of seven boys and one girl. The only sister is seventh in line followed by the baby boy. I’m just before her as the sixth son. I identify as homosexual and out family fits the findings of the study perfectly. Even though my baby brother, and also only brother younger than myself, is cisgender heterosexual, he fits into the outlier group of left handers. He’s the only lefty in the family as well.

  7. jefXfree says:

    I am the oldest son and i’m gay. My younger brother is happily married. I’ve heard this theory before, but my birth order always made me at least partially discount it…

  8. Jess says:

    There are two gay men in my family: one conforms to this rule and one contradicts it. My father has two brothers (one living, one sadly deceased) and a sister. The oldest, his deceased brother, was gay. The other gay man in my family is the second in a family of two boys. Interesting theory! Funny how it only works with boys though. Also, I’m confused about labeling C.J. as “homosexual.” If he identifies as a female and is attracted to men, then wouldn’t that make him a queer heterosexual? Labels are lame anyway.

    Congrats on your wonderful family and keep being the best parent ever!!!!!!!!!

    • TransKid says:

      Youngest of six, four older brothers. But I’m a trans boy, so I don’t know if that affects the data. Plus three of my brothers are from another mother. But I am gay. Or bi.

  9. perfb says:

    I have two gay uncles, one was an only child from a young 15 year old mother, other was a younger brother, born 9 years after the older brother from a mother in her late 30s. Both are into brutal sadomasochism too, as evidenced by their porn collection.

  10. hap2130 says:

    I’m the oldest… Mom had 4 kids, my full bro is straight, and my sister and baby bro are straight… so far! 🙂
    Like Tigger – I’m the only one!

  11. Christophe says:

    I’m third of four: my elder sister, elder brother and younger brother are all straight.

    I just discovered your blog: it’s really nice! I read all of it in a few days. I’m glad you’ve chosen to continue with it.

  12. Elizabeth says:

    I’m the eldest, and lesbian. My only brother is also gay. That’s it, just us. Our parents bat 1000.

    I’m interested in this concept though, because my mom has 5 brothers. The fourth (predictably, since he had a 99% chance) is gay, but the 5th is not. Do womb reset?

    This seems like an instance of statistics being manipulated to prove themselves.

  13. Jeremy says:

    I also found your blog through the “Where Do Gaybies Come From?” site, and can’t stop reading now. I was a little kid like this, who life kind of knocked the purple out of as I grew up. I’m grateful to be an adult know who makes his own decisions about how sparkly to be each day, but as a teen there were times it was painful to hide my purpleness and be a conformer. Thanks for documenting how you’re raising your kid – hopefully with your support he won’t feel the need to suppress himself for years on end.

    I’m the oldest of seven, with two of them being younger brothers. They seem to just have gotten straighter and straighter after me. However, my nephew is also the oldest, and reminds me of me when I was 4, while again his younger brother is 100% boy. Maybe my family does it backwards.

  14. Phillip says:

    I am a gay male, and I am the first-born. My younger brother by 3 years is straight. Apparently the fraternal birth order effect isn’t the only thing going on. I just found your blog today, by the way, from Where Do Gaybies Come From? ( and I am enthralled. You both seem like such amazing parents, and all kids like C.J. should be so lucky. I am another completely supportive reader.

  15. My son is the the only male but the second live born. Before my two live born I had 8(!) miscarriages.

    My son is pinkish.

  16. Bertie says:

    I’m number one of three boys and I’m the gay. My younger brothers are both startlingly red-blooded males and out-macho me just by breathing. In truth they out-macho an entire rugby team.

    Interestingly my mum is the youngest of 5 girls and one boy (5th born and gay). All of my 15 first cousins are female.

    There you have it, everything in my family line is hinged on my brothers.

  17. JMW says:

    My twin and I are both gay, and we are the only boys out of 5 children. Two older sisters, and a younger sister.

  18. discover411 says:

    I’m gay, but I’m the eldest one in my family (I guess the Fraternal Birth Order Effect doesn’t apply to me. Maybe genetics?)

