Grandpa Plays with Dolls For First Time, Emerges Slightly Frustrated

My in-laws, Grandma and Grandpa Colorado, are a hunting, drinking, fishing, old-fashioned duo who are, thanks to C.J., newly-committed to learning about all of this sexuality and gender stuff.  Their family photo albums are filled with photos of men, all straight-as-an-arrow, doing hyper-masculine things like playing football, using tools and holding big dead fish.  My family photo albums are filled with photos of fabulous boys doing effeminate things like wearing dresses, sewing and baking cakes.  My husband’s family raises straight boys, my family raises LGBTQ boys.  Their grandson has forced them out of their comfort zone a bit and I have to say I’m quite proud of their progress. 

During their last visit, Grandpa Colorado was playing with C.J.  When Grandma Colorado entered the room I heard him tell her this about Draculaura from Monster High:

“Now that girl in the bustier, I had a hell of a time getting her top on.  She has fishnet sleeves and splayed hands.  That just doesn’t work out so well.  Somebody didn’t think that through.  And, I spent about ten minutes getting her stockings up and C.J. pulled them off in one second.  Apparently she drops trou pretty easily.  I’m not gonna lie, pulling those stocking up over her cheeks had me feeling a little weird.  I’m definitely entering new territory here.”  

After they returned home to Colorado, Grandma Colorado got back to her volunteer work.  She left this message on my voicemail:

“I just delivered the backpacks for our Feed our Children program and one of my little boys named Ezra had a big Minnie Mouse bow in his hair!  I said ‘Hey Ezra, I like your bow.’  He said ‘Thank you!  Most people don’t like it.’  I said, ‘oh, no, I think it looks good!’  He said that this spring break his family is going to Disneyworld and all he wants to do is give Minnie Mouse a big hug and a kiss.  Ezra made me think of my little C.J., so I just had to call and tell you.  Love you guys.”

* * *

C.J.’s Brother thinks that LMFAO pretty much has the best jams on the radio these days.  Because of his love for the duo, there are some days when no one in our family can get LMFAO out of our heads.  Here, we catch C.J. singing in the bathtub again, LMFAO’s Party Rock Anthem.  Click on the arrow below to listen.

* * *

I recently received an email from James Parris.  He’s working on a short film project that sounds really interesting.  The film will be called “Pink & Blue” and will use whimsy to promote gender equality at playtime and power a simple idea: It’s healthy for girls and boys to share EQUAL access to imagination during their developmental years – and beyond. Learn more here:

* * *

I promised Nick at Camp Aranu’tiq that I would let you all know that registration is now open for this summer.  Camp Aranu’tiq is a weeklong, overnight summer camp for transgender and gender-variant youth ages eight through 15.  It sounds like fun!  They have two locations: one in coastal Connecticut that has been operating for two summers and one in the mountains of Southern California for which 2012 will be its inaugural summer. Learn more here:


About raisingmyrainbow is a blog about the adventures in raising a fabulous, gender creative son.
This entry was posted in All Posts and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

32 Responses to Grandpa Plays with Dolls For First Time, Emerges Slightly Frustrated

  1. I really enjoyed reading your post. You have shared a nice post. your blogs are really interesting, as it’s from the parents point of view.

  2. anonymous says:

    This reminds me of an amusing anecdote:
    When I was little, my grandpa put some batteries in talking Bratz dolls for me. The dolls said simple phrases, like, “Let’s go to the mall!” When my grandpa heard them talk, he said, “They’re so shallow.” xD

  3. knews2me says:

    Reblogged this on knews2me and commented:
    I love this bloggers approach to parenting. We could all learn a life lesson from her son.

  4. I’m so happy I found this blog. I love reading about CJ. Much love and support xoxo

  5. kslater1987 says:

    From the sound of that awesome singing, CJ may well be set for stage and screen!

  6. I’m so happy your blog was freshly pressed and I happen to find it. Your family just makes me smile.

  7. Inclusiveness is so important, especially for children. I enjoy reading your blog.

  8. Love her comment about the Minnie Mouse bow- every child needs to feel and hear that positive reinforcement about his or her choices

  9. JustAMike says:

    I’m so happy that CJ’s grandparents are willing to step outside their comfort zone and let their unconditional love shine through. They sound like awesome people.

    Nice story – thanks for posting it.

  10. MeggieB says:

    Cute cute cute! 🙂 My little guy is always singing that song too, and like CJ, those are the only words he knows.

  11. Pingback: A touch risque « The Cinquecento Project

  12. I can’t tell you how much I love your blog. Some one earlier responded, saying that change comes about one step, one heart, one mind at a time, and this story couldn’t be a better reflection of it. When it came full circle, and we could see Grandma’s spontaneously positive response to the hair bow in a little boy’s hair, it really touched me. Tolerance most often seems to works from the inside out, beginning with the heart. Can’t wait to read more. Thank you for sharing your experience!

  13. “Somebody didn’t think that through.” That is funny!

