Gender Is Over

(Photo by Andrea Domjan)

My name is C.J. and I’m 13 years old. I am a member of the LGBTQ community. My gender identity is male and my gender expression is female. That means that I’m awesome. Just kidding. It means that I was identified male at birth and I like my male body and I prefer male pronouns, but the way I dress and the things I like are considered feminine (whatever that means). Another way to describe me is gender nonconforming or gender creative.

For as long as I can remember, I’ve liked all the stuff in the “pink aisles.” I’ve always known I’m different. I’ve always known that I’m not a “typical boy.” And, I’ve never really cared that I’m different. There is no part of me – not even a single part – that wants to be a “typical boy.” The thought of having to play baseball or wear boys’ clothes makes me cringe with sadness. It makes me feel like I’d be forced to do something I don’t want to do. Kids shouldn’t be forced to be something or someone who they aren’t. Kids should be able to be themselves.

(Photo by Andrea Domjan)

When people call me a girl or misgender me I don’t really care. To me, gender is over. Gender is so last year. But when someone tells you their preferred pronouns, you should use those pronouns. Just like when they tell you their name and you use it.

When I was little, like five or six years old, I wanted to be a girl. I never felt like I was a girl or like I was supposed to be a girl. That means that I’m not transgender. I don’t feel like I’m in the wrong body. I feel like I’m in the right body. I’m just me.

I know transgender people who have transitioned. I’m happy for people who transition because it means they are being their authentic self, but transitioning isn’t for me.

My advice for younger kids like me is that it’s going to be okay. Just be yourself. People will learn to like you the way you are. You aren’t weird, you’re just different. And being different is awesome!

(Photo by Andrea Domjan)

My parents have always been supportive. They’ve always let me be who I am. My advice to parents who have a kid like me is they should let their kid be who they were born to be. It’s okay. There’s nothing wrong with your child. You need to learn to accept it, because you aren’t going to be able to change it. And, if you try to change it, you’re just making your child upset. You’re probably making yourself upset, too. And, your child might grow up to not love themselves. Everyone should love themselves.

I hate it when people say that my parents are forcing me to be the way I am. It’s seriously so stupid. How could my parents be forcing me to do things that I really, truly want to do? That makes no sense. I am being me. One hundred percent. And, at this point, I don’t care who sees me being me.

(Photo by Andrea Domjan)

I haven’t always felt that way. I’ve been bullied, badly, but I’ve always come out stronger. Bullies aren’t going to get me to stop being me.

I think it’s important for people – including bullies and haters – to see me because people need to see there are kids like me out there. Gender creative kids need to see other kids like themselves. The more people see people like me, the less “different” we are and the more they accept people like me. Besides, I’m not ashamed of who I am.

Some of my favorite things are doing makeup, hanging out with friends and watching Queer Eye with my family. When I grow up I want to be a makeup artist and maybe a stylist. I love making people feel beautiful.

(Photo by Andrea Domjan)

I also want to be an advocate for the LGBTQ and nonbinary communities. My mom says that if you are in a position to help other people, you should. So that’s what I do.

I helped make my elementary school the first school in the district to adopt a dress code that wasn’t gender specific. One year later, the dress code was used as a model at every elementary school in the district. That’s 26 schools!

Through meetings and email campaigns, I got my school district to stop sex/gender segregation in elementary school PE classes and to stop having special event dress codes that were illegal because they discriminated against gender creative students.

If I can see a way to make life better and easier for gender creative people, I always try to do it.

Being kind, sticking up for others and not being a jerk. That’s what life is all about.

## #

About raisingmyrainbow

RaisingMyRainbow.com is a blog about the adventures in raising a fabulous, gender creative son.
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379 Responses to Gender Is Over

  1. josephinelivin says:

    Beautifully written. And such an important message! 🙂

  2. SOWZ says:

    I just absolutely adore every word of this. THANK YOU for being you C.J.!!!!

  3. Tasha Moser says:

    Amazing my child is gender fluid it’s a hard adjustment but I am doing my best to be supportive

  4. Ufra Shahid says:

    Such a wonderful and lively story.. Respect for you!

