Some of you have noticed that I went M.I.A. last week. I was actually in Greece on “holiday” as super-fancy people here in the states call it; the rest of us call it vacation. Either way, C.J.’s Dad and I were away for nearly two weeks. The first week I managed to the blog. The second week I managed to drink Devil’s Tongues on Paradise Beach in Mykonos; haggle for some “genuine replica” purses and watches at The Grand Bazaar in Turkey; and otherwise have the trip of a lifetime with our BFF’s Auntie KK and Timmy S.
I would have told you about the trip earlier, but my hubby, being the lawman that he is, didn’t want me to alert anyone to our house being vacant. Which point I argued because our house wasn’t vacant, his parents were here watching C.J. and his brother. Oftentimes I lose my arguments before they have begun. Anyway, I’m back.
Thank you to those of you who emailed to check on me. I am alive and well and jet lagged.
More of you emailed to see if C.J. has selected a Halloween costume. Yes, he has. After much consideration – with particular attention given to your suggestions found here at the end of my post – he has decided to go as Frankie Stein from Monster High. She’s the 15-year-old daughter of Frankenstein. Stay tuned for more to follow on our Halloween festivities and/or calamities.
News flash! The BBC has published an article about Raising My Rainbow…in Portuguese. Hope it says nice things.
Thanks for caring, seriously!
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poker machine games
I questioned God for a bike, but I’m sure God doesn’t perform that way. So I stole a bike and questioned for forgiveness
Cool choice! Will we eventually get to see pictures of him all gussied up for Halloween?
Glad everything’s all right, and you’ve had a nice time away. And what a nice bunch of Brazilians! 🙂
Sou brasileiro e vi a reportagem da BCC, (que sim, é muito boa a seu respeito) decidi procurar pelo blog. Parabéns pela maravilhosa iniciativa. Acredito que gerações futuras serão gratas por isso, e espero de verdade que algumas barreiras da falta de conhecimento humano, sejam ultrapassadas a partir de iniciativas simples como essa.
Desculpe escrever em português, espero que com algum tradutor online possa interpretar o que digo, mas meu inglês não é nada bom.
Sem mais. Obrigado espero que ganhe o mundo com essa ideia.
I am Brazilian. After read the articles in Portuguese I got curious to know who is this interesting mother with an even more interesting son.
Do not worry about the article in Portuguese. It was written in a way to instruct the Brazilian parents that this king of behavior happen and it is more common than everybody thinks.
I like the way CJ’s mom tells the cases and I fully support equality so from now on I will follow raising my rainbow..
Dear CJ’s Mom;
You have earned the respect, admiration, and love of people so far removed from those you know and where you live. To do that, you must be doing something so incredibly correct that you don’t even realize you are doing it. What you are doing resonates so deeply because so many people out there, and myself included, wish YOU were the Mom we had growing up. I know I don’t need to tell you this, but at the same time, I think you need to hear it: “Don’t let CJ down!’ And in a quiet echo after that, you can hear: “Don’t let us down…’
You are part of the new wave of mothers who don’t see their child as diseased, or damaged, or broken, or ‘sinful’, or somehow less deserving just because they don’t ‘fit’ what other people deem appropriate.
You love your child. You will defend his right to be whoever, and whatever, the hell he is with your dying breath. End of story.
And the beginning of a great one….
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Hi, CJ’s Mom,
I am Brazilian and I have read the article at BBC. Well, I was not like CJ (or maybe my family was not like yours) but it was always difficult to me to understand the “here-or-there” that our society says we should stay. For a long time I thought I was gay (and suffered a lot with that) but suddenly it seems more comfortable to be hetero. I am 25 but I still am not sure about it. The “decision” is highly affected by the prejudice and shame, and by the fear for not being loved anymore. If I could say something, I would say you to love your son “unconditionally” and let clear that he can be where he is more comfortable. Congrats for your attitude and courage. Your son has already something to be proud: you.
Hello! First sorry if my English is not perfect.
