Giveaway: My Son Wears Heels

book-500x491Happy Pub Day to Julie Tarney! Her book My Son Wears Heels came out today. And, I have a copy to give away to one lucky reader.

This giveaway is now closed. Congrats to the winner, Shannon Twisler!

About the book:

In 1992, Julie Tarney’s only child, Harry, told her, “Inside my head I’m a girl.” He was two years old.

She had no idea what that meant. She felt disoriented even trying to process it. Wasn’t it her role to encourage and support her child? But surely she had to set some limits to his self-expression—or did she? Would he be bullied? What kind of guidance would he need? Could she do the right thing? And what was the right thing?

The internet was no help, because there was no internet. And there were zero books for a mom scrambling to understand a toddler who had definite ideas about his gender, regardless of how Nature had endowed him. Terms such as transgender,gender nonconforming, and gender creative were rare or nonexistent.

Lacking a positive role model of her own, and fearful of being judged as a mom who was making her son “too feminine,” Julie embarked on an unexpected parenting path. Despite some stumbles, she learned to rely on her instincts. She listened carefully, kept an open mind, and as long as Harry was happy, she let him lead the way. Julie eventually recognized that Harry knew who he was all along. Her job was simply to love him unconditionally, get out of the way, and let him be his authentic self. In the process she was able to embrace both his uniqueness and her own. As Harry turned 21, she looked back on the early years realizing that today she might have done a few things differently.

Sound like something you’d like to read? Leave a comment below and a winner will be randomly selected and announced on Thursday.

To order a copy, click here.

This giveaway is now closed. Congrats to the winner, Shannon Twisler!


About raisingmyrainbow is a blog about the adventures in raising a fabulous, gender creative son.
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85 Responses to Giveaway: My Son Wears Heels

  1. Parker says:

    I grew up gay in the 50’s and 60′ so I know how scary it can be for a kid who is different and has no role models or guideposts. What a wonderful mom to give her child freedom and unconditional love.

  2. Maggie Bialowas says:

    I’d love to read this-as this issue comes up frequently in the large public high school I teach in.

  3. crystalnebula says:

    I’m often reminding my younger friends of the dark days before the Internet; when we all searched for identity and questioned our sexuality with only our instincts and the hope that one day we might stumble upon a kindred soul to whom we could confide our truth. Most of us couldn’t even hope to have supportive parents like you and Julie.
    Thank you so much for everything you do!

  4. Mary W says:

    My boyfriends son changes into dresses as soon as he gets home from school most days, I’m still learning how to respond to others snide comments, and teaching him that he’s not the only kid like him. Thanks for providing such a wonderful wealth of information.

    • Holly says:

      Thank you! For letting this unique individual be. I think the only action is to teach this wonderful child to be confident but cautious!

    • Your boyfriends son is lucky to have you in his life, but you aren’t going to be able to shield him from it. Take him places where he can practice being himself in a dress without anyone he knows that could see him. Help him build his confidence with people who are strangers and don’t matter, so that one day he can be that way with people he knows. Don’t respond to snide comments, talk to him about what can be said and let him respond. (“What business is it of yours if I wear a dress or a monkey on my head?” comes to mid, funny and disarmimg).

      • Holly says:

        So true, besides teaching/showing the world there is more to it then it expects. We have to teach Awareness to our children, so they know it is not them. But those that choose to discriminate

  5. Giulio Galoppo says:

    I’d love to read it!

  6. Rory Shaffer-Walsh says:

    So glad this story is being shared! I’m always looking for new insights and perspectives. Looking forward to reading it!

  7. Elizabeth says:

    As a mom of an enby and stepmom to a genderqueer kiddo, I would would love to have this in my collection!

  8. Elizabeth says:

    I just finished reading Katie Rain Hill’s wonderful autobiography Rethinking Normal: A Memior in Transition. This latest book sounds like the perfect title to dive into next.

  9. MMinSJ says:

    I very much appreciate your blog and am interested in this book. My 21-year-old cis-gender daughter has been studying these subjects and is our resident expert. I believe she’d like to read it, also.

  10. Lauri says:

    Crossing my fingers 🙂

  11. transkid says:

    I would love to read this book. I am 12. I was born female but identify as male/gender-fluid. A lot of what you write about CJ reminds me of me, like the posts about makeup and his wanting “girl stuff.” Thanks for writing this blog.

  12. mactavish14 says:

    This sounds like a cool book!

  13. Karen Bailey says:

    Sounds like a super read. Thanks for offering it. 🙂

  14. witnessmom says:

    I want to read this book because it resonates so much with me. I’m very alone in my journey, apart from the Raising my Rainbow blog. Sinice my son was two, i’very known which room to find my missing slips, heels and lip glosses –not my daughter’s room. I would enjoy encouragement in this unique mothering experience. Thank you for considering me.

    L. From Atlanta

  15. Pamela B says:

    So many of us have children who are non-conforming. You, Lori, and CJ, have helped our family through it’s journey. My son is now 14, started high school and made the cheer team! He continues to lead the way!!