  19. Cameron says:

    I’m gay and I’m the younger of two brothers.

  20. AJ says:

    I’m the oldest of three children, I’m male, and I’m gay. I’m not very overtly gay, though, and I could “pass” as straight in nearly all situations.

    My younger brother (the middle child), in contrast, is straight, but has as many gay tendencies as I do, if not more. I play sports. He takes ballet. I’m a writer. He’s a graphic designer. We’re both heavily into musical theater.

    My sister (youngest) is straight, and also into many of the same things I am. Some sports, musical theater, etc.

    I personally believe it’s neither nature nor nurture, but a combination of both. I believe I was genetically inclined to be gay, but the fact that I was raised in a very liberal society (eastern Mass.) made me more comfortable with the idea from an early-ish age. If I’d been raised in an antithetical society, say, Idaho, I probably would have buried my inclinations and led a “happy” but unfulfilled life as a straight man.

  21. Eric says:

    Also, in regards to the sexuality of children thing, I remember being sexually attracted to boys in kindergarten. I remember having my first crush on a boy from Goosebumps T.V. show in second grade.

  22. Eric says:

    I have two brothers, and I am the middle child. The eldest is straight and right-handed. I am gay and also also right-handed. My little brother is gay as well, but he is left-handed. Can you imagine how lucky my mom is to have two gay children!

  23. AG says:

    I am a straight woman and my twin brother is a gay man. We are the only children but my mother had a stillborn boy about a year before we were born. I agree with some of the other posters that this seems like an arbitrary thing. However, I certainly agree with you about hoping that when science/technology figures out what causes homosexuality that no one messes with it. There shouldn’t be any negativity attached to having a gay child and treating sexual preference like a disease or genetic/birth defect, and “correcting” it before birth or conception would be unconscionable.

  24. Paul says:

    I am the third born child second son who was the “baby” until the age of five when two more boys came along one right after the next. Maybe my mother’s womb “re-set” after a five year break? All four of my siblings identify as hetero. I was a pink boy and felt like the cuckoo in the nest for my entire youth. In fact, I learned quite young (around the age of five) that it was safer to try and hide who I was from everybody, family & friends not just the outside world. I am glad that C.J. and many other pinkboys do not have to suffer the stress that I and all of my generation had to endure. Who knows how many of us cracked under the strain and ended their lives. I don’t look back at childhood as a magical time but as a horror movie that I finally escaped as an adult. Many years of what I know I now realize was PTSD have passed and I now think of my self as “integrated’, not 100% male but not female either, but all ME.
    I didn’t know him very well but I suspect my mother’s only sibling was gay. My sister’s second son is gay and was a pink-ish boy too.

  25. Day Gyselaar says:

    I’m the only son of my mother and I’m gay. However, I was a fertility drug baby, so I don’t know if that has anything to do with it?

  26. Jared says:

    I’m the first-born, male and gay. I have a younger, straight sister. I have gay friends who are only children, first-born, middle child, last-born, some with other gay siblings, some with only straight siblings. Sexuality is far too complex to be ascribed to something as arbitrary as birth order.

  27. Julie says:

    I’ve thought that about the Duggars, as well! My uncle had 5 older brothers. I suspect he was gay. (Sadly, he killed himself.)

  28. Pingback: Some Facts I Found…. | Raising My Rainbow

  29. I’m a middle child and am gay, but my older and younger siblings are both straight. However, the number of failed pregnancies that were boys in my family would suggest that the rates, if this study wasn’t complete bull, would be much, much higher. Like, 80% for my older brother, and basically 100% for my younger. Science needs to keep looking, this is totally incorrect. Even though, in my opinion, finding out why people are gay is totally pointless. What are we learning from this that we need to know? Will this improve anybody’s quality of life? Are we dodging potential hazards? There is literally no point.

