Reflections: Raising My Rainbow Turns Two

Well, hello there 2013, what do you have in store for us this year?

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Mannequin head with human hair that can be heat styled = One of C.J.’s favorite Christmas presents.

A friend of mine doesn’t like odd-numbered years because they are typically unlucky for her.  I thought back on my odd-numbered years.  My odd-numbered years include graduation from high school, graduation from college, getting married, having C.J.’s Brother, having C.J. and starting this blog.  If I didn’t want to jinx myself, I’d say that odd-numbered years have always been good to me.

Two years ago I started Raising My Rainbow because I had a two-(almost three)-year-old boy who liked “girl toys” and “girl clothes.”  I was full of questions and anxiety.  I didn’t know what was going on with my son and his preferences.  I didn’t know what I was supposed to do as his parent.  I had a million questions but no answers.  I used humor and writing to cope and started to feel my way down a path I hadn’t ever expected to take.

Then, things got emotional as my readers educated me and I realized that the simple act of my son playing with a doll could be a signal of much bigger things to come.  Was our son a girl born into the body of a boy?  Was he transgender, transsexual, effeminate, gay, gender queer, gender fluid, gender creative, gender nonconforming, something else?  What do those terms really mean anyway?

As parents, my husband and I have asked each other and ourselves questions that we never anticipated.  What if our son is gay?  What if our son is bullied?  What do we do when our third grader threatens suicide because he’s bullied for having a gender nonconforming brother?  Ten years from now, will we have two sons or one son and one daughter?

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Another favorite Christmas gift? A Monster High bike with bag to hold his granola bars and bracelets.

During the last two years, we slowly got to the point where we knew the answer to each of the questions above and dozens of others.  It’s the same answer, no matter the question: We’ll deal with it.  We’ll love, support and provide a safe home for our children no matter what.  Realizing that answer gave us power and reassurance.

We’ll deal with it.  We’ll deal with it.  We’ll.  Deal.  With.  It.

We began to own our differences.  All of us: Me, C.J.’s Dad, C.J.’s Brother and C.J.  We began to live free of shame.  Then, four months ago, C.J. started kindergarten and stopped owning it.  We’ve watched as our diva son who was once brimming with confidence and self-assuredness realized that his peers had less than favorable opinions about what he likes and wears, about how he talks and walks, about how he sits with his legs crossed like a girl and has a wrist that goes limp when not kept in check.

There was a time when our gender creative son didn’t care about what other people thought about him, but we did – big time.  We were stuck caring what others would think or say or do.  He owned it, but we didn’t.  We followed his lead.  We caught up.  And, when we started owning it and not giving a shit about the reactions and judgments of others, C.J. started noticing and caring and adjusting his behaviors accordingly.  It felt like we were two steps behind.  We caught up to him.  We were all at the same point for a time holding hands.  And, then C.J. took a step back, yanking us back with him.

Back we went, following his lead.  Loving him, not changing him.

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He’s been rocking his new beanie day and night.

When I started this blog I promised myself that I’d write for a year and reassess.  I did that and decided to continue writing for another year and reassess.  I just spent two weeks doing that.  I’ve decided to give it another year.  And, I’ll need your help, feedback and support more than ever before as we enter a new phase.

I hope that you’ll continue to follow and be a part of our adventures.  There’s comfort in knowing that you care and are cheering us on.

Let’s make 2013 fabulous!

Xoxo,

Mom, Dad, Brother and C.J.

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About raisingmyrainbow

RaisingMyRainbow.com is a blog about the adventures in raising a fabulous, gender creative son.
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94 Responses to Reflections: Raising My Rainbow Turns Two

  1. Clay Severns says:

    People always make fun of others. I got my share when I was in the elementary school because my dad is mentally ill. It will not get better, so just teach him how to deal with it without being depressed.
    —Clay…

  2. violetkeppel says:

    ps. I wanted you to see this…the part about children 😉

  3. violetkeppel says:

    As a mother, I thank you for keeping on writing this blog.
    My son is just 6 months old, I started following you when I was still pregnant. If my baby boy would ever show different preferences, I hope I’ll be able to be half the mother you are.
    I’m from Italy…Your words are going far.
    Thank you.

  4. dunibug says:

    I adore your blog…and have such admiration for your family….the way you and your husband act is heartening and life affirming…I many times think about cj’s dad’s entry from early on…discussing cj playing with that first Barbie…if a jock/bully kid can grow up to love and support an out of the box kid…not only you lucked out, but cj won the parent lottery…you are so insightful and inspiring…if only I had parents like you growing up….I thank you for writing this blog

  5. mothlit says:

    Again, so very thoughtful and honest. And I find myself now searching the middle years–the ones between Mary Poppins and nail-painting and necklace stringing and the day he told me he was gay (he was 16). As I recall, things took a more androgynous turn, and I wonder now if that wasn’t something akin to the “step back” you describe. The one comment I remember was sometime during his freshman year before he came out. He said, “Mom, if I was gay, I would NEVER come out in middle school. Kids are just cruel.”