  5. Tanya Arora says:

    loved your message, may you keep blossoming beautiful soul.

  6. Jiya Ahuja says:

    This is such an important message. You’re an inspiration. You go girl! 🙂

  7. Pingback: Confessions of a gay – Sir Ralton

  8. Pingback: Gender Is Over

  9. Mynah says:

    CJ, you are such an amazing kid. Thank you for helping me discover gender creativity!

  10. Oh my God! This is such a beautiful post! I am new to WordPress and was looking for some amazing people to follow and you,my friend,will be my first follow. Keep up the good work. 🥂

  11. Jenna says:

    I loved reading this post! Thank you for opening my eyes to another person’s perspective. Blessings to you and your family!

  12. lora199709 says:

    Wonderful story and history of being yourself in this world. And keep going this way 🙂

  13. snehal says:

    Being you is the best thing in life.

  14. You are so beautiful 😍❤️, and I love your wording, ‘gender is over’, so cool

  15. Brenda says:

    C.J., thank you for sharing your story with us. Each time you share with others, it gives them an opportunity for understanding how diverse and precious each human life is. I grieve that you have been bullied and hurt. God says you are “wonderfully made”. And you are.

  16. khairul anwar bin zainal abidin says:

    Good ur text personality great.
    Very Nice gurl..
    Good luck..best your life..
    Thank you..

  17. stweddle says:

    Beautifully written. Best wishes to you and your future from the UK. xxx

  18. Okoye Jane says:

    CJ! This is such an impressive message, though not many parents will take to it and take their children’s genders for what they are. Well said, bravo!

  19. You are awesome and so inspirational 🙂

  20. Jayven says:

    I agree ! I am like you. I am a 9 year old boy.

  21. This was touching..
    Lets all give CJ hugs,he deserves it.
    You are truly inspirational.
    .
    .
    http://awritersblock.art.blog/2020/03/13/love-is-lovedont-be-blinded-by-society/

  22. JOSEPH Edwards says:

    Thank you for your post that was eloquently written. I agree 💯 percent. My child is transgender, which is fine with me. I just want him to live his best life. Keep writing because you are a positive light for this subject.

  23. Joni G ❣️ says:

    I know you are an awesome person and I for one sincerely appreciate a slice of your life story.
    We can all use knowledge & this is vital and heartfelt information to remind people to just be kind 🌸

  24. Very best of luck to you and all you wish for, God be with you.

  25. I stan. You are amazing! 😉💕

  26. Rhiannon says:

    Be yourself is a great idea. We are living in complicated times with ne words we often do not understand, than we need others to tell the meaning.
    In USA it is easier than in Europe living the own way.

    You are great!

  27. Fey says:

    This is wonderful and enlightening.

  28. Sharon says:

    C.J. I just want to say that you are a special person and I’m very proud that you are you. Keep being strong and true to you.
    Peace and love,
    Sharon Kirkham

  29. This is good!! Keep writing! Keep encouraging!

  30. I love your dress sense… And more power to you.

  31. Nora. W says:

    This is such an inspiring article and I respect how you feel. One of my friend said that if her kid were to act like you she would kick them out of the house now I don’t talk to her as much cause I think that her opinion matters but thats the wrong one.

  32. taikisy says:

    Awesome

  33. You striked many arrows with one bow! Strong arrows to the chronological mind of all!

  34. Derrick says:

    Good luck. With. Everything. You may do in life!!
    It is not. ,really easy ,being. Human, for an UH one. !
    Love is why we are here! Never give up on your hope!
    You are young. ,so enjoy being a kid!!
    My grandfather told me that years ago!!
    Then my grandmother ,said dont get old!!
    I tried not to get old i failed that! Well, what im saying is , lifes never ,going to be easy, Just be you!!
    All the best!!

  35. Sandy Kaplan says:

    What an awesome kid. Being different is wonderful. Being unique is wonderful. Let’s all learn to embrace everyone for who they are.