  30. MVRS says:

    My older son, age 5, appears very straight, while my younger son, age almost 3, is highly gender nonconforming. Go figure!

  31. Justin says:

    I am the eldest of 4 siblings. I am the only gay one.

  32. Daigan says:

    I am the middle of 3 boys.. Only one who is gay that I know of

  33. Eric says:

    I’m the youngest of 3 boys, my oldest brother is heterosexual, my middle brother is gay and I am gay as well.

  34. Alistair says:

    It is my belief that is what we call “junk science”. The sibling order throughout all gay and/or non-stereotypical persons are infinitely varied. Thus there were always be a subset of people that can be pointed to as “proof”. However with results as varied as they are that means there is no standard for that rule applying and therefor it is not the rule of thumb for determination of sexual identity or stereotypical gender presentation. Thus said it is very likely there is a genetic factor in such things but it has yet to be determined. Also, anyone who is harboring thoughts of raising their testosterone levels while pregnant with a son should know that the most likely thing to occur is that he will end up with a heart defect. I myself am the oldest of my three siblings (one brother and one sister) and am the only one who is not straight or stereotypical.

  35. marasimon says:

    Wierd! I’ve never heard of this before but in my husband’s family, there are three boys and the youngest one was gay, so that upholds the theory…Craziness!

  36. Chris EPA says:

    good stuff.
    me: gay and eldest of 3. middle sister is bi. youngest is str8.
    bf: gay and middle child. his younger bro is also gay.
    friend: gay and youngest of 2. older sister is gay.
    high school teacher’s bf: 5 gays. 5 boys.

  37. I hope that we have established a culture of LGBT acceptance long long before we ever have the power to change sexuality or gender expression in the womb. I certainly don’t trust society with it now.

  38. Greg says:

    I’ve been interested in the birth order effect… I’m the 3rd boy and also gay. My family has a long history of almost boys only. My two brothers were within 2 years of each other and my older brother is about 8 years older than I am… so not only am I the third (and last child/boy), I’m also separated by a fairly large gap in age.

  39. Ron says:

    I’m the youngest of three males. I’m very, very gay. My middle brother is a bit of an enigma. But I strongly suspect that he’s probably gay. He an educator so it’s probably been in his best interests over the years to remain an enigma. My oldest brother? Very, very straight.

  40. kfhakjf says:

    It’s the opposite in my fmaily. My unlce–the older of two brotehrs is gay

  41. Seth says:

    My birth line-up is:
    Older Half Brother —> Me —> Maybe others (Mum was a whore and not part of my life.)
    But I’m gay and my brother is engaged to some girl, so I’m pretty sure (and thankful) that he took the heterosexuality from my mum’s womb~

  42. KEW says:

    Dear C J’s Mom,
    I love your blog and think your kids are very lucky to have such great parents. Thanks for keeping the conversation going for all who benefit from learning about these issues.

    Regarding the current topic;

    TFBOE is just another of many hormonal and genetic factors that effect sexual orientation. I am a gay male with two straight older brothers. My partner is the oldest male with two very straight younger brothers. I used to be friends with this sweet Italian guy whose only other siblings are his four brothers. All five are gay. I wish I knew how to find him so I could find out if any of them ever managed to give his parents their much-desired grandkids!

    Here’s an interesting genetic marker, a study found that a large percentage of gay men’s ring fingers are longer than their index fingers. The same study had something similar for lesbians but I’m afraid I can’t recall what it was.

  43. mickey says:

    I’ve read the same study you have, and i’m gay and i’m the second son. There is also a study i read about gay people having siblings with MS. I have a set of cousins, there are 8 of them (we’re Irish) 5 are gay and the other 3 have MS.

  44. Tuba says:

    I’m the oldest of five children, four of which happen to be male. The youngest is a boy and he’s definitely not gay. I also have a gay cousin who is the oldest child. He’s one of three with only one other brother. So I don’t know about this whole birth order thing.