  6. Pingback: Keep It Up, Raising My Rainbow Turns Two | walkingphilly

  7. 5affy says:

    Ok first off don’t panic – most kids tend to lose confidence when they start school – all of them will be having some sort of fitting in crisis and the social groups of the play ground will be forming. There will be the beginnings of bullying and friendships and the blurring of those boundaries. If you have a good teacher these things should be well approached, if not then all you can do is be there to talk to your child.

    Kids will always find something to pick on… glasses, colour, IQ, speech patterns, socio-economic class, religion, clothing, fat parents, grandparent in a wheelchair etc…

    Good luck and talk to the school if you’re really worried.

  8. insaniteen says:

    I’ve mentioned before that we raised a step-daughter who is gay and really had no idea if we were doing anything right at the time so we followed her lead. She was able to be open and upfront with her peers while still in high school and openly date other girls without worry of being bullied or hurt. A blog like this one would have been helpful. Personally, I think you guys are doing a fantastic job. I was saddened to see how C.J. started covering up who he was in order to be accepted at school but then I remembered that our girl did the same for a while and it still turned out okay. I wish the same for you and your family.

  9. I began trawling the blogosphere for gender-nonconforming blogs about six months ago as a way to try to understand my 5-year-old self-confessed “tomgirl”. Of all the blogs I found, only you and Pink is for Boys have posted anything in the last five months. Please don’t stop (although you are, of course, completely free to do so…). You give me hope.

    EtF

    • Ally says:

      Another one that you might enjoy is hesparkles.wordpress.com. It’s very uplifting. This mom is in a small village in England, I think, where the community knows and accepts her non-conforming son and she is in a position to worry much less (from how it comes across to me) and just fully embrace and enjoy this part of her child. Not saying that these other parents don’t, but because of our society, the stress and worry have got to be overwhelming at times and I’m sure this mom has her moments too. But it’s like getting a glimpse at how the world could be if people would put aside their judgement, fear, homophobia and just let other people live their lives openly and honestly.

  10. Parker says:

    Your blog is educational and entertaining. Your family has my sympathy when you encounter bullies, my admiration for the way you handle them, and my gratitude for the part you play in changing the world for the better.

    Love, Parker

  11. Colleen says:

    Thank you for continuing! I have been following you for over a year and it has been so reassuring to see my experience raising a 6 year old gender creative son reflected in your words. I think you have helped many of us realize we (and our children) are not alone. You have also helped me find the language to use when I describe my son to others.

  12. mark says:

    I’d like to comment here about something I’ve been thinking about for quite awhile. First off, y’all are doing a marvelous job on this journey. Simply fabulous.. But it seems to me that what this really is all about is the struggle against gender stereotyping. This to me is the entire underlying cultural issue with boys especially who don’t quite conform in even the slightest ways are and must be gay. Complete nonsense. Their orientation is built in, it cannot be cured, nor does it need to be because there’s nothing wrong with them.
    It would seem to me that your family’s struggle is rooted in the underlying belief, so common, yet so wrong, of the prevailing viewpoint of what men and women ought to be. Totally understandable. But it was a false presumption from the start.
    I was born in the beginning of the modern feminist movement, raised and trained to accept women to be my equal and having the same dreams for their life as I did have for my life. As a result, I have little in the way of gender bias, to be fair I probably have some, but hopefully it’s minimal as and doesn’t affect too much. I had a great mom that told me I was the light of the world, but I wasn’t all that special. I learned humility and grace for the most part. So today I can partner with my wife and clean the house, though it’s not my nature to like it all that well. I can also tas

    • mark says:

      Gosh I hate Android at times!!!! I can also talk eye shadow color with her if she wants, my problems with my lawnmower or whatever. So to me, let’s all work on breaking gender stereotyping where we see it, and just ,maybe picking a monster high doll for anybody will no longer need the angst of a blog like this-although I’d miss it. The tradeoff would be well worth it. Thank you! Mark

  13. slowly you are changing the world ❤ namaste

  14. Christy says:

    You are a wonderful person and I feel blessed being able to share your family experiences through this blog. I have a little girl who has liked boy things since she was about 2.5 years old 🙂 I recently wrote into Ellen Degeneres (about gender issues, specifically with young children and adolescents) and I mentioned you and how amazing your blog is. I look forward to every new entry. Thank you, from the bottom of my heart. ❤

  15. capricornscott says:

    First, let me say that I love your blog. Documenting this journey for all of us to follow with you has been an blessing and an amazing experience for me as a reader.

    Over the past two years, I have noticed several things in my own life, As a gay man, that resembles CJ’s. I played with Barbie (as an older brother I always used the excuse that I was just playing with my little sister). I have a special spot of appreciation for the glamorous women in the media (like Kate Middleton).

    I have always been so jealous that he had such a care free attitude and let other people know about his nontraditional interests. But one thing that I have hoped I wouldn’t see in CJ appears to have happened. I really became aware of my sexuality in middle school and wasn’t able to start owning it until my senior year of high school.

    Having people in his life like his family and friends that support him will make his journey easier. I just hope he is able to re-discover his inner Princess and be proud of who he is.

    I know I am.

