Following are highlights from our month on Instagram. Click here for pictures, thoughts and happenings from the entire month. If you’re on Instagram, follow me. If you already follow me, thank you!
My wife gets a load of emails and messages from people asking where our son’s father is, as though I couldn’t possibly be around and still allow a male son to display female behavior. To those people I say, I’m right here fathering my son. I want to love him, not change him. My son skipping and twirling in a dress isn’t a sign that a strong male figure is missing from his life; to me it’s a sign that a strong male figure is fully vested in his life and committed to protecting him and allowing him to grow into the person who he was created to be. I may be a “guy’s guy,” but that doesn’t mean that my son has to be. — Matt
What did I expect when I was pregnant and learned I was having another boy? More of the same. Life on repeat. A life of hand-me-downs — everything from clothes to toys to hobbies.
When CJ started showing us that he was differently gendered. I grew frustrated and scared. He wasn’t a card I expected to be dealt.
But, as Cheryl Strayed says, “you don’t have a right to the cards you believe you should have been dealt. You have an obligation to play the hell out of the ones your holding.”
I’m holding CJ. A child with special and unique needs because of his gender expression and gender identity. Because he is a boy who is a girl at heart. And, because of what the future could very well hold for him. And, you know what? I’m going to play the hell out of this fabulous, unexpected card I was dealt. I’m going to love him, support him, encourage him, build him up and let him soar. I’m going to hustle for him and kids like him.
Don’t sit at the table staring at what you think is a shitty hand, start rearranging those cards and making plans to play the hell out of them. It’s your obligation. Own it.
Me: What’s this?
CJ: The cover of the new comic book I’m writing.
Me: How and why does RuPaul save the day?
CJ: I’m not going to tell you yet. But, let’s just say it has something to do with Jinkx Monsoon, a couture gown and grape juice.
Her: We’re having a gender reveal!
Me: No, you’re having a genitalia reveal.
Parents-to-be CAN’T reveal their unborn baby’s gender. In general, gender is what’s in a person’s head that tells them that they’re male or female (or both or neither or some unique combination). A child’s concept of gender starts to develop around age three. So, a child’s third or fourth birthday would be a good time for parents to host a gender reveal.
Parents-to-be CAN reveal their unborn baby’s sex. In general, sex is what’s between a person’s legs that tells them they’re male or female. That’s what’s truly revealed at a gender reveal. The fetus’s sex. Its genitals. Its penis or vagina. (Or both if the baby is intersex.)
When I attend gender reveal parties and the parents-to-be yell “It’s a boy!,” I want to yell back “The baby has a penis!” When they shout, “It’s a girl!,” I want to shout “The baby has a vagina!”
It’s amazing how fast time moves when you’re watching kids grow. The human who made me a mother is 14 years old today. He asked for an electric guitar and spent the weekend as a production assistant on a music video set in Los Angeles. I’d never ask for him to stop growing — the alternative is my worst fear. I just wish I could slow things down a bit, get him to hug me a little longer and not be in such a damn hurry to be the amazing man he’s destined to be.
Shoe shopping with CJ is not fun. His feet are super narrow. One foot is half a size bigger than the other. He’s right smack-dab in the middle of little kids and big kids sizes. Oh, and sometimes he wants shoes from the girls’ section and sometimes he doesn’t. But the shoes in the boys’ section are “too serious” and “no fun.”
Our tried-and-true solution? Buy plain-ish shoes and customize them. We got shoes from Nordstrom Rack and added velvet shoelaces by Aldo (a different color for each shoe, of course). Then, we added silver star and lightening bolt sticker patches from The Trend bar.
I thought he’d never be a reader. It didn’t come easy to him. And, in first grade, his teacher taught him that there were “boys books” and “girls books.” Teachers, please don’t do that.
Then, when he started reading the Dork Diaries series, kids at school made fun of him for reading “girls’ books.”
Now, in fourth grade, he doesn’t care what people say about the books he chooses. Lately he’s been tearing through gymnast biographies. “People at school think I’m a lady anyway. So, they don’t care what I read.”