CJ (age 11) Accepts Award for LGBTQ Advocacy

At the LGBT Center Orange County’s 2018 Indigo Ball (the Center’s biggest event of the year!), our family was awarded the Torchbearer Award for shining a light for LGBTQ people, children and their families.

It was a night we’ll never forget; in large part because it was C.J.’s first time accepting an award for LGBTQ advocacy and giving a speech to a large crowd. (He also got to stay up late and wear his new hot pink, three-piece tux with rhinestone bow tie.)

Here’s the introduction C.J. received:

C.J. is an 11-year-old, fifth grader who lives in South Orange County and self-identifies as gender nonconforming and a member of the LGBTQ community.

An advocate for non-binary children, he has traveled to Washington D.C. to educate members of the American Academy of Pediatrics about working with gender expansive children and has appeared on The TODAY Show, The Chelsea Handler Show and The Doctors.

C.J. attends one of the largest elementary schools in Orange County, where he has been instrumental in making it the first school in the district to adopt a gender non-specific dress code. The dress code was used as a model for district-wide implementation last school year.

This school year, through a letter writing campaign, C.J. fought for and was successful in putting an end to sex and gender segregation during PE at his school and, then, across the all of the district’s elementary schools.

This June, C.J. will serve as grand marshal of OC Pride – making him the youngest grand marshal in pride history.

Here’s C.J.’s speech, which made my mama-heart burst:


And, finally, click here for a special, congratulatory message from Neil Patrick Harris and David Burtka!


About raisingmyrainbow

RaisingMyRainbow.com is a blog about the adventures in raising a fabulous, gender creative son.
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31 Responses to CJ (age 11) Accepts Award for LGBTQ Advocacy

  1. Riya says:

    Wow wonderful CJ

  2. Mike says:

    Can’t wait to see CJ in all his pride gear in the parade! This is really truly amazing!
    Happy Pride all!

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  8. Kendra Lee says:

    Congrats, CJ! Loved the speech!

  9. Yay C.J.!
    You deserve this!
    A heart felt thank you ❤

  10. Jodi Rinker says:

    NICE! Good job, buddy.

  11. Bennett / Sister Unity says:

    Right to the point! Well done, CJ! I adore that suit! What a striking, brilliant choice for his hair and coloring! I look forward to his company for years to come in the community and on the front lines of the struggle for equality and freedom for all.

  12. sandyfield49 says:

    Brought tears to my eyes. Lovely to see and hear 🙂

  13. bcato3000 says:

    Love Love Love!

  14. Mike says:

    Congrats CJ and family, its been a wild few months, lots of ups and downs. I just hope that there is much more ups in the future. That tux is fabulous

  15. AlphaMom says:

    Simply awesome!

  16. Christina says:

    Chills (in a good way!). Congratulations CJ and Duron family. You’re amazing!

  17. Just Awesome!
    CJ is an inspiration!

  18. peterdewit says:

    CJ is the tip of your family iceberg. Well done, Mom, Dad and big brother. ( I, Patricia DeWit, am writing from my husband’s account, as he is signed in and I can’t remember my password in order to sign in).

  19. Lance says:

    Congrats to you all and, CJ, that tux is awesome!

  20. Congratulations to CJ and family. Keep on with your wonderful efforts.

  21. mdaniels4 says:

    So much congratulations, duron family! Just to let you know, I’m on a number of blogs, very serious ones too. Point is a comment came against you. I defended, told why, apologies came. So you have many friends. And as you know, I’m a conservative patriot, yet understand what’s right. You have friends. Not to worry. Congrats to CJ, chase, you and Matt. Well done.

  22. Cathilee Sharretts says:

    I will watch this over & over! Congrats to CJ — well done! What special sons you & Matt are raising!

  23. Bret Green says:

    Wow! It was so great meeting the entire family. You are doing a great job!
    C.J. really is an amazing kid!
    My best to you all.

  24. bestpi says:

    Awesome, just awesome. And GRAND MARSHAL! whooHoo! Can’t wait. Well done ALL!

  25. Peewee says:

    Wonderful, its just Wonderful!
    CJ, you are Wonderful, your family is Wonderful!!!!!!

  26. Bill Harrison says:

    I’m so pleased to see this and to hear CJ give his speech! I’ve been thinking a lot about him lately following his huge disappointment about how he was rejected by classmates who he thought were his friends. I’m so glad to see this for many reasons, but that includes as counterpoint to all he’s been through lately. I hope we can get to O C Pride and see him there!

  27. Brandy Gibson says:

    OMG I just got goosebumps listening to this!!!!! WAY TO GO CJ!!!!!!

  28. Dan Woog says:

    The future is in GREAT hands!

  29. Kathleen says:

    He is so sweet and brave and fierce. Get ready world, CJ is all set!

  30. Helena Handbag says:


  31. samatwitch says:

    Congratulations to all four of you especially to CJ for his acceptance speech and being so active in his advocacy. You and Matt are doing such a great job raising your two sons and being shining examples of positive activism.

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