  16. Spydermonkey says:

    I haven’t read your blog long, a few months. But I do find myself looking forward to every new post. Myself growing up, I wasn’t as open about myself, nor did I really find “me” until I was a teen. I did endure more than my shair of teasing while I was growing up, but usually it was just the typical kids stuff.
    I’m very happy to hear that you will keep posting, your blog really gives me hope for the future kids comming up will have it easyer, & be more accepted than I, and others I know in my generation were when we were groing up.
    I think one of the hardest parts of growing up in the closet is having to lead basicly a double life. One that everyone knows & see’s, and then this second “life” that we knew to hide, that we feared would others would see the real “me” and ….
    I am, and was lucky. If I didn’t tell you, or you didn’t already know, I doubt you would ever have guessed that I am a gay man..(unless joe is with me:)

  17. aiofse says:

    Thank you for sharing your adventure. I love your blog; your family is fabulous; and you are my role model in accepting whatever comes. I wish you and your family all the best.

  18. Simone says:

    All I care about is that CJ and his family are happy however they choose to “own it”–whether it’s out loud or quietly, internally . . . Growing up is frustrating and challenging, and I hope that CJ finds positive, healthy ways to deal with it. He sounds like such an amazing kid. His classmates have no idea how lucky they are to know him; he will always have an impact (hopefully a good one!) on their lives and the way they treat others as they too grow up. Brava CJ’s Mama! You are so amazing! 2013 is going to be a fabulous year–I can feel it too!

  19. Lance says:

    Happy New Year to you, your family,, and all the readers! Here’s to a fabulous 2013!

  20. Rebecca Center says:

    As a teacher at my 8 year old “daughter’s” school (she is in the process of transitioning at school now from male to female), teachers can have a huge impact on the classroom response to gender non-conforming behavior. My then son brought princesses to kindergarten through second grade for show and tell. He did wear androgynous clothes to school and favored purple (I think because pink was too daring). He had princess keychains on his backpack and drew pictures of princesses. Our school is 60% latino and about 60% free and reduced lunch. Teachers have been proactive and done lessons (we follow an Open Circle curriculum) on respecting differences. When they saw his show and tell dolls, they would immediately pull out book with a respecting differences theme before the sharing of the doll. In his/her time at school there has only been one negative comment made to him by another student. In two days they have an Open Circle in the classroom about the transition. So far, some concerns from parents, but none from the kids!

  21. Jwr says:

    Thanks for continuing. The experiences you share are definitely helping this mom of a gender creative son. People obviously enjoy your writing and are touched by your story. I hope that some of them will even be inspired to help make this world less gender-rigid.

  22. Keep writing. I can only wish this topic was spoken about 25 years ago. I believe my transgender daughter’s live would have been so different. But instead she was raised as a middle boy in a household of four boys. The advise back then was keep refusing to allow him to do girl stuff. By 2nd grade we had a hateful out of control child. She was 17 the first time he wrote me a letter telling me he was a she. With no known info available I tried to close my eyes to it. About 4 years ago she came out to everyone and now does female full time. I was amazed how fast the rest of the family accepted it. I am so very proud of her. It takes so much courage to step out and be who you really are.

  23. Roxana says:

    I love your blog, please don’t stop writing! I’m a teacher, and once a boy in my class told his classmates that he loved cooking, and they all made fun of him, the same happened when a girl told the whole class that she wanted to learn boxing and all her friends made fun of her. In both situations, I told them the same: ‘Well kids, I’m a woman, but I loved watching Power Rangers when I was your age… Now I grew up, and you can see that I never wear make up, and I hate wearing dresses, but I love football, and it’s ok, we’re all different’. I don’t think it’s a bad thing that boys like trucks and girls like princesses, in fact in most of the classes I’ve taught it’s normal for boys to like one thing, and girls to like another. BUT if there’s 1 kid who loves doing things that the opposite sex usually does, then it’s ok, because we should all be who we want to. My heart goes to your kid, I myself didn’t have many friends when I was little because, as I never liked princesses or Hello Kity stuffs, the girls in my class never wanted to be with me, and the boys were good with me but always kept reminding me ‘but you’re a girl!’. Even today, most of my friends don’t approve the way I dress, my hobbies or anything that looks like male-behavior, but I like being like this. So be strong CJ! People’s critics won’t ever end, not even when you grow up, but you just need to be who you really are, and concentrate on your life and be happy with who you are… Believe me, you won’t be happy wearing and behaving the way others want: you are unique, stay that way!

  24. Thanks for letting us into your lives.

  25. atticcrazy says:

    I love your blog and I hope that our stupid society doesn’t crush C.J.’s wonderful spirit, All of your fans are rooting for C.J.! Hell, we’re rooting for your entire family!
    Thank you again for continuing to share your wonderful, touching story with us. We are all learning from you.

  26. Jesse says:

    Good to hear that you’re going to allow us to follow your journey. You’re stories are inspirational and I appreciate the smiles and tears they have afforded us.

  27. Please continue to rock on! I love your blog. And as challenging as life gets, and will continue to be, you are a fabulous advocate for C.J.

  28. dovesoh says:

    I love reading your blog and writings about C.J and how your family copes. I love the way how your family handle the whole situation and admire the solidarity in love and support you have shown to C.J. it really serves as an inspirational love story from a self sacrificing mother.