  36. Elisabeth says:

    thank you! Our family is navigating supporting our gender nonconforming 5 year old who *we think* identifies as a boy, but dresses in sparkles and skirts. So much of this resonates with me and it makes my heart so happy to hear of kids having the space to explore and express their gender identity in whatever way is authentic to them. 🙂

  37. Gorgeous and strong 💞💞

  38. bmommyx2 says:

    Bravo CJ. I’ve been following your story though this blog on & off since you were little. I have a 13 yr old son who when we was little loved all thinks frilly & foofy, pink & purple, my other so loved to wear tutus & butterfly wings. While they have outgrown these things, they have each kept their own sense of what they like & don’t like, they are their own people and I couldn’t be more proud. I personally don’t believe “stuff” needs to have a gender especially books, toys & colors. Hugs from me & keep being yourself, I love being a girl / woman, but honestly I have no interest in many “typical” girly things, I hate to wear dresses & make up so really we should celebrate our individuality. Not everyone is brave enough to share their innermost self with the world, be proud that you are comfortable enough to.

  39. Alice Teeple says:

    You do you! I love your story and your photos and your attitude. Keep it up, you’re amazing. lots of love from Alice

  40. Jana says:

    You are officially my favorite blogger now. I just shared every word with my non-binary 9 year old!

  41. Pingback: Sample School Dress Codes | Raising My Rainbow

  42. I think this was needed to be written . you did it.

  43. iamhopenow says:

    You are spectacular ♡♡♡

  44. K Finn says:

    Thank you so much for this! I’ve never read anything that so accurately describes my own son’s outlook on life. He’s about to turn seven. He loves dresses and makeup and anything pink and sparkly. He has only made comments about wanting to be a girl once or twice, and he made it clear he wasn’t being literal. He just meant that as a girl, surrounding himself with the things that make him feel authentic, confident, and beautiful, wouldn’t be such an uphill battle. He’s proud to be a boy. He’s proud to be a person who knows what he likes and isn’t afraid to go against societal norms. I’m amazed by how difficult this is for many people to understand. Even when he is wearing traditional “boy” clothes, strangers will call him a “little lady” because of his long hair. Their intent is kind and pure. They truly think he’s a girl. He isn’t shy about correcting them, but his loud and clear “I’m a boy, actually” is completely ignored. It’s as though they are incapable of accepting it. Their ears or their brains reject the message. They chuckle nervously and go on using female pronouns like it was never said. He asserts himself again, and again they brush it off like he is mistaken. He finally gives up. Thank you to C.J. and everyone out there who is working to break through this mindset that gender identity and expression will always align themselves into the same tight, rigid, familiar, neatly packed pink or blue box.

  45. Such an important message. My now adult niece is asexual and has been trying to explain this to people for years. People just need to accept rather than try to make others conform.

  46. Abbott Carlson says:

    Hello! I think you are so cool considering your age. I’m only 11 but you look so strong. I was wondering what state you live in. I tried to email you but when I typed in your name, your name didn’t show up. Very cool! -Abbott Carlson Madison Wisconsin

  47. अवंतिका says:

    This is soothing and important. Thanks for putting this up!

  48. Nella says:

    Respect 💖

  49. Joe Postove says:

    CJ, I appreciate your individuality more than anything else, and as you grow older and stay as you are or transition from there, I hope you always live life for your own sake and not for the sake of others.

    I also hope (and think you do) understand how difficult it may be for some of us to take this in. But we will, we will have too, whether we like or not, as long as we want to live in a free society.

    At your age, you should be able to make many of the decisions that help define your future. And I think you will accept that some will never really understand or accept you, and in a free culture that promotes individualism and liberty you will appreciate it.

    I wish you all good in your path. You may indeed be a leading light to others who find themselves as the minority, misunderstood by the rest of us.

  50. Solarayo says:

    Yes!! Keep being true to the awesome you. It’s about time the world left behind all the bigoted idiots and focused on celebrating how unique and awesome we all are in our own ways.

  51. ankitrituraj says:

    Good writing. Absolutely loved it.

