In recent years, James Woods has traded in tackling prime roles in critically-acclaimed films to gleefully play the part of a smugly menacing public nuisance on social media.
He’s been called “President Obama’s biggest, most famous troll on Twitter,” and now, he’s terrorizing the family of a gender nonconforming child. — HuffPost
That gender nonconforming child is our son. We are that family.
Rather than retreating and/or ignoring the barrage of hate that followed Wood’s tweet, Matt and I chose to speak to HuffPost about what we’ve experienced over the past several days. Click here for the interview.
If you choose not to click through or read the entire interview, at least read the following excerpt about the support we’ve received — because it’s been amazing. People Magazine also did a short interview, click here to read it.
What kind of support have you received?
Matt: We have received a lot of support from our friends and family. Anybody who knows us knows that we have an awesome support system. It goes to show that you don’t cultivate relationships with quality people for the good times. You do it for the hard times. That’s when true friends step up, support and encourage you. They remind you that you’re doing the right things for your children. I expected my friends and family to be there for us, I wasn’t expecting the outpouring of encouragement and love from the public and celebrities.
Lori: This incident has shown us that the village we are lucky enough to be a part of will assemble at a moment’s notice to support and protect us. We’ve had close friends and mere acquaintances reach out to us and defend us. They offered to help us in any way they can and have made good on their offers. The LGBTQ community was also swift to be by our side. We’ve been in constant communication with the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) since the tweet. I’ve seen firsthand how quickly and powerfully HRC can mobilize to provide support, a listening ear and sound advice. It’s amazing. PFLAG has also been checking on us throughout the day and offering help. Members of the LGBTQ community who are strangers to us have offered support and encouragement.
And all of the people and organizations that have contacted us have always been – first and foremost ― concerned for our safety and wellbeing. And, then, there are the celebrities who came to our defense. When Neil Patrick Harris replied to Woods’ tweet, I was speechless. As a parent, when someone comes to your child’s defense, the positive emotion is overwhelming. With Neil being who he is and having the audience he does, that positive emotion was multiplied. We are so thankful for his tweet and support. When other celebrities started retweeting Neil’s tweet, it felt like this big, powerful, loving, supportive army had assembled in front of us and we could take a moment to catch our breath.
It’s a shame that your beautiful family has to deal with haters, but I’m so grateful that you have the strength and grace to persist in spite of it all. Thank you for being such great advocates for non-gender-conformity, and for being such a shining example. (And big love to NPH for sticking up for you when bully Woods picked on you!)
Y’know, I spend alot of time on social media, trying to explain the infinite world of gender. Not sex, as quite honestly, barring chromomal variance, there is a binary there of xx or xy. It’s always gonna be there. You can live your life like one way or the other, but you cannot actually BE that other.
Now gender is altogether a different animal. We have only a rudimentary concept of it. The masses see it as interchangeable with biological sex. It isn’t. But you can hardly blame them for the confusion. Gender to me is different degrees from socialized ideas of masculinity and femininity, and it is all about changing ideas on that. So therefore if it’s changeable then it it is not fixed except at any individual point in time, and certainly not fixed to an individual. So really, it’s not haters as much as ignorance, and of course they have unsupported opinions on the subject, which is a very difficult nut to crack since it scares them to actually research it a bit.
I’m not a big fan of everybody agreeing to get along. I am a big fan of knowledge to do so. And this blog has done wonders to bring that about. It’s understanding literally is moving mountains. But mountains are big, and seemingly solid. But because of that mass the energy into it increases its velocity. Simple physics really. And I see it moving quite rapidly. Not as fast as some would want. But think back 5 years ago. 10 seems like the 1800s. But if one can remove the idea of haters, per se, and see uneducated, and do what you can to educate, it will move that mountain that much faster. I’ve had alot of real battles in this regard. But I also know the real basics and I’m not gonna stop putting in my effort. It really is too much of an important issue to give up on.
Good. You keep on keepin on!
Thank you Donna. I am, and will continue to do so. I think it’s our only hope.
I always love your insight and thoughts. Thanks for helping us mountains. xoxo
Thank you, raising my rainbow. Sincerely. So much. It makes it really so much easier to keep it going. I’ve learned so much from you over the years. Yes I’ve also studied this . because of you. But your living experience is invaluable to the addition to the whole. Which is why I continue. Education is the key. It will bring change. I’ve seen so much in such a short time. And really it is a short time. Don’t despair. I saw an article decrying the president on his point of transgender in the military. But that article was incorrect. It was about the military in particular. But it did NOT make the lbtq community should be on the defensive. And I told the author that. The left is as bad about this story as the the crazy far right. But I’m a thin blue liner as well . I think you’re, both, doing such an an incredible job to further humanity, it’s really hard to enunciate how much I think you’re doing in that regard . So yes. Because of you I’m am ally. Thank you for allowing me to be a warrior.