    As a mother of 2 children myself, I understAnd the process of bringing up young school going children and the on going peer and society pressure that comes along. Many a times it is whether to conform or teach our children to own their differences and accept that everyone is unique and different in their own ways. It is great that despite the challenges you and your family are facing, you can still write and inspire people around you.

    I hope to continue reading your blogs and I wish you and your family the very best in raising the wonderful kids you have.

  29. Cheryl S. says:

    I’m so glad to see that you decided to continue! I think this is a wonderful blog for any parent. I’ll be here as long as you write!

  30. Nikki Davis says:

    I just wanted to start off by saying Thank you!! I have a CJ of my own names Kaden! He’s almost 6 and the princess of our castle. Since he was 18 months old he has loved all things “girl”! We have many home videos of him dancing in diapers and a pink tutu with a Binkie in his mouth to Lady Gaga! Our whole family embraces his “style” (that’s how we refer to it). We tell him everyone has their own style and his is just super creative! His dad dresses him up in his princess out fits and his little brother bought him make up for Christmas! His military veteran grandpas dance to Michael Jackson and lady gaga with him (or at least try and keep up) Kaden has never known anything but love and support until he went to school! He started at a public school and there were problems. So we transferred him to a private Montessori school since Montessori schools are big on supporting individualism. Well we also have problems there as well. Kaden doesn’t hide who he is or his style but he gets picked on and bullied daily. We’ve had talks with the teachers and school administrators. But it continues. My husband and I are at a loss. We’re scared and heartbroken for our son. I’ve never met another kid with a similar style as kaden’s. I’ve talked to my friends who are gay about it and they tell me “why are you pointing him in the direction of being gay? It’s not an easy life! Don’t you want him to not have to struggle, to just be straight. To that I explain “he’s 5! No sexuality attached to a 5 year old. I buy him what he likes, like I buy Bailey his trucks and dinosaurs. I’m not steering him any direction. I just love and support him.” But lately my husband and I question if we’re doing the right thing? If its safe for kaden that we’ve always accepted it and behaved as if its no big deal. He gets so hurt when the ignorance from school says its not. Anyway, what I wanted to say was: thank you for your blog. It’s a source of support for parents like us who have questions and fears with no one to really relate to. It eases fears and makes us laugh. It strikes a cord in our hearts that’s familiar and gives us a sense of belonging. Thank you!!!!

    • Ally says:

      I absolutely loved this post, especially grandpa dancing to Lady Gaga. The accepting dads and granddads have a special place in my heart. I’m not an expert, I have a pretty gender conforming kid, although he’s not the alpha male type at all. I don’t care if he is gay, straight, bi, trans, I love him entirely. So again, not an expert, but I think one thing I’ve learned from CJ’s mom is sometimes you have to follow your kid’s lead on whether they want to sparkle or blend or when it changes from day to day. They’re just figuring it out as they go along but what builds that strength on dealing with the rest of the world is that love and acceptance they get from their families. Kids can overcome so much if they know you are their rock. CJs got a few in his corner, sounds like your little rainbow does too.

    • Stephen says:

      Im a 27 year old gay man, and I would just like to say you are absolutely doing the right thing. Support and accept your children for who they are regardless of the narrow mindedness of those around you (including your gay friends who should know better). Speaking as a adult who did not have, what one would describe as a normal childhood, I wore a silk smoking jacket and carried a cigarette holder to school in Jr High, I can promise that the love and support and understanding you give your son now, will be the single most important impact on his life. The world is a cruel, vicious place, but that doesnt matter as long as the people at home love and accept you. You are wonderful parents. Never doubt that for an instant.

  31. Ally says:

    As long as you keep writing, I’ll keep following! I’m not the mushy type but have a special place in my heart for your whole family and I hope to keep reading about CJ to see where his path leads. I think it’s going to be awesome and for his brother as well. If they see you deal with it, they will learn how. That’s my new mantra every time i start to worry about the future. I’ll. Deal. With. It. You touch more lives in a positive way than you could possibly know.

  32. Kimberly says:

    Glad to hear you’re continuing for another year! Reading about CJ and your family is very enlightening and often funny. Thanks!

  33. Miriam Joy says:

    Glad to hear you’re carrying on. Your blog has taught me a lot about not leaping to conclusions about gender or how people should dress, and I think as a result I’ve learned to be much more open-minded — just from reading. So thank you. You are educating the world 🙂

  34. antarabesque says:

    I am grateful that you have made the decision to continue blogging for another year. I read your posts religiously (pun intended). Recently someone made the comment about their grandchild’s hairstyle. They had been badgering their son for months to have their 18 month old boy’s hair cut because people were thinking he was a girl and Grandma didn’t want him to become ‘gender confused.’ I almost cried and immediately thought about all the compassionate and sensibly sensitive posts I had read here to guide my response to her. Thank you.
    God’s blessings upon you and your family, particularly CJ. I hope the encouragement and deep desire from some of the responders don’t place added pressure on you to continue to be a blessing to us.

