Homophobic North Carolina preacher Sean Norris recently gave a sermon in which he advocated physically assaulting gender variant toddlers. Listen to it here. This letter is my response to him.
Dear Pastor Harris,
Hi. I’m C.J.’s Mom and boy would you hate me! I have a little boy who likes “feminine” things and I’ve allowed him to do so. I’ve even shared it with people on the internet. But, not by taking pictures and posting them on YouTube, as you suggest — mostly because that’s not exactly how YouTube works, I think you have it confused with Facebook, but that’s not really the point I’m trying to get at anyway.
My point is my son is gender variant. He’s a little boy who likes all things girly, like playing with dolls and wearing skirts. My son started acting a little girlish at age two and a half and I didn’t, as you suggest, “squash that like a cockroach.” He’s had childhood fantasies and I haven’t squashed them. Why? Because here’s the thing: I’m a Christian. One who believes that God doesn’t make mistakes. He made my son perfectly, by his own design. God knew every hair on his precious little head before he was even born. Before he started “acting like a female.” I figure that God knew what he was doing when he created C.J. and that I was given C.J. as my child to love him, not change him.
My gay brother (yes, I have one of those in addition to my effeminate son!) and I grew up in a home where somewhere along the way religion became more about fear, rules and judgement than love, kindness and peace. Your words remind me of that home. When you say things like “Dads, when you see your little son dropping the limp wrist, you walk over there and crack that wrist” it makes my heart feel like a scared child again. Aren’t fathers supposed to model their behaviors after the ultimate father? Christ. Would Christ crack his child’s wrist?
I have to believe that Christ wouldn’t tell one of his little boys to “man up” and then “give him a little punch.” I haven’t read the part of the bible where Christ punched people. Did I miss that part during my two years of theology courses in college?
So anyway, thank you for giving my husband and me permission to crack our son’s wrists, punch him and bully him in his own home. We have chosen, instead, to love our son just as God created him and to allow him the freedom to flourish and thrive using the gifts God gave to him specifically.