Thank you, raising my rainbow. Sincerely. So much. It makes it really so much easier to keep it going. I’ve learned so much from you over the years. Yes I’ve also studied this . because of you. But your living experience is invaluable to the addition to the whole. Which is why I continue. Education is the key. It will bring change. I’ve seen so much in such a short time. And really it is a short time. Don’t despair. I saw an article decrying the president on his point of transgender in the military. But that article was incorrect. It was about the military in particular. But it did NOT make the lbtq community should be on the defensive. And I told the author that. The left is as bad about this story as the the crazy far right. But I’m a thin blue liner as well . I think you’re, both, doing such an an incredible job to further humanity, it’s really hard to enunciate how much I think you’re doing in that regard . So yes. Because of you I’m am ally. Thank you for allowing me to be a warrior. Btw. Love you all too.
This world is a place for everyone to live and the societies must be sensitive enough to let everyone to live with pride and dignity. Good to know that you have considerable support.
It took me abit to connect james wood’s tweet to this blog and your family. I am sorry that someone of such a high profile decided to publicly harass you and your family. Also, it was just a rather malacious, disturbing thing for anyone to say.
I’m happy though you have had plenty of support and others have stood against him as well. ❤
And Ironically, when will the ignorant and bully Mr. Woods ever have/have had any reason to personally interact with your incredible, loving, intelligent family? What business is it of his to involve himself in your family? So sorry you amazing people are having to deal with the likes of this person.
You guys have Neil Patrick Harris on your side, automatically y’all are the fabulous winners of this social media nonsense. Mr. Wouldbe can just go back to his cave of sadness now…
CJ rocks the world. I’m so proud of him and your entire family. There will always be the ignorant, we can’t do anything about that except educate them and society. The way to change a society is to teach the kids and wait for them to grow up. The government has realized this. Some examples are smoking, aids awareness and condom use. Look how well it has worked. This will be no different. Luckily, We can see this happening now. Our youth, for the most part, are accepting even when their parents are not.
Stay strong, know that we stand with you and the James Woods of the world are dying out and will soon be replaced by the more accepting. I’m sorry to be so old that I shall probably not live to see the day when this becomes a non-issue. But perhaps my next time around, I’ll be able to grow up happy in my own skin.
I didn’t know this had happened. What a sleazebag! Let me know if you need nefarious things done, I have no chill and lots of free time!
I’d just like to add my voice to the support column. What a terrible crappy thing to say about a kid.
One of the hardest and most precious lessons I have learned so far in my life as a parent is that if we truly listen to our children, they will tell us what they need most. You clearly give that kind of loving support to your children. Thank you for sharing.
I LOVE your family and as a 42 year old mother of a 7 year old gender creative son, I look up to all of you. CJ is an inspiration. And I would think that even if my son wasn’t the same way. Lori, I’ve been reading your thoughts for years and it has helped me in ways I can’t express. You are one of my true guardian angels. Matt, you are 100000% what a father should be. I wish my son’s father could be half the man you are. CJ – You are perfectly you. And that is a beautiful thing. Thank you for being this “icon”, even if it’s hard sometimes.
You guys rock. For every one person who has something bad to say, you’ll find twenty that will compliment you all.
Who the hell even is James Woods? Someone irrelevant, apparently, and no one I care to know after seeing this. Love you guys!
I’m so sorry that you had to experience that. I saw that on The Talk and had no idea it was your family. However, I am so glad that it is being publicized because the more people know about the issue, the more this issue can get out there. I hope that you don’t experience something like this again.
Like others, I was horrified when I saw that ugly tweet. I’m so glad you have the support you have and that the backlash hasn’t convinced you to back out of the public eye. What you are doing is important and I’m grateful that you are doing it.
I am sorry that a sad old man with a smart phone could start all this unpleasantness. I am just hoping for your sake it passes soon and you can go back to dealing with the good stuff – family, friends, and what CJ plans to name his hotel when he grows up.
I am SO sorry to hear that this happened to you and your family. There are so many ignorant people, and unfortunately some of them are bullies. You should take pride in the fact that you are playing a very important part in educating, and by doing so will continue to have more and more people speak up, speak out and support you and all you stand for.
The love of your family and friends is stronger than anything this pathetic man can dish out.
Know that you are so loved! I am a kind person who has been reading your blog since day one. I want the world to be a better place and I know that CJ will be one of the biggest voices out there to make that happen. You’re on the right track. Love to you!
First I want to say that you are raising awareness and sounds to me like James Woods would rather you didn’t. He went on and on after on Twitter trying to defend himself and bringing out the “I worked with many gay people in theatre” chestnut. Like, somehow, he wants everyone to know he is not homophobic by berating and insulting and verbally abusing a kid. He went on to say he is only thinking of your son and that he will be abused and teased because of your acceptance of his gender fluidity. In other words, he doesn’t care that your son is gender creative but he just doesn’t want to see it. This alone tells you that what you are doing is so very necessary.
Life is short. Your kids grow up very very quickly. You are giving your son the love and support he will need to overcome people like James Woods. He will grow up to be knowing he was able to be the best individual he can be. He will grow up with out the fear to do what is in his heart.
Your path is not going to be easy, but you are paving the way for others to do the same and feel the support you do. Please know that your story has reached all over the globe and touched more people than you can fathom.