  35. Tommy says:

    Keep up the good work, I always read your blog aloud to my husband. Any time I even get close to the Orange Curtain, I wonder if I’ll run into you and C.J. Thanks for so bravely sharing your lives with us.

  36. Amber says:

    I would love to email you 🙂 our sons are do similar. It’s been a long road is but we have learned so much and still are.

    Take care, Amber

  37. xmisschaosx says:

    Yay here’s to another year (of hopefully many) of RaisingMyRainbow!! Let’s hope 2013 is the year we all learn or remember how to ‘own it’ ^_^

  38. A Noun says:

    As a gender non-conforming child and then a transgender adult who is now in college and educating people as I go along on my journey as a social worker, I have one thing to say to you…. Thank you for loving your child enough to let him be whoever he is.
    My family completely disowned me when I disclosed my trans* status, so it warms my heart more than I can ever tell you that your love of CJ is deeper than your worries and fears.
    Please keep writing.

    Also, in case you are interested: There is a blog written by Matt Kailey, that is informative and insightful. The title of his blog is Tranifesto.

    Be well,
    A Noun

  39. I have directed several people to your site who have “just figured out” that their child is in a similar place. They are not comfortable “coming out” about it, but reading your blog gives them hope and also courage to take that step. Please do continue…

  40. L says:

    I wish I had something better to offer. This blog means a great deal to me and I am hoping to follow CJ for years to come. You are an amazing family who obviously understand what is important and what isn’t. At the very least, CJ will grow up knowing pretty much who he is. This is much more than I can say for most of us from previous generations.
    I can’t thank you enough for continuing the blog.
    L

  41. miafaery says:

    I’m glad you’ll still be blogging! While I am not at all in this situation, I AM a parent and I find the unconditional love and support you display via this blog inspiring. Thank you for all of your honesty…I always love reading your words!

  42. Annie says:

    All I can say is “thank you.” I found your blog about a year ago, and while I’ve never commented, I read it religiously. I have three boys, my oldest of whom is gender non-conforming. Over the past three years, my husband and I have been through all the same emotions you stated, and to be honest, are still working on “owning it.” It really hit home for me when a friend, in an effort to be funny, mentioned something about the way my son likes to dance and sing girl songs, and it was clear that others found it amusing. In that moment, I lost a ton of respect for him, and realized that he had no clue about how difficult it was to parent a child who is different. I ask myself daily if what I’m doing is the right or wrong response and worry that he will come off the bus upset that someone made fun of him. I DO NOT need it from an adult, and a parent at that. I’m not an idiot…I’m completely aware that people may find his behavior funny or weird, and may make comments behind my back. But acceptance and tolerance need to be taught by adults, and you are doing just that with your blog. Overall, I want to make sure my son grows up confident, happy and proud of who he is regardless of his likes, dislikes and comments from peers (and more disappointingly, adults.) Hats off to you, your family and mostly C.J and his individuality!

  43. Veronica says:

    Yesterday I went to the store and there was a pink toy aisle labeled as “girl’s toys”. I immediately thought of you and your son. While my girly as fuck girls would be in pink heaven shopping at this aisle, It made me feel uncomfortable that the sign read “girls toys”. It should read “Princess crap” if you ask me ;o) but hey… you know what I mean.
    I am glad you are keeping your blog for another year. You are positively impacting the lives of lots of children through the awareness you so brilliantly and amusingly bring through your blog. Much love from Canada

  44. Jodi says:

    I, as well, have just found your blog recently. It’s very encouraging to know we aren’t the only family dealing with this. It’s a continuous battle that we are living day by day. Our son (who is 9) also loves monster high and is currently collecting all of the dolls. I am afraid of the bullying but like you will get through it and I just hope as parents we can set an example for our son and make sure he knows its ok to be you.

  45. Merideth says:

    I just started following this blog and I love it. I appreciate your honesty and love for both of your sons. I, too, have two sons; one who is gender non-conforming and we have been looking for some support as we raise him to be happy and healthy. I look forward to reading your blog and discussing it with my husband as we encounter similar things. Thank you for being brave enough to share your journey. You will be helping us navigate ours.

  46. jonathanmayo says:

    I’m so excited to hear that you have decided to continue blogging for another year. When I stumbled upon this blog last year, I instantly fell in love. It took me back to my own childhood where I faced many of the pressures that C.J. is starting to face now. This kind of blog would’ve been helpful for my parents, I believe. But alas, blogs did not even exist then. I wanted to send you some encouragement from someone on the other side of things and let you know that your support for your son will go so far in the future. I thank my parents so much for their support even though I didn’t have the courage to be myself until later in life. I commend you and your family for facing these trials so early in C.J.’s life. It will not go unnoticed.

  47. I completely forget how I got here, but I’m loving your blog. I think it’s an important place on the internet, and I’m glad that you’ve been writing. I can’t wait to go back through your archives and start at the beginning.
    Take care.

  48. Tin Woman says:

    My heart goes out to CJ. My own daughter has had a tough time by not following the typical “girl” mode. She too went through a period where she stopped being herself and tried to “blend”. It took a while, but with her dad and I continuously reminding her that she was strong, and loved, and fine just the way she was, she came back to herself. The friendships that stuck are lasting.