  45. Rob Dittrich says:

    Please seek out and watch “For The Bible Tells Me So,” a documentary that systematically dismantles the arguments (theological, psychological, sociological) that some groups, particularly conservative Christians, use as an excuse for their homophobic bigotry. It has some good information about the Fraternal Birth Order Effect, and lots of stories of gay people growing up in the church – some heartbreaking, many uplifting. There are plenty of Christians (even here in the Bible Belt) who believe God loves EVERYONE. The movie is worth seeing even if you are not particularly religious – the discussion isn’t as one-sided as the news sometimes leads us to believe.

    Also, before CJ turns 12 you MUST have on hand a copy of Kate Bornstein’s magnificent book “Hello, Cruel World.” The minute I discovered it I wished I’d had a case of them and could have just given them out each time a teenager had walked into my classroom in tears.

  46. Darrin says:

    I’m gay and I have one older sister. I also have a younger brother and sister. My gaydar isn’t going off with my little brother. I am almost sure he is straight.

    My boyfriend has an older sister and a younger sister. no brothers.

    My ex had an older sister. No brothers.

    So I am very skeptical about this theory. I live in a small town but I don’t know any gays with older brothers.

  47. Jeff says:

    Im a 26 year old gay male. I have one older brother and 3 younger brothers. And I have been thinking my youngest brother may be gay as well

  48. Jen says:

    I can offer my anecdotal evidence: My father came from a family of five children, with a girl as the oldest followed by four boys (in the birth order, 2 and 3 are fraternal twins—not sure if that makes a difference). The youngest son is gay.

  49. Biz says:

    I think individuals responding with comments on this will result in a response bias if you are trying to survey the Birth Order Theory. That said, I have one older brother and one younger sister. I am gender non-conforming. Both my sister and I identify as queer.

  50. Nick Parker says:

    I am 22 and gay i am the oldest of 3 sisters

  51. I have always been a big fan of Birth Order theories. I’m the oldest of 4 biological brothers and I’m the only gay one and none of us are gender creative.

    My husband is the youngest of 3 sons. Again the only one who is gay.

    We’ve also had the longest relationship, no divorces/separations and we are raising 2 boys who, so far, appear to be heteronormative and gender conforming.

  52. Gayrab says:

    Gay male here. I’m the eldest. The youngest is straight as an arrow. I also know a family where the only boy out of five kids is non gender conforming and gay, and another where both boys are gay, but the eldest is more gender conforming.

  53. Vic Anne says:

    I do believe this theory does work. A friend from high school – his father was gay. He was like, child 7 of 8 or 9 and he was the youngest brother. He did force himself to have children with a wife before he called it quits. They had 1 girl and 4 boys (in that order) and I often wondered if two of the brothers (and my friend) were gay. I heard about this theory years ago when I knew them well and thought it applied.

  54. Chase says:

    One older brother, 15 years older, not raised together, very gay since age 9.

  55. Wow says:

    Boy, I’d want to see results from a really HUGE and randomized sample. More than 944. And I’d want the study method scrutinized. What if it’s, First born males are more reluctant to identify as gay? What if it’s, Study participants in the age range that these subjects were recruited from are more likely to identify as gay and call their older brothers straight? The Gay being genetic to the Gay being just congenital to the Gay being considered a birth defect? Not saying this is bad news and must be doubted or suppressed, but it’s a pretty major assertion. Also, too important to rely on Wikipedia. If it’s keeping you up at night, at least examine the Discussion very carefully.

  56. Tesa says:

    I have an aunt who had 14 children and 13 of them were boys. Not one of them are gay.

  57. Brian In Austin, TX says:

    I am the only gay child in my sibling set. I am the third of four boys, no girls. I always joke that I was as close to a daughter my could get, and she should be grateful! My Husband is the third of five siblings, the second child is a girl and the rest are all boys.

    I love reading your blog; if you were my neighbors, I would have and CJ over for a princess tea party! We have a pink kitchen and I can make a mean maritini; fun for the whole family!