  52. Vibrant Vision says:

    You’re an inspiration. Loving yourself the way you are is always a great thing I believe and you have shown that courage. Go ahead. Best wishes.

  53. Pingback: Gender Is Over — Raising My Rainbow – Tijanboy

  54. Cathy Cade says:

    With you 100 percent! Stick with it.

  55. Kristen says:

    I LOVE this soo much!!! You are so strong at your age!! Im so very sorry anyone has ever bullied you but ever so happy that your parents have let you be who you are, and so what makes you happy! It shouldnt be hard for ANY parent to be that way, and is so unfair, and breaks my heart when most people that are part of the LGBTQ+ community DONT have support from their family. YOU are a GIFT to this world! Keep being authentic, keep your head up because there is no judgement out there that matters. Only Love! And you keep glowing, you will draw people to you like light &&&&&& you are AMAZINGGGG!!!!

    Sending love,
    (Mother of 5 sons and a lesbian who realized it very late in life)

  56. Erin says:

    I love this! CJ, you are so smart and beautiful. Way beyond your years! I wish all adults could read this and hear your voice. Your parents are to be commended for raising someone so amazing! I’m sure they are so proud of you!
    Best wishes to you in everything you do, my young friend. 💗

  57. Jenn says:

    Thank you for writing and sharing this. I’m going to read it to a kid who I love dearly who is a lot younger than you and who is feeling very alone. Reading this will help them feel less alone. Thank you.

  58. 江尚寒 says:

    Anyway,being yourself makes you beautiful and clever. Because only yourself can keep together to you,not any other people or things. So we should keep ourselves happy Y(^_^)Y

  59. Sana says:

    The way you shine as you are and help others do so to is incredible! Keep it up!

  60. Lindsey says:

    Hi, CJ! I think it’s awesome thaty you’re living your life the way you want to be! I’m 36 and finally finding my own truth (AMAB trans woman) and I think it’s wonderful that people are figuring it out younger and younger. 🙂

    I do want to clarify one thing you said, in case some of your readers are not super well-versed in the trans experience. Not all trans people feel like they are “in the wrong body”. This is true for a lot of trans folx, yes, but not all of us have that feeling. Not all of us KNEW we were trans from a young age. I wanted to be a girl SO bad, but no one ever told me that WANTING is enough to BE. Here’s a really great write-up explaining that difference: https://medium.com/@kemenatan/gender-desire-vs-gender-identity-a334cb4eeec5 On a similar note, not all of us experience “gender dysphoria”, but a lot do. There’s no one right way to be trans and I wanted to make sure that you and your readers understand that.

    I want to be clear, though, that I am not saying that because you “wanted to be a girl at 5 or 6” that you ARE a girl or you ARE trans. Only you can decide that. I just wanted to make sure you know that you are free to be who and what you want. Best of luck on your continued journey!

  61. What an extraordinary young person you are ❤🧡💛💚💙💜 incredibly enlightened. congratulations on being determined to be who you are, and you are beautiful…..it shows on your face. Such a wise blog post. I hope everyone who reads it is inspired to be who they are and accept others who are who they are.

  62. Claire S. says:

    What a beautiful post with a beautiful message!

  63. Mars says:

    Wow, you’re awesome, and really beautiful kid! I bet you’ll do some really neat political work as your grow up, given what you’ve already accomplished. Thanks for writing this! ❤

  64. Amanda says:

    You are beautiful inside and out. Keep shining.

  65. leo303 says:

    You are not different but you are special !

  66. patti59 says:

    CJ is so awesome. It is very important yhe people realize that boys can be Feminine but yet still be boys!

  67. Ab says:

    You’re amazing. This post lit up my day. Thanks for sharing! 😀

  68. lot of respect for you for accepting yourself as who your are

  69. Selena says:

    Thank you, thank you for this beautiful expression and words of encouragement. So young and so wise. I can’t wait to share this with one of my lovely children.

  70. hoffenhope says:

    It’s great to know that you’re being the change and speaking up for yourself!!!
    Sometimes people are scared to be the change ….Thanks for being an example for them ..Your simply pulchritudinous!!😊

  71. Lisa says:

    I support you !
    This is really well said.thankyou

  72. Sarah Sharp says:

    I’ve always felt the same way about pronouns. It’s simple respect.