  16. Well, that just brought tears into my eyes. Hope they’re both doing great.

  17. chloealexa says:

    Would really appreciate the book as Harry is the real winner, actually, and in this book, Chloe’

  18. Brittany says:

    I’d love to read it!

  19. Laura J. McCarthy says:

    It is comforting to see parents being able to talk publicly about their gender non-conforming kids. Education can and will stamp out hatred and ignorance and lead to acceptance and understanding. I can’t wait to read this book!

  20. Riley says:

    “Inside my head I’m a girl.” combined with the kid being referred to as “Harry” and “him” throughout the synopsis worries me that this book is about a transgender girl who even now is still misgendered. I’m hoping that “Harry” is happy with the language and representation and if that’s the case then I’d love to read the book.

  21. Dawn says:

    Would love to read this now. Hoping it comes out in Nook form soon. Thank you for recommending and keeping us all informed!

  22. Ilke DC says:

    I am curious about this woman and her childs journey!

  23. Lena says:

    A perspective on transgenderism before internet; epic.

  24. MEC says:

    Perfect timing! I just finished the Gender Creative Child and was on the hunt for a new “gender” read!

  25. Yes, please throw my name in the hat.

  26. Lynnette says:

    Oh how I would love to read and share this book

  27. Martha Riga says:

    I would love to read this!

  28. Joanne says:

    I would love to read this!

  29. As the parents of a transgender son, we would love to read their journey. 💙💗

  30. Judy Hall says:

    What a wonderful world where you can be who you were meant to be and who you want to be.
    Recently I spent a week with 3 of my grandsons aged 14 (twins) and 15. One of the twins had found a recipe online for Rainbow Cupcakes which he decided to make in honor of his friends in the LGBT community. This never would have happened in his mom’s generation. There is so much more acceptance and less judgement. I hope this will be our world and the world of generations to come.

  31. Linda says:

    When my son was 3, he told me “mommy, I have a vagina” I thought it was just a kid’s mistake. It turned out in hindsight to be a major moment. He saw some girl that said she had a vagina and since he felt mainly female, he assumed that he had one too. My son is gender fluid and is on a journey to be more and more out to the world. He also has autism. I pray that my husband and I will always stand by him and that we will make good decisions when to let him take the lead and when to step in to help. I loved your book Lori and I look forward to reading this one too.

  32. Kitty Catty says:

    Sounds like an AWESOME book by an equally AWESOME mom!

  33. Julie says:

    As a high school teacher, I would love to read this book.

  34. cgstbs100 says:

    Another wonderul book to add to my library. Thank you for continuing to educate & guide us Lori!

  35. Liz Ulrich says:

    Must read! Thanks for sharing.

  36. Laura says:

    as a pediatrician, i’d love a copy.

  37. Tina Payne says:

    As a soon to be licensed therapist and having been immersed in the transgender community along with 19 years searving children, this book would be a treasure to read. Hoping to gain more insight into how one moves through a journey of another gracefully even when not all is understood.

  38. Christy C. says:

    I would love to read this book. My daughter identified as a boy when she was 4 and 5. Then she simply avoided defining herself as either for a couple of years unless she was forced to, and then she said, ” I am a girl.” She just let people assume what they wanted to think, which often was that she must be a boy based on her outward appearance. When she was 10 she started to grow her hair, interact with more girls, and would correct people who called her a boy. She told me and and her father that she was fine with being a girl. She turned 12 this August and now presents herself completely as a girl, but she still is very much an individual in how she dresses, what her hair looks like, etc… It is such an interesting journey. I would love to read about another person’s journey, in terms of gender identity.

  39. Amy L Bowers says:

    Sounds like a lovely book to read.

  40. Brian says:

    Wow, I don’t know that I would have known to do that 20 years ago. Bravo! Unconditional love rules.

  41. Irene rauwald says:

    My grandson who is a twin is transgender and now attending first grade as a girl. So far things are going good with very supportive parents. I would love to read this book.

  42. Tara says:

    As. Pediatric nurse who loves all children regardless of race, gender or simply some different ideologies, I find that even now, in 2016, I still have to be very careful what I say. Unfortunately we see a lot of children with the above issues and parents who hope we can “cure” them. I pray that all of them will come to peace along their journey. Your child is your most important asset, fly your rainbow flag or give quiet constant support. They need that support more than ever as they grow and figure out the best possible person.

  43. Ben Rockwell says:

    I would like to place this book in my church library as another sign of our acceptance of all people. I, a senior, person with a disability, LGBT, supporter of all civil rights, and a lover of all people would love to meet you and your son and give you support on raising a child who is free to live his life as he chooses. Keep that open love in your heart forever. Be not afraid to do what is in your heart.

  44. Maria says:

    My son identified at an early age as well. I’d love to hear this mother’s experiences.

  45. Ben Rockwell says:

    I am a rainbow individual with disabilities. I would enjoy reading your book because it shows love for everyone. I have been out since I was 17 and am now 71. I have an interesting history in involvement in activism for many different communities. As a senior activist and pusher for the rights of all I support you in the writing about your son. Keep up the courage and activism for all.