  58. Daniel Scott says:

    PS – I’m gay and the second of two children, but my older sibling is a girl, so sadly, I don’t follow the theory…

  59. Daniel Scott says:

    Whether or not this is true, it does raise the interesting question around eugenics… If given the power and technology…what would our society change pre-birth? An interesting article was just published about children with down syndrome… It’s sort of scary to think about…but it definitely raises a lot of interesting questions…

    ‘Deselecting’ our children
    Here’s a recent Danish headline: “Plans to make Denmark a Down syndrome-free perfect society.”

  60. Travis says:

    I am the youngest of 4 with one older brother. My husband is the youngest of 3 boys. Maybe if science goes catches on, some with it moms may get treatment to have MORE antibodies and have more potentially gay boys!

  61. Mike says:

    My twin brother and I are both gay and we have an older brother (two our of three isn’t bad).

    I have a trans (male to female) friend who has five sisters, all lesbians.

    Love your blog.

  62. lubbockgaymale says:

    In my extended family, genes seem to play the biggest role re sexuality. In my generation, over fifty percent of the 15 cousins are gay or bi, and all are grandkids from the same couple (who also have a gay son, my uncle)! I do know several men at my MCC church that have several older brothers, but not enough to matter statistically.

  63. Angela says:

    Gay author David Sedaris bucks the birth order trend, being second oldest of six with only one (younger) brother. But gay columnist Dan Savage follows it, the third of four kids with one older brother; Fausto from Feast of Fun has one older brother, and his partner Marc is the youngest of eight with at least two older brothers. My husband is the youngest of three boys, and while he’s never evinced same-sex-attraction (no, not even for Jake Gyllenhaal. Or David Bowie!), he prefers literature and film over cars and sports, has a large number of female friends and is a sensitive caring nurturer. So it may give a guy “a little sugar in the tank” if not making him gay outright. 😉

    • Angela says:

      Also, I’d hate to think what will happen if one of the Duggar boys is gay. Statistically speaking, I’d be shocked if there’s not at least one. They seem like Such A Nice Family, sure, but super-religious families are more likely to send their kids away to camps for “reprogramming”, and we’ve seen what awful outcomes that way lie. 😦

  64. Karen says:

    I think there might be some truth to this, although obviously its not a 100% given that the FBOE is the only causation. Its an indicator, not written in stone. I also think that as the research goes on, they will find that the hormones released during pregnancy, and the timing of those hormones is the real culprit in determining sexuality.

    From an evolutionary view, it makes sense that the possibility of being born gay goes up with each subsequent male birth. Our “nuclear” families aside, having more than one boy in each family, results in “extra” males. When you look at the natural world, one male can usually procreate with more than one female, and when you have “extra” males, the possibility for violence and turmoil goes up, hence nature has a built in device for reducing competition for the available women.

    I think this also explains how you can end up with biological, identical twins where one child is gay and the other is not.

    I don’t think this is the only explanation, but I do think hormones have a lot to do with determining sexuality, brain structure, personality and abilities. Hormones, the last great frontier. Do I really think it matters? No, but it is fun to think about.

    • Mark says:

      You may be on to something here Karen, as a compensatory move granted by Nature itself. Since the sex drive is considered one of the strongest of the natural urges, after food of course, then it would make sense that if there were a relatively limited female base, and the urges still there, and if straight females have a distinctive preference for waht is attractive to them in a potential mate, then because of that reduced possibility of sexual completion the interest in same sex hook-ups would be that much more available and be utilized for that purpose, and to keep everybody happy so to speak. Interesting.

  65. Firstborn and male with 2 younger sisters. However, my mom went through an intense emotionally turbulent time during her pregnancy and I “blame” that for messing with the hormone schedule (one needs just the right hormones distributed at just the right times for sexual orientation and identity to be formed “as expected”).

    My husband was the lastborn but with 4 older sisters. He was one of those classic afterthoughts (6 years younger than his next oldest sibling).