  73. FuzzYdicE says:

    Wow, this went deep! I like the presentation, very engaging. A very powerful message.

    Way to go C.J.!

  74. Cj your such an inspiration for all of us. Being 13 years old your words sounds like a therapist. Proud of you!!!

  75. ld Decker says:

    CJ!
    You are fantastic! And your parents are equally great for letting you be “you”!
    ldd – a big old “bear” in Canada!

  76. Tara says:

    You are an inspiration CJ!

  77. Amy says:

    CJ,

    You will succeed in helping people be their beautiful selves because YOU are a beautiful human being through and through.

    Good luck in all you do!

  78. DJLonSVGA says:

    Great read kid. I enjoyed hearing your words. Life will probably always be hard for you because there are more people in the world that suck compared to people who don’t, but if you stay with the same attitude I just read about you will come out on top.

  79. Wonderful words and wisdom! Keep going, lovely!

  80. Samantha says:

    This is an amazing post 🙂 such an important message! You know who you want to be and help others understand why.

    • Sarah says:

      You are beautiful, inside and out. Thank you for this. It is a lovely expression of your experience. Always be you! You are making positive change to the world, setting an amazing example.

  81. Richard M. says:

    CJ you are absolutely right. I’m in my thirties now, but I remember feeling the same way as I was growing up. I couldn’t figure out why my dad got so angry when I dressed up in my mom’s dress with poofie sleeves and shoulder pads (we’re talking about the 80s here, LoL).)

    Pink is a beautiful color. So is blue. Just in case you aren’t aware, the whole “boys wear blue and girls wear pink” was a scheme thought up and launched by the clothing industries to sell more clothes.

    I say, “If you look good – and feel good – in it, wear whatever the h*ll you like.” High heels and wigs were worn by our founding fathers for heaven’s sake!

    It sounds like you have a great support. And you are lucky to have such a “woke” mom. Cherish her, always. And, always keep your chin up. Life is too short – AND LONG – to be unhappy.

    • Cassie Whitehorne says:

      It used to be all children wore white dresses until the age of 6/7, then started wearing skirts or pants. Blue was a girl’s colour, deemed feminine and delicate, pink was for boys, as it was seen as closer to red and a stronger more dominant colour.
      All changed after the world wars, when clothing companies decided to change everything.

      • bmommyx2 says:

        From what I’ve read it was the advertising agencies who started the gender marketing. I have photos of my grandfathers & as babies in dresses, easier to change diapers. Photos of my dad & grand dad & they had long curls, even the clothing was more girly.

  82. Great message for everyone and inspiration to me. I have just started blogging and find your articles very helpful. Great work.

  83. clomidel says:

    You are beautiful in a handsome way💎💐

  84. Dallas says:

    Thanks for sharing your story, CJ! But I had to chuckle at how times have changed. My parents wouldn’t let me wear make up at 13, and I am a girl! 🙂

  85. Loved this post😍😍. A very beautiful and courageous story.❤️

  86. Pingback: Gender is over (raisingmyrainbow) – Storyline

  87. Holly West says:

    What a wonderful article. You are beautiful inside and out. Your words are inspiring. I am a 66-year-old grandmother of 4 and I would be proud to have you as a grandson. Keep being you and stay happy.

  88. CJ, I’m so inspired by your words. I’m 13 years old too, and it’s amazing to see people of my age being so brave and not changing themselves to suit others.
    Lots of love,
    Ritisha❤️

    • mqr says:

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  89. Stephanie Thai says:

    BeYOUtiful! You inspire hope and bravery on my own journey with gender nonconformity and my children’s journey with their gender nonconformity. “Raising My Rainbow” was the first book I read when my son started preferring dresses and it was such a supportive resource. My son is 5 and loves dresses, wigs, sparkles, hearts…traditionally more “feminine” things. And we are challenging those ideas full force. Thank you for showing up so luminously in this world and helping to encourage the much needed change we all need! We love you and your family, C.J. ❤️

  90. bentrein says:

    Enjoy every day that you know who you are. I haven’t the faintest idea who I am. Sure, my body is male, I identify as male, and like make things. That is, for me, the easy part, and I consider myself lucky. But there it ends – what do I do with this life? Who am I in this world. Not a clue. I envy you, in a way.
    And I agree that binary gender is over – and we should just all use ‘they’ as pronoun – for everybody. No more discussion.