  14. I love that your in-laws are coming around. Love is a great impetus for positive change. I bet we could all learn something if we took ourselves out of our comfort zones every now and again. Thanks for sharing your story!!

  15. Ellen says:

    Loved the story of the Minnie Mouse bow…brought tears to my eyes once again….and loved the singing in the bathtub!! Happy to hear about the camps that are available and pink and blue project.
    Progress all around!

  16. Reindeer says:

    Bravo Grandma and Grandpa. What wonderful people. How lucky you are to have them. Will they see this?

  17. Cheryl S. says:

    I am SO PROUD of your inlaws! How wonderful that they have chosen to try to learn more rather than alienate their grandbaby!

    I’m sure my parents would be OK with that stuff, but it’s still a big “secret” in my hubby’s family that his cousin is gay. It makes me want to punch someone. Glad to see that there are those of the “older” generation who are willing to push themselves!

  18. harpingjanet says:

    Yay, Grandpa Colorado!

  19. And THIS is how the world changes for the better….one small step at a time, one mind at a time, one heart at a time….but they spread the message, and then it’s two minds at a time, and two hearts….

  20. Mark says:

    great story about letting love gain a foothold to bring about acceptance of the unfamiliar. Start from there and the forwar movement is alot easier.

    The film of Pink and Blue re: kids should also be included for the continual development of adults. We are most mentally healthy when we are balanced , in all areas, but probably none more so than our inside selves. That we wish to express freely our, in this case sexual/gender preferences, then that means we devote less time to making sure taht side is hidden, the secret so to speak, which will always lead to neurosis to some degree, or worse in some cases to psychosis.

    Since we all are a balance of male and female, then there must be some innate desire for expressions of both of these, that are not regulated by society at all. Therefore, all the hypermale/hyperfemale behaviors, constantly, may in fact be on overcompensation to hide what you really don’t want anybody to know about you, that you’ve been really trained well by society that those feeling “just ain’t right”, and therefore there must be something just a little bit off with you, contributing of course to the feelings we all have of not quite fitting in. Perhaps if the boys were free to wear Minnie Mouse Bows if they wanted, as girls are encouraged to do typical boy things then we may find ourselves with alot less violence and hate in the world.

    What scares me most in all of this is what i believe to be the misogynist embedded thought that you’re seeing in men, as well as women in their viewpoints on this. One would think, like at the ballet class, that the other moms would be somewhat happy inside to see a boy actively want to imitate their girls, since imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. That would mean, to me, at least subconciously, that me as a representative of my gender is worthy of being imitated. I think that’s the case in girls imitating boy likes and expressing both, which further supports to me the value of men, versus the not so much so of women. It’s subtle though, and I really don’t think men or women really think about that aspect. I know if I was a woman that would be a real issue with me.

    Grandma did give you a wonderful gift right there. I know you saw it too.

  21. I, too, love the bow story–and appreciate hearing about Grandpa Colorado’s enbracing a new, more colorful kind of play.

  22. A Cynical Me says:

    I really love your blog. I’m really into gender equality, and breaking down gender norms, and I think you blog’s really interesting, as it’s from the parents point of view.

  23. As we love ourselves and those around us, allowing each of us to be who we ALREADY ARE, we bring that same love into the world. Beautiful. xo

  24. irisgirl says:

    Another wonderful post……..Grandpa Colorado’s story is such a sweet example of how CJ’s extended family is a vital part of the loving, supportive and learning process of raising this precious Rainbow!

  25. Thank goodness Grandpa didn’t have to deal with Polly Pockets on his maiden voyage in to dolls. Love your blog.

    • lutiesmom says:

      so true!!! if I have to help my son get one more set of mittens on snowboard polly’s hands, I may give her a permanent case of frostbite! It would be great to see in stores a nice collection of midsize dolls/action figures of various interests and interchangeable wardrobes that don’t have to be coded as “for girls” or “for boys”

  26. I’m so happy for Grandma Colorado’s progress! That is how it should be. Much love xoxo

  27. ntexas99 says:

    I loved the Minnie Mouse bow reference … that is such a beautiful example of how we can spread the message, one CJ at a time! Way to go, Grandma! Gotta give Grandpa props, too … had to laugh at the “splayed fingers and fishnet sleeves”. Maybe he should be in a focus group for the future Draculaura’s of Monster High. LOL

  28. Oh man, CJ and the Party Rock Antem AND Grampa and the fishnets. LOL! Plus, so glad the grandparents are learning. Love it. Thanks for making me smile tonight!!

  29. bluerosegirl08 says:

    Big Smile for supportive grandparents…especially since they are doing so in spite of some awkwardness

  30. k haugen says:

    Hooray for G&G Colorado! I think Grampa called it about right on Draculaura…
    Your last post, Dance class 2, brought tears to my eyes. You and your family really ARE changing the world, one person at a time.

  31. Daigan Gaither says:

    OH I hope that CJ can visit that camp sometime.. if for no other reason than to see that there are a TON of possibilities out there for him. 🙂

    And the story of Grandma Colorado made me cry..

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s