Thank you for giving the future generation a chance to be great.
I was horrified when I read James Woods remarks. I know from following your blog that you have my support as well and his remarks just go against the Commandments of God. “Though shall Love thy Neighbor as Thyself”. Mr. Woods should offer a personal and public apology to CJ and the entire family.
As a Christian transgender I can tell you it’s easier for people to hate than to love unconditionally. My Lord taught unconditional love and they crucified him. Even today when I post the only command Jesus makes in the New Testament. A command so important that he says it 3 times. That we love all people as he loves us, I’m met with judgment and condemnation from those who claim to be followers of Jesus. Hate is easy, loving unconditionally is hard. You have my support and have had it since I read your book and bought copies for friends and family. Unfortunately my family members refused to read it and hate who I am, which just proves my point.
Excellent point, Georgia. Based on that, then they really have shown they’re not really followers of Jesus. My brother in law is like that. He’s been too brainwashed by organized religion, that has its own reasons for taking this contrary position, that he can’t adequately think through what’s inherently wrong with it. Took a few verses out of millions of verses, and unequivocally states this is really how God thinks, yet doesn’t see the contradictions of what other verses say about how people should treat each other. Makes no sense to me.
I hope for a world where people like this man don’t exist and we can all just let each other live happily and how we want to.
Unfortunately Kristina, people like this will always exist. We can’t control what they think, or even act. But if we can get to the point where they can at least just keep their opinions to themselves, and simply let everyone else live their lives as happily as they can, then I’d consider that success in itself. That would I think be good enough for me.
I’d be happy with that as well.
I read your wonderful book, Raising my Rainbow, when it was first published and I have followed your blog ever since. My heart goes out to you all. I am outraged that someone as high profile as James Wood could stoop so low and join the ranks of Internet troll.
Making such a sweepingly cruel and nasty comment exposes him as the libellous bully he is and someone who needs to hide behind Twitter to stick his interfering knife into other people’s lives that he clearly knows nothing about.
James Wood should pick on people his own size; you and your family are way out of his league. He can carry on lambasting Trump with his outrageously insensitive Tweeting, but venting his nastiness on a 10-year-old child, is just so below the belt he has put himself right at the bottom of the Twitter trolling low life pile.
That’s just appalling. I’m sorry, Lori, that by trying to just parent a child who’s different, you guys — and especially your adorable son — end up targets of sick, twisted bullies like James Woods. I sure hope you’ve reported him to Twitter so they can block his hate speech, since that’s *exactly* what it was. It’s not funny and it just shows what a small man he really is.
Your kids are lucky to have such strong, supportive parents behind them. I hope they know, as they get older, just how special that is. You’re showing them every day by the way you love them, and they obviously know they’re loved. I’m glad CJ doesn’t know what that horrible man said about him, but I just feel sorry for him, to to think that that’s an acceptable thing to say to a 10-year-old child! So just keep doing what you’re doing because you’re doing a great job. You’ve got more folks behind you than you realize!
Yknow, I’ve said before, I’m an ally of yours. I mean your whole family. I also support trump, not for trump, but for being against all the bs politician nonsense, and lies that we’ve grown accustomed to. The hate mail or commentary is not just because all of a sudden trump’s here. Way too simplistic an explanation. This has been building a long time. Not just right haters. Look at the violence from the tolerant left. I’d love to have more of an in depth conversation with y’all about this, and of course this isn’t the venue. But I read the interview and I understand your point, but the comments that now your getting hate is because of the president change is not a linear nor a supported position. If you choose to delete this, I get it. But you just had a president, that whole he mouthed support for what you might also support, he said not one word about people killing cops for being cops, and I will never ever forgive his choice to divide us even further.
Lori, I’ve been reading your blog on and off since you started it, and followed C.J.’s growth through your eyes. It’s bad enough when someone (and I’m pulling my punches because it’s a family blog), famous or not, attacks a grown adult. But a 10-year-old? That crosses just so many lines that I don’t know where to begin. But I’m glad that so many people have rallied around you, that so many people have your backs. And I hope for nothing but the best for you and C.J. and Matt and the rest of your family. Keep fighting the good fight (though I hope all your fights are few to none). Be well.
I’m sorry that happened to your family. James Woods is acting like a school yard bully doing to your son & family what he accused you of subjecting him to. I would rather my children be themselves & be teased than to pretend they are someone they are not. Oh I guess Woods makes his living doing that so it’s not a big deal to him. Sad mean man. Hugs to you & yours
I am right now, this moment, on FB, arguing this exact point, between, biological sex and gender. The uneducated commentary is appalling. I think I’m making headway, albeit one starfish at a time. But you have allies. Don’t worry. It’s fine. Don’t get defensive, easier said than done. Just keep speaking the truth. In decades past the saying was WWJD, what would Jesus do? I know what he at least said. He said, forgive them father, they know not what they do. I’m getting better at understanding that point of view. I’m an Ally, Lori and Matt. A straight, conservative white guy, whom both of you taught so much to me. That may be yours, and my purpose here, this time around. That maybe good enough.