  46. Judy Looby says:

    I would love to read this and then give it to my local library.

  47. I would love to read this book! My son is 5 and has worn dresses since he was 3. Any reading that can help me to be the best parent I can for him would be a happy addition to my bookshelf.

  48. jenmommy24 says:

    Would love to read this!

  49. Judd M Sills says:

    Well done Julie. Thanks for all that you do😊

  50. Kate says:

    I’d love to read this book!

  51. Jason K says:

    My son first asked to wear dresses when he was three. My wife and I did all the “But boys don’t wear that” until he asked us for a real reason. We had no answer. He is 8 now and shops on both the girls and boys clothing sections. He calls himself a “boy who wears dresses” and is happy with that. My wife and I are ecstatic with him.

  52. ksthebaldavenger says:

    I would love a copy of this book! As a member of the lgbtqia family (bi) I strive to learn more so I can be a better ally.

  53. Jason K says:

    My son was three when he wanted to start wearing dresses. He is 8 know and has shown my wife and I so much especially in the “how to live your own life” area. He says he does not want to choose a gender and calls himself a “boy who wears dresses and girls clothes.” He is happy with that and so are we.

  54. miraspasov says:

    Would love a copy of this book!

  55. flatlander48 says:

    While my 2 children turned out to be regular cisgender adults, I did eventually did claim my transgender identity. Their response to my coming out has been very positive. However, from time to time I have wondered how I would have reacted if the situation were reversed. One aspect of parenting that is often present is the desire to “fix it” for your kids. You want to make things right for them. But, one of the most difficult things about parenting is the idea of restraint. You have to try to understand those times when your involvement and intervention will help and when it won’t. Once you figure that you can’t help directly, the next step is convincing yourself to do that; in other words, restrain yourself. In my estimation, it sounds like Ms. Tarney got it just about right.

  56. Maryann says:

    My son has worn heelsvas long as anyone can remember! The journey has been difficult, scary, and yet you can not make a mistake when you love your children unconditionally! Being transgender is hard but she says no harder than being something she wasn’t

  57. bmommyx2 says:

    Sounds like Harry was lucky to have a mom that had his back no matter what.

  58. Laura Hinkle says:

    Love stories where kids are loved unconditionally!! Can’t wait to read it!!

  59. Rachel Forbes says:

    Would love a copy of this book to add to my gender creative collection 🙂

  60. Margaret Schultz says:

    As a parent of a unique and wonderful gender creative child, I am excited to read this new book!! I loved your book when I first read it, and then made everyone in our family read it as well (I was a bit of a zealot last year). I’ve mellowed out a tiny bit but completely trust your recommendation on this new author. Thanks!

  61. Martha Brown says:

    Looks like an awesome book! I’d love to read it!

  62. Heather says:

    Sounds like a good read

  63. Cheryl Aswege says:

    I would love to read it. Being trained as a teacher I am always looking for things to tell parents and help guide them. Each child is different and needs support form all the adults in their lives.

  64. Gabrielle New says:

    “Her job was simply to love him unconditionally, get out of the way, and let him be his authentic self.” I hope we can all be brave enough to do that for our children, whether their authentic self is cishet or something else.

  65. Lisa Escobedo says:

    Would love to read this!

  66. Shannon Twisler says:

    I would love to read this book. My 5 year old son is gender non-conforming, and while he hasn’t asked to wear dresses to school or told me he’s really a girl, I struggle to help him navigate this extremely judgemental world with confidence and peace. Your blog has given me a lot of hope, so I thank you from the bottom of my heart.

  67. Vickie Christopherson says:

    I don’t think I will win but I will diffidently get this book as I am trying as a grandmother to my transgender Male to Female Grand Daughter be as supportive as possible. I love her unconditionally but still struggle with friends and family who do not support. It truly hurts when people comment but don’t look at the whole picture of who this person really is. She is smart and loving to all who take the time to know this wonderful person. Thank you for the opportunity to support your child. I love your blog and will continue my education.

  68. Dei says:

    Ack did previous post not stick? Nonetheless, so happy to see more stories of supportive parents. For all the trolls, the interwebs can still be a good thing!

  69. Dei says:

    For all the trolls, it’s great that we have the interwebs to support these great kids and their parents. You go with your bad self!!

  70. Riley Byerly says:

    I have read a few books by moms that have tg children and they were beautiful and brave stories. I loved them. This sounds like a book i could read.

  71. Carol says:

    My husband and I just announced the transition of our 5 year old this past weekend, so this is timely! Trying to learn as much as we can… Thanks!

  72. I would love to read this! We had no clue when my daughter was two. All she would say “I will tell you later.” Well later ended up being a state of depression and anxiety we are still working through. Not a lot of parents in this area to share with so I would love to hear this story. Even if I don’t win I will be looking for this book.

  73. Jodi Whitehouse says:

    An interesting, if sometimes confusing, journey.

  74. Yet more unbridled love and acceptance. Gender-creativity blossoming like dandelions in the Spring. What a time to be alive!

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