I am Brazilian and I discovered this blog through a site of digital media in my country.
I read some of his texts, I had to stop because I was invaded by an explosion of feelings. Love, respect, friendship, empathy, and many others.
But I write to tell you something you probably know:
Happiness does not depend on “sexual orientation” (that’s how we talk here), it depends on love. The person involved feel accepted and respected by the people he loves.
I live with heterosexual and homosexual persons, and in my daily life I realize that happiness can be achieved by both, since the person feel good about yourself and the world around them.
So, keep loving, supporting and being around when your child needs, you will always be your safe haven, no matter what happens, you will always be the person for whom he will return to share the successes and failures.
Be well, be happy always together.
If you want an actual translation of the article, not just a Google on, let me know.
Glad to see your back! CJs gonna be adorable as Frankie Stein! I’m a Lagoona Blue and Frankie fan myself.
Did I seriously just make the grammatical error? How embarrassing. I meant to say glad you’re* back.
Don’t worry, as you can see the Brazilian article doesn’t say bad things about you and your blog, just introduce the subject to people that never heard about it.
As the article describe, Brazil still doesn’t have many studies about the subject, so it gives real examples of how parents are dealing with their children in other countries. It helps Brazilian parents who live the same situation to understand and deal with the choice of their children.
I’m actually reading your blog cause of the article. I think is an interesting subject and what are you are doing is a great job. Congrats.
I’m brazilian, and I read the article yesterday and decided to check your blog. I was touched by the way you and your family deal with C.J.’s gender non-conformism. It’s now under my favorites tab. I wish all the best to you and your family!
I have read the BBC news and I support you.
I’m hetero, single, 33 year guys. I believe that, more than being hetero/gay/whatever, a child (or any people) needs to be happy and whole himself.
All support from Brazil for you
Here’s a pretty decent translation via Google. You can make it into another blog entry or link it somewhere, assuming someone else hasn’t done it:
When CJ was two and a half years, his mother noticed something different. He preferred Barbie dolls and princesses costumes to traditional boy toys.
The mother became alarmed and sought expert help, but decided not to suppress the behavior of CJ or hide the preference of the child.
On the contrary, took the issue to the Internet, the blog Raising My Rainbow – Adventures in raising Slightly effeminate, gay Possibly, totally fabulous son (“Creating My Rainbow – The Adventures of creating an amazing son, slightly effeminate, possibly gay “).
The mother, a Californian who would identify himself only as “CJ’s mom”, shares with readers his doubts and discoveries on the day of CJ, a child that experts call for gender non-conforming, ie, that does not fit into a stereotype course of gender.
CJ’s case is one among dozens of other American parents that, faced with children who enjoy toys associated with the opposite gender from small or declare themselves as being the opposite sex, they decided not to hide it. They have, instead, been published in books, blogs and interviews, raising the debate around the issue in the U.S..
For these parents, the goal is to show that they are ashamed of their offspring and, above all, to promote tolerance, to protect their children from prejudice and physical and psychological aggression commonly suffered by people with difficulty in adjusting to clear patterns of gender .
The journey of these families is usually full of anguish, uncertainty and questions – including whether to hormone treatments sometimes recommended for children.
Gay Transgender x
Children like CJ are those that define themselves, sometimes in their first year of life, “outside of the traditional (ratings) for boy or girl,” says the book Gender Born, Gender Made, by Dr. Diane Ehrensaft.
This does not mean they will become homosexual. “Gender and sex are completely separate things,” she told BBC Brazil, Jennifer Hastings medical specialist attached to the Central American Gender Spectrum (www.genderspectrum.org). “If I am a transgender man, I got interested sexually by another man, a woman or both.”
But how does this manifest inconsistency of gender in children?
Some cases are similar to CJ: a child who tends to take more interest in toys and activities related to the opposite sex.
But there are those who go further and, early on, insist they were born in the wrong body.
As to the reasons that there is no consensus among experts who study causes changes in brain, genetic or hormonal.
