One of a Kind Like Me/Único Como Yo is a bilingual children’s book based on the true story of a child named Danny who wanted to be a princess in the school parade. He and his mom embark on a venture to find a purple princess dress.
The book’s author is Laurin Mayeno, is the founder of Out Proud Families and the proud mixed-race mother of a multiracial gay son who was gender nonconforming as a child.
When my son Danny told me he wanted to be a princess for Halloween, I was worried that he would be teased and I would be judged. I suggested another costume, but Danny knew what he wanted. I decided to support him and we created a beautiful purple princess dress. He wore it happily in the school parade and kept it for years. Although I didn’t know it then, I later came to realize that having a gender-creative child was a beautiful gift.
Being Danny’s mom, I have learned to appreciate children who don’t follow expectations based on gender. I also have seen how pressure to fit gender expectations can make life hard for any child. We can help all children feel safe and accepted by allowing them to explore a full range of activities without restricting or criticizing what they do based on gender. We can also make a difference by encouraging children to be respectful and kind to their peers, and by letting them know that teasing and bullying hurt. If you have a child who doesn’t follow society’s gender norms, rest assured that you are not alone. It is perfectly healthy to explore different ways of expressing gender. If you have concerns and fears, as I did, learning about gender diversity and connecting with other families like yours can give you confidence and peace of mind.
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I posted the following video of C.J. to social media and forgot to share it here. It’s just another glimpse into what life is like raising a fabulous, spirited son.
Me: We’re going to dine alfresco and act like a nice, normal family.
C.J.: You can be normal. I’m going to be Beyonce.
Matt: *films while exchanging smiles with passersby*
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