    I hope he finds his way back to appreciating himself over the opinions of others soon. Your family is an inspiration.

    All the best … TW

  49. Lori says:

    Please don’t leave me now!! :0) I need YOUR help and support with your adventures of C.J.!!

  50. Amanda says:

    Please, please don’t stop writing. I am in awe of how amazingly you support your son throughout all of the trials you’ve faced so far and I can only hope that more parents begin to see the world through eyes like yours. THANK YOU for standing up for your son! I know his life will be better, no matter what he faces, because of the love his has at home.

  51. donofalltrades says:

    I find your blog very entertaining and informative. I’m married with three little ones. My daughter is a bit of a Tomboy and the boys are, well, boys. Even though I don’t share your situation as far as gender identity issues with any of my kids, I share you journey as a parent trying to do what’s best for not only my own kids, but the people that will have to share this planet with them once they leave the house.

    I read your blog from the perspective of wanting to make sure that my kids don’t do anything to make anybody else feel uncomfortable for being themselves. While it’s nobody’s business how other peoples’ kids live their lives, it’s all of our business to make sure the classroom/school is a safe place for kids to learn. Not only learn math and reading, but learning tolerance, respect and how to treat other people with decency.

    I wish you nothing but the best in 2013 (odd years have been good to me as well!)

  52. Happy New Year to you and your beautiful unique family. I want to thank you. Thank you for not giving up and giving us hope that the world has people as caring as you. Thank you for acceptance, love, and respect of others’ differences. Thank you for being you. Thank you for continuing to write. I look forward to your writings and have read all of them. Though I do not have a noncomforming child, I am a gay mother of a beautiful 11 year old boy who is adapting to his mom now being in a serious relationship with another woman. It is also hard for him and your blog helps me see things with a different light. We are here to support you – DON’T STOP WRITING! If your concern is sometimes exposing too much out there in regards to your family, then maybe research the news for events of the kind we will all be interested in knowing. For example, you’ve provided us with information in regards to other blogs and books that are targeted specifically to gender topics. I actually researched all of those after you posted them and had no clue where they could be found before until you blogged about it.

    So again, thank you for your inspiration to the world.

    Best Regards,

    JH

  53. asintree says:

    I am so glad you have decided to continue. I look forward to your writings. They take me out of my world for a few minutes, and when I return I am reminded to be grace-full, careful, loving, positive, brave, and grateful.

    My prayer for you in 2013 is that all of you, and your parents and siblings, will find new blessings on this journey, that God will protect you, and that you will be rewarded in unimaginable ways for the unimaginable path you are treading.

    Branch

  54. REB says:

    Your journey, while at times overwhelming, is also inspirational and I am truly grateful that you have chosen to share it. Their is no road map or manual on how to parent a gender non-conforming child but I truly feel that the more knowledge and the more stories shared, will lend to more awareness, maybe self reflection and hopefully at the end of it all acceptance. Please know that YOU are helping to create that road map that so many of us find comfort and wisdom in now and that future generations will look to for guidance..

  55. Love your blog and looking forward to another year of your humor and insights!

  56. Kay says:

    Since Christmas, I’ve seen two different young boys out shopping with their parents dressed head to toe in Spiderman costumes (one complete with Spiderman crocs). It made me think of C.J., and wonder why it’s more acceptable for these boys to dress up and pretend to be something else than for C.J. to do the same. To me there is simply no difference. It makes me so angry that C.J. doesn’t feel free to be himself; it’s just not fair. C.J. is no different to those other boys – except that he has more style and flair!

  57. Lyn~ says:

    Here’s to Mom Cj’s Dad Cj’s brother and of course CJ!!!! Here’s to 2013 being fierce and fabulous as Tyra Banks says on America’s Next Top Model….. Here’s to a world where people wake up one day and are not afraid to be themselves and thus to allow others to be free to also act and be in accordance with what they feel from within.
    Sending You kudos for having the Love insight and courage to always take your cues from CJ and for continuing the blog for another year…. Here too is a hug an open and loving heart sending you and your family and the world some much needed Love, Light, Comfort and Grace for ALL. One Love for the family of humans who struggle more than any other mammal on the planet just trying to be as We were created! ❤

  58. Paulette DeMers says:

    I am thrilled you are continuing! It seems like a cliche – but if there is ever anything you need …

  59. You and your husband should go under cloning !
    We need some more of you guys!!!
    (sorry for my bad english: I’m Italian)

  60. Jess says:

    It was very hard to watch my son react to other people’s attitudes and behaviors once he started school. He went from happily wearing nothing BUT pink and talking about how he wanted to be a girl when he grew up to tearfully declaring that he hated pink, and himself. All the acceptance and love at home did not seem to matter, and he had such severe behavior problems at school that he was almost expelled. From KINDERGARTEN. I wonder if homeschooling would have helped, but some of the most painful moments actually happened at other places.

    The best thing I have found to help is to show him that there is a variety of wonderful people out there. Anything positive I can find- Eddie Izzard, Billy Elliott, reading the story of the Maines twins was a huge moment (http://www.boston.com/lifestyle/family/articles/2011/12/11/led_by_the_child_who_simply_knew/)… I wonder what else people have found useful?

