My Son’s Many Walks

How many walks does your son have?  Because my gender creative son has four walks not including his normal everyday walk, which he refers to as his boring walk.  He’s named all of his walks.  Naturally.

He keeps his four non-boring walks in his arsenal for use pretty regularly throughout the day depending on the location, occasion and audience. He has also been known to do a hybrid of two or three walks if the mood strikes.

Let me explain.

photo 3There’s his Fashion Walk which is pretty much straight from the runways. He gets a real serious face and tries to walk by putting one foot directly in front of the other or crossed over the other if at all possible. His eyes look straight ahead. He erases his usually smile in favor of a serious pout and then sucks in his cheeks. Usually he puts his right hand on his right hip and swings his left hand dramatically.  Think angry hungry stomping model.

His Fashion Walk is most often used inside of a mall and has been spotting in JC Penny, Forever 21, Nordstrom and Target.

When he is doing his Sassy Diva Walk, his rump sticks out a little more than usual and at least one of his wrists hangs limp from the elbow that is kept tightly at his side. Sassy Diva Walk steps are either very short and quick or long fast strides.  For some reason, this walk requires him to look left and right a lot as if he’s looking for someone he knows, although I’m pretty sure that when you’re doing the Sassy Diva Walk you wouldn’t wave to a friend if you saw him/her because you’re too busy being a sassy diva.  Think Beyonce as “Sasha Fierce.”

photo 2This walk is best suited for busy places with a fast pace full of people with things to do. It has been utilized at the local art fair, the end-of-the-school-year carnival and, again, Target. It got the most use on our recent Carnival cruise.

The Rock Star Walk is a little out of control and inconsistent. Which I guess is fitting given the name.  It usually has big sloppy steps that swing a little wide to the sides. His head can bob from side to side or up and down dramatically.  His arms flail and do all sorts of made up hand signs that I assume he uses to convey that he’s a glittery unpredictable badass who has seen some things in his short life.  Think Avril Lavigne meets Pink.

The Rock Star Walk is the most “masculine” of my son’s walks. I’ve seen it used around his brother’s friends, at Dave and Busters, amusement parks and Target (yes, we go there a lot and it is welcoming of all of my son’s walks).

I saved his Ballerina Walk for last because it looks to be the most painful. Because he doesn’t have pointe shoes, he curls his toes under his feet and hops up on top of them. He then walks gracefully and painfully with his head held high, shoulders back and arms out to the sides. His lips are sucked inside his mouth, which I believe is because he’s trying to hold in yelps of pain.  Think Natalie Portman in Black Swan.

photo 1This walk can only be safely done on carpet. Which means that few have ever witnessed it.  That is for the best because those who have seen it have had to look away as they imagine how much it would hurt them to walk that way.

His normal walk is just his natural gait and carries him to school and other boring places like the grocery store and Home Depot.  And that’s fine because I use my normal, boring walk there too.

This Friday and Saturday, C.J.’s Dad and I will be walking around New York City.  We’ve seen most of the major touristy things.  What should we do and where should we eat/drink?  If you have a recommendation, please leave a comment below or email me at  Thanks!


About raisingmyrainbow is a blog about the adventures in raising a fabulous, gender creative son.
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40 Responses to My Son’s Many Walks

  1. Patricia says:

    definitely my favorite article. amazing book too, btw – can’t stop reading it!

  2. Lyn says:

    I’m almost 30 and I still occasionally walk on my toes like his ballerina walk. It creeps people out when I jump into that position and then walk around like that.

  3. jungalero1101 says:

    The High Line is definitely worth a visit, to join the chorus below. The design and landscaping are wonderful. (It’s a park on an elevated shipping rail track that had gone unused for years.) The original Shake Shack in Madison Sq Park usually has a long line/wait if the weather’s nice so perhaps visiting the one on 8th Ave near Times Sq would be less crowded, believe it or not. You can also encounter tons of tasty culinary treats along your walk just by spotting the variety of foodie trucks that have sprung up over the past few years. Look up the Big Gay Ice Cream Truck (which also has brick & mortar locations in the East/West Villages now as well) and have a “Salty Pimp” or a “Bea Arthur” if the desire for ice cream hits. Their logo makes for a great t-shirt as well.

  4. doubleinvert says:

    “Think Avril Lavigne meets Pink.”



  5. Andrea says:

    love it. He sounds so creative. I just saw a video the other day of a comedy segment with John Cleese (?sp) where he works in the Ministry of ?Funny Walks. Cannot remember where I saw it, on one of the blogs I follow I think. Your son might find it funny if you can find it.

  6. atticcrazy says:

    My most favorite scenic spot in all of New York City is Bethesda Terrace and Bethesda Fountain. And it is a lovely time of year for it! (And lots of room for whatever kind of walk you need to do, but Sassy Diva sounds great to me!)

  7. Alix says:

    Def. go to Macy’s Herald Square… its at the bottom of the Fashion district… then you can walk up 7th ave to Times Square!

  8. Myrna says:

    Milk Bar – awesome desserts!

  9. Matthew says:

    I wish he were old enough to watch Paris is Burning because what you’re describing sounds just like the various competitive categories at a drag ball…the culture from which Madonna took vogueing.