Jackie is one of those children, aged 10, born in Ohio Jack. In a recent interview with U.S. television network ABC, his parents say that, with one and a half old, he refused to wear boys clothes. A week before he was ten years old, with tears in his eyes, he called his parents and said, “I can not live like this anymore. I’m a girl.”
Since then, Jack helps the family in its transition to Jackie, allowing the girl now use women’s clothing and introduce yourself so the rest of the family.
The decision was not easy. The parents suffered criticism inside and outside their own family, fear and prejudice that Jackie must face in the labor market and their future personal relationships.
Parents consulted by the BBC facing similar doubts, and say that while they received positive responses to the initiative of launching blogs and books, also wage a daily struggle to defend their children and the decision to open up about it.
Asked why he decided his story on TV, Jackie’s mother, Jennifer, said on ABC: “I do not think we have to hide. The quality of life for transgender can improve if we knew more about it.”
The thought is similar to the CJ’s mother, who began blogging Raising My Rainbow to find people in similar situations and to advocate for your child, anticipating the difficulties he must face growing up.
“I worry too much about his future. I want to create a confident person who can fight for their rights and by other people,” said the mother the BBC Brazil.
Blogging, she says, by allowing CJ to express how you want, is giving him “the best gift of his life: the freedom to be who he was meant to be.”
“I’m not here to change it, I’m just here to love you,” she continues.
In the U.S., the issue gained evidence such as interviews with Jackie and her family, with blogs like Raising My Rainbow and the launch of such books as My Boy Princess, Cheryl Kilodavis.
Kilodavis is more a mother who was surprised when his youngest son, Dyson, became interested in princess dresses. At first she resisted. “No, girls are princesses,” she said. When the boy replied, “So, I am a child princess.”
Thus was born the book, created by Kilodavis as a manual for people living with Dyson, with a request that does not discriminate. She does not know if your child will be a transgender child – until the moment he sees himself as a baby – but says she wrote the book (to be released internationally in 2012) to promote the acceptance of “any difference”.
“We want to support and love our children, not hide them and shut them up, destroy your spirit,” she told the BBC Brazil.
The story received widespread coverage in the U.S. and Kilodavis has done since then a series of interviews and lectures in the country. “To be accepted (by difference), you must be exposed,” he explains.
For the author, one of the reasons why the book has become so talked were increasingly common cases of suicide and attempted suicide among people in the country – adults and children – who do not fit on clear definitions of gender and behavior.
“If you keep saying that the child is wrong (in transgender behavior), it will disappear by itself. And it is difficult to undo”, says Jennifer Hastings.
There are cases where the interest in playing the opposite sex going on with time, there are others where this behavior can have a psychological cause, if investigated with the help of experts, can be identified and worked, says psychologist Cossi Brazilian Rafael. Each case is different. And there are many in which the child seems to be manifesting, yes, that is transgender.
For Jackie, this meant not only dress like a girl, but also start taking hormone blockers, which prevent your body from developing female puberty. The next step will take female hormones. When older, she can choose to have a sex change operation.
The issue is far from consensus among doctors, and there is a wing that criticizes the changing hormones in children so young.
Dr Diane Ehrensaft, in turn, argues that the procedure can be reversed if the child so desires.
Amid the polemics and prejudices, and family experts consulted by the BBC Brazil say that the issue has been addressed more openly – even in Brazil, where a transgender counseling is still rare in the case of children.
“As society tolerates more intangible genres, with their differences, these people can move more easily,” said Rafael Cossi, author of Body of Work, which deals with transsexualism.
To Ehrensaft, however, remains crucial to the acceptance family. “The difficulties (for transgender people) occur all the time. Many children feel sad for not being born with the sex they wanted and even ask ‘Why does God wrong (my gender)?’. But nothing is worse than rejection of the parents. In this case, the results are really painful.”
Wow, Greece, I hope it was a beautiful time for you to relax and enjoy! And I LOVE Frankie Stein…the dolls are adorable. And if I knew Portuguese, I’d tell you what it says, LOL.Love your blog!