  66. Anon says:

    I have 3 older brothers and 1 younger. I came out as gay at 16 and my youngest brother did the same when he reached 17. It seems I never had a chance, I’m okay with that.

  67. Matt D. says:

    I’m the younger of two sons, which fits, I suppose. My husband is the oldest of 7 kids (5 boys), but his youngest brother is also gay. I’ve heard about this before. It’s really interesting, but I agree that the potential ramifications of this knowledge are a little bit scary…

  68. Both my partner and I sort of disprove the theory. I’m the oldest and only male and the only gay (that we know of) in my entire family. My partner is the second son (proves it) but the oldest son and the youngest son are also gay– jackpot for those happy young parents!

  69. David says:

    Youngest of three brothers and gay. And my partner is a twin and youngest of three. But his twin is straight. But I gay friends who are only children or the oldest. And what about all those gays in china??

  70. James Knight says:

    Just a quick shoutout from across the pond. I’m gay, the eldest of three sons (firstborn, no daughters) and both of my younger brothers are straight. I remember hearing about this when I was a teenager and felt kinda cross as though somehow my youngest brother should be gay instead of me. Nowadays I just think I lucked out! I was born 8 weeks premature; I wonder if there is any correlation between older brothers who are gay and when they were delivered in relation to their due date? Either way, C.J. can still be fabulous even if he is non-gender-conforming and heterosexual – just look at Eddie Izzard!

  71. Jimmy says:

    I’m a gay male. I’m the youngest of four and the third son. My sister and both brothers are straight. As far as I can tell, everyone in my entire (extended) family is straight but I’m also the only third born son.

    • says:

      Hi Jimmy: I also have 1 daughter and 3 sons. My 3rd born son is 5 and is very gender non-compliant. I am quite sure he will identify as a gay male although he may decide to give up his princess dresses at that time!! I’ve always thought it was 3rd boy thing. The other boys I know that identify as “pink boys” are also 3rd born sons. Interesting! ps My husband and I adore our “princess boy” and our entire extended family and friendship circle think he is the most loving little boy that ever walked this planet. I hope you were similarly embraced!

  72. Heather McLean says:

    Hi CJ’s Mom

    I really enjoy reading your blog – and am enjoying reading about what you and your family are going through.

    However, I am always a bit uneasy about assigning a possible sexuality to a four-year-old.
    I really commend you for allowing him to follow his interests, instincts, etc but I really do not believe that a four-year-old has – or should have – any idea of his sexuality this early.

    I believe that difference is great, and should be accepted – but without labels or consequence.

    Please keep giving CJ (and his siblings) choices – and if their choices happen to change over time – I am sure that you will cope with that in the positive spirit you are already showing.

    Best wishes

    • KEW says:

      Dear Heather,

      I understand how you and many others are uncomfortable with the idea of children not being innocent and naive at such a young age. While that may have been true for all of you, myself and many others were aware of our sexuality at this point.

      I am a gay man who was having “swordfights” and naked cuddling with my best friend in our sleeping bag “cocoon” up in the treehouse. This during the year of preK. In kindergarten, I had a dream about this boy I had a crush on that he came to naked. At recess,I would run away from all the little girls who wanted to kiss me!
      Hmmm, I guess they were aware of their wants, weren’t they?

  73. Brandon says:

    I’m the third child. The first one was a miscarriage who may or may not have been a boy. The second was my older sister. The third was me. I’m gay.

  74. I am gay but I am my mother’s only son. However, the only other gay man in my family (that I am aware of) is my cousin, and he has one straight older brother (and no younger brothers). One of my gay male friends has four brothers (same mother, 2 different fathers)- the two oldest are straight, the third is bisexual, he is gay, and his only younger brother is straight.

  75. Jenn says:

    K is gender nonconforming, the second of two sons.

    Intersesting thoughts. I had never heard of this theory before … not sure if I want to.

    I am also wondering if i should share this with two of my besties, both currently carrying their 3rd male child …

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