  10. Alex says:

    For New York, I definitely agree with everyone suggesting the High Line, it’s beautiful and fun – go early in the morning or on Friday rather than Saturday if you want it to be slightly less of a mob scene. Also, if you have time to make it out to Brooklyn, the Brooklyn Museum and Prospect Park (which are right next to each other) are both totally lovely and great (the Brooklyn Museum is a super progressive and beautiful art museum, and Prospect Park was designed by the same person who designed Central Park, and he considered Prospect Park his masterpiece), and you can grab some food in either Crown Heights, Prospect Heights, or Park Slope. Taking the ferry from the bottom of Manhattan to Williamsburg and checking out the Flee Market is also a ton of fun.

  11. Paul says:

    If you like well crafted cocktails, try “Angel’s Share” on Stuyvesant St. It’s a “secret” speakeasy type place hidden upstairs in the Village Yokocho restaurant. May be busy on a Fri/Sat night tho.

  12. Now, we know…my daughter was not the only one and a great purveyor of the ballerina walk – and not just on carpet. She would even jump up and down on her curled under toes on surfaces like carpet including grass, hard packed dirt, linoleum, concrete, commercial carpet etc. And yes, she is a girly girl princess but never took dance, although she did enjoy tumbling and cheerleading. She could also do “chinese splits” which was painful for me to watch. She even performed that manuever supported and suspended on the shoulders of others as a cheerleader.

  13. Mori says:

    Try the Atlas Cafe’s vegan strawberry crepes and chais! It’s such a charming place, and the owner (and all of his mid-morning regulars) are total sweethearts. The first time I was there, I ordered something he was out of and he insisted on running to the store for me and now I’m hopelessly attached.

  14. MM says:

    I notice that the photo of Fashion Walk includes pink toenails. Nice!

    The photos always add so much!

    I wonder if CJ knows you are taking photos for a blog post about him? I think the answer is NO, but it seems it might be hard to just casually get pictures of all his walks. That is, I imagine you might have needed to ask him to do the ballerina walk….. in order to get a picture…..

  15. CJ says:

    A walk for every occasion. Brilliant!

  16. Sabrina says:

    I used to do the ballerina walk as a child. I love that he is soooo creative.

  17. Parker Sheaffer says:

    As someone else mentioned, if they are filming for Project Runway you really should stop by Parsons. I’ll bet Tim Gunn would love to meet you all.

  18. Try to stop by the Alice in Wonderland sculpture in Central Park, if you can. 🙂 Love your family – so encouraging as a mother of two boys that constantly challenge gender stereotypes themselves. 🙂

  19. grannyK says:

    I cringed while looking at the Ballerina Walk. I think my toes would just pop right off if I tried that. I am impressed!

  20. polyleigh says:

    I love your family so much. Through your blog I feel so connected to such an amazingly open, accepting, loving, playful group of people. Thank you for sharing your life with us. You and CJ and your husband and oldest son give hope and inspiration to so many people. Much love and many bright blessings to you and yours.

  21. Carrie says:

    That’s awesome! I can so relate to Sassy Diva Walk and Ballerina Walk!!! Sam has his own variant of the Rock Star Walk, too. Does CJ have interest in dance? One of the reasons my son loves tap is because he taught himself how to do toe stands in the shoes! 🙂

  22. Adina Sharfstein says:

    Max Brenner’s Chocolate Bald Man!! Outrageously good breakfast or lunch- and you can bring home treats for C.J. And his big brother!! Enjoy!!

  23. Christie Draper says:

    Hellooooooooowww! Broadway musical, of course!

  24. I love how children Cj’s age express and explore themselves and their personality in such physical manners. And being CJ, they all have flare!

  25. Well CLEARLY you have to take him to Tiffany’s, the Fashion District and Parsons to see where they film “Project Runway”. I’d throw in trips to Chanel, Barney’s, Bergdorf Goodman, any couture houses you can muster. then hit the Village for some fun stores, if there are any left.

  26. jerbearinsantafe says:

    I am waiting for C.J.’s first book, “How I Became Fabulous and How You Can Be Too.”

  27. - says:

    A cruise? Fabulous! I’m dying to know how he dressed up for formal night!

  28. Cody says:

    Oh how I wish I could see video of these walks. Too awesome! I love the descriptions!

  29. Cyndi says:

    NYC – Doughnut Plant! The best donuts I have ever eaten! The peanut butter and blackberry jam is AMAZING!

    • Mackenzie says:

      I second Doughnut Plant. It’s a revelation. Plus, from there you can walk to Shake Shack (listed below) in Madison Square Park and/or City Bakery for some amazing hot chocolate (order wimp-style if uber-chocolate is too much for you).

      Also, there’s the Teddy Roosevelt birthplace nearby, which I enjoyed. And the Museum of Sex, since the kids don’t seem to be with you.

      I used to work in this area. 🙂

  30. t says:

    If you haven’t been to the High Line go! And then check out the grilled cheese sandwiches at the cheese shop at Celsea Market, and the popsicles at People’s Pops, and the chocolate chip cookies at the chocolate store near the cheese shop. Also, Shake Shack if you have not yet been. Have fun!!

    • Kirsten says:

      I second this, completely. There’s a dang good chocolate shop near the cheese shop, but those grilled cheese sandwiches rock! If you can, get a sneak peak at the Lowline, too, NYC’s soon-to-be awesome underground park on the lower east side.

    • May says:

      I was about to suggest the High Line, it’s great! A good runway for all CJ’s walks.

  31. Bear says:

    You must go to Serendipity for a frozen hot chocolate!

    From there it’s not far to the biggest toy store around, FAO Schwarz.

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