    I think it is perfectly fine for your son to act and dress in a way that makes him feel safe and comfortable at school, and dress differently when and where he wants to. That is his choice, him driving, and it sounds like he is developing some useful skills while he is at it. While I wish we could all wear what we like and be open about who we are without having problems, that is not the world we live in. We all have to chose whether and how much we conform or deviate from the expected. If and when he feels ready to be out there and deal with whatever comes as a result, he clearly has your love and support, and that is a beautiful foundation for the rest of his life.

    Sorry for rambling on so long- this is something I’m passionate about.

  61. strawberryquicksand says:

    I love your blog and, as I only just discovered it, I hope you don’t discontinue it any time soon! Isn’t it just shit how other people can make the way we, ourselves, act and thing change. He is bound to cop some flack for it all. Ever considered karate lessons? 🙂 (that was said a bit tongue in cheek, but also a bit seriously. It never hurts to be able to defend oneself!). I can’t wait for the coming posts to follow your beautiful story. xo

  62. Wow. You have huge strength as parents! This is a touching blog.

  63. redmingum says:

    I’m glad you decided to give it another year, CJ is doing a difficult thing working out whether being yourself is better than fitting in. Given CJ’s age is still in the period gender identity is forming, the pressure to conform might be more about others inability to express their gender fluidness. Fearing gender non-conformity would out them to peers they demand correct gender behaviour from their peers so they won’t notice they aren’t a ‘proper boy’ or ‘proper girl’. It took me years to own my own gender, at least CJ has a base of acceptance to fall back on when the fitting stuff or being an individual is worked through.

  64. jmgoyder says:

    Bravo to you and your whole family. My son is now 19 and heterosexual but as a little boy he once wanted to marry another little boy and when he asked for a pink Barbie car one Christmas, we got him one. I copped flak for állowing’his infatuation with the other boy, then he copped dreadful teasing from his peers about the Barbie truck and that was horrible. I think the way you are approaching your son’s growing up is beautiful.

  65. Liz says:

    the sooner he starts being bold, even if there’s an initial cost, the easier it may be in the long run and in terms of impact on his self-esteem. in my experience, you don’t really find many more accepting people until college, maybe in high school if you’re lucky/resourceful.

  66. Louise says:

    I love your blog, it has helped me overcome ingrained stereotypes I didn’t know I had in me, and my kids have all benefited from that. Keep supporting your beautiful CJ and his amazing brother, having the strong foundations you’ve given them will help them find their feet in the world.

  67. Jenn says:

    I am so pleased you will be continuing to blog. Your family’s life runs such a close parallel to my own family, it is completely reassuring to know that we are not alone on our journey. My little corner of Australia is so far behind in it support and resources for gender variant kids and their families, your blog just helps to ground me, and continuer doing my job of loving and supporting both my sons.
    Thank you so much, Jenn

  68. I have no children of my own, but your blog has really made me more conscientious of being respectful to children I encounter. I admire your family for the efforts you are making to allow your child to be his own person. Thank you for sharing your family’s story.

  69. Ally says:

    I’m glad you have decided to continue your blog into 2013. I just discovered your blog late last year.
    I appreciate the honesty, passion and eloquence of your writing.

  70. Cynthia Koch says:

    I can’t wait for the day, when individuals can just be who they are with full acceptance and when we parents who have eccentric fabulous children can stop worrying about them being hurt by the insecure. I just love your blog, but I have to admit it made me sad to read that CJ feels the need to suppress himself. It’s so unfair for the beautiful child he is.

  71. tabbimarie13 says:

    I am very new to your story and journey, but I have fallen in love with your family. C.J will start owning again, without a doubt. There is a spirit there that just can’t be broken! I am beyond glad you’re going to continue this blog, you have all of our support!

  72. Dan says:

    I can’t believe it’s been 2 years!! Time flies when you’re reading the well crafted words of a mother who so clearly loves her children!! (And husband, brother, parents, in-laws, neighbors and friends!)

    I was afraid you were going to say you’d decided to reassess and stop writing and I’m so glad we have at least one more year to share in the joys and anxieties and trials and thrills of your amazing and wonderful family.

    Happy 2013 I hope it brings everyone who’s a part of this blog, everything they could possibly dream of!

  73. RB says:

    I have so missed you…..Me and my son have had health issues so I have been VERY distracted. It is a comfort to see the point you have arrived at. We are dealing with bullying and other issues because our son is smaller than the other boys, prefers female playmates. His teachers now have a laundry list of complaints that include: he’s too sensitive, he feels too much, he walks like a girl so of course the other kids are going to pester him, he “looks” feminine but sometimes talks masculine, I (the teacher) dont think thats appropriate, he needs to “pick a sex, and be a boy.” I have been SO frustrated with the school and tried to explain that I allow my 1st grader to be who he is. He is somewhere in between and he is and always will be our greatest treasure. He will decide who he is, even if it causes me and everyone around him anxiety. I have felt that my anxiety is MY problem, not his. He may just be experimenting with roles, or it could be something more, but I have such a hard time with those who will not take the time to hear us out and understand. I think it is cruel and hurtful to put him in a box and not allow him to be who he is. I have talked to the school and the principal, he was referred to the school psychologist. I have been frustrated because the bullying and hurtful words or more subtle cues from classmates are most likely not being addressed by teachers.
    It is hard to deal with it, but yes I guess we will !!
    Thank You

  74. sphex says:

    I only just discovered your blog a week ago, so I was thrilled to hear that you’ll continue blogging. My heart hurt when I read that CJ had stopped “owning it” but then swelled when I read how you are all handling that, too. Thank you for making me think, and for helping me to think better.

  75. Rebecca says:

    How could I not follow this amazing blog!

    I just wish the world was a more accepting on.

  76. jimmie. says:

    THANK THE RAINBOWS YOU WILL STILL BE WRITING!!! (Aside from US Weekly and anything written by Tori Spelling, your blog is the only thing I read religiously.) I applaud your journey, and see so much of myself and my mama in the stories you share. I’m now 37, but there’s a still an 8 year old My Little Pony-loving boy that lives inside of me. You are raising a family with nothing but LOVE… and that’s a house big enough for all the pain in the world. (sometimes late at night, I slip in country music lyrics.) THANK YOU… and shine on in 2013!

  77. Morgan says:

    I’m so happy to hear that you are going to keep going for atleast another year. As a relatively new parent I find your blog inspiring; You are the definition of unconditional love. If all families had 1/4 of the love and support your family gives one another the world would be a different place. I too can’t go down the Monster High isle at Target without thinking of CJ and his awesome personailty. Your blog should be required reading for all parents – keep up the amazing parenting, writting, humor, love and hope!

  78. Fox says:

    I’m glad you’ve decided to continue to write. I know my son wants to hear more about CJ. It’s help him feel confident that it’s okay to be different, and that it’s okay to find it scary sometimes. Thank you so much for sharing your family’s journey.

  79. Isolda says:

    Dear CJ’s Mom Happy New Year! I love reading your blog, as I said before it is as if I’m reading my family’s story, our (now) daughter who is 5 does have the same bike and just this Sunday had her ears pierced! You should have seen her face! She was so happy!

    Those are the moments that show us parents that you are definately doing the right thing….

    My best whishes from Mexico to you and your family

  80. Of course we’re cheering you on … are you kidding? All the way from Australia!
    I wish my parents had been like you guys. But back in the mid 60s when I was born, being allowed to be exactly who you are was unthinkable.
    Thanks to all the groundwork that each and every one of us does in our own way, sometimes through activism, sometimes through advocacy, sometimes through just doing what we have to do to be happy, we’re now at 2013 and an era that is slowly giving rise to kids like CJ being allowed to be who they truly are.
    In centuries to come the people that are around then will be quite alarmed I’m sure, to look back and see how hung up we were on gender identity back in this era, but we’ll never get to that point without conquering the hurdles that we face now.
    Thanks for doing your bit. More than your bit actually. You’re a superstar and are giving CJ such a headstart that the rest of us that have gone before could only have dreamed of.

  81. I think we’ve demonstrated we’re here for you as well.

  82. As a gay man, it seemed easy to me to see things in black and white. I’m a guy who likes guys. Some people are girls who like girls, etc, etc. Reading your blog has made me more aware of what someone whose gender and how they express their gender isn’t crystal clear. So, I have to thank you for opening me up to see that gender and gender expression is not always so clear cut.

  83. Bear says:

    I’ve never commented before, but I love your blog. I don’t have kids and I don’t plan on ever having any. Though I’m in a same-sex relationship, I never experienced anything like what your family has gone through/is going through in my life. I never felt different in this way while growing up. But I cheer for you in your triumphs and feel awful when things go wrong. I worried when CJ had to leave Miss Sensible behind to move on to the next grade. What would his new teacher be like? I can’t go down the toy aisle at target and not think of CJ when I see Monster High stuff. I am rooting for him. Actually, I’m rooting for you all. I personally would miss your blog terribly, but I have no doubt that for some kids out there, your blog is a lifeline. I hope you keep it up for many years to come. The world is a better place because of it.

  84. Lynda says:

    My son was in his 40’s before he was able to become the woman he had always been. Can you imagine, living all those years 24/7 not feeling comfortable in your body and trying to fit in?

  85. doubleinvert says:

    I don’t think it’s so much “if” CJ and CJ’s brother are bullied but when. I speak from experience.

    What you are facing and currently encountering will be trying. There’s no getting around that. But there are resources out there now, more than ever before, that can help you and yours through this. Gender Spectrum (http://www.genderspectrum.org/) specializes in educating schools and professionals who work with children. I was honored to be a volunteer at their annual conference last year. I first heard of them when they put on a presentation about raising and supporting gender variant children at my church.

    Hang in there. I’m here for you.

    -Connie

  86. Carleen says:

    I’m new to your blog, but I have to tell you…your entire family is FABULOUS! Thank you so much for sharing your journey. It’s inspirational.

    Recommended reading for you….”Being Emily” by Rachel Gold.

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