  91. you rock! Keep doing you! Always be happy being who you are. Always hold on to your true self!!

  92. Beth says:

    Good job CJ! Keep spreading the message and people you touch will too.

    Every time I sign up my kids for camp or another program, I get irritated at that little, required check box asking their gender. Who cares? Will it actually make difference in the planning of the program?

    Take care!

  93. samina says:

    Beautiful arricle. I like the term gender creative

  94. Check out shforum.org. St Helena Forum on Gender Matters on May 1,2,3
    St Helena Ca.

  95. Michael says:

    A beautiful story. A courageous story as well. I’m so impressed that young people like her and Greta are demonstrating such great leadership for all of us. Like seeks diversity 🌈

  96. Pingback: CJ Duron Gender-Creative Teen Explains Why Gender Is Over – Fidar News

  97. Katrina says:

    Hi CJ, This is a lovely blog piece! I wonder if you’ve ever had any acting aspirations? We’re currently in search of a lead performer for a film about a kid who is bullied because their gender identity isn’t clear. No experience is required in order to submit. Information on how to submit an audition tape can be found here: https://www.beforeichangemymind.com/casting

  98. I actually came across this post on Facebook and shared it the other day, and then while exploring WordPress today, here it is! Everything happens for a reason, I believe.

    Anywho, LOVED this post. Such incredible perspective. Such an inspiring message. Thank you for sharing

  99. Pingback: 13-Year-Old Who Is Gender Creative Has the Best Explanation For Why “Gender Is Over” - Instanextpost

  100. tsandhage says:

    This is perfect and I will Love when this becomes the norm in our society. The entire world will be a better place when we drop all antiquated rules about how people have to act, dress, think, etc. Let Love be the guide in every situation. 💞

  101. Ricky says:

    Good for yuu’dear be and stay who yu qre. Alw and any1 whoo cares ll respect yurr thots and opinions!! TAKE CARE!!!

  102. mirasjr says:

    heya really creative and motivating….

    here’s a hand extended for a lifetime friendship 🙂

  103. Emily Rose says:

    You go Girl!! CJ continue being strong and brave and just being YOU!! That’s the best part of life..you can choose how you want to spend it…I have a tiny request..Can you go follow my blog?..I am new to blogging and it would really encourage and support me…anyone who sees this I hope you go follow my blog and like my posts..I have six so far..thank you very much..
    XOXO,
    Emily rose

    • aliceb1234567 says:

      Did you notice that the first thing you did was call him a girl and he plainly states in the first paragraph the importance of pronounce in those who identify as gender creative, and that he uses male ones? Being more aware and honoring of others’ unique circumstances and less hurried to get support for your own blog could help you. Good luck!

      • Lisa says:

        Give people a little time to adjust. This is totally new to a lot of people who have been raised with and living with dividing people into the genders, some for decades! It’s a tough habit to break and mistakes will be made. Have patience with us.

      • Nella says:

        Often we teach what we have to learn.. being less hurried and taking the time to check your grammar.. I think you mean pronouns not pronounce.. but hey we all make mistakes 😉

  104. Thank you for your post. It is helpful as I try to understand the way my son experiences life.

  105. Jen says:

    Thank you for sharing and helping others to understand. Sharing your story will help others not feel alone. I agree that parents and the world should accept their children for who they are❤️

  106. Alex says:

    My kid is just like you: gender creative. He’s sure he’s a boy, he is he, he likes his body as it is and he just wants to wear a lot of pink, a lot of leopard print, and a lot of lip gloss! Anyway thanks for being a role model and advocate – you make it easier for him bc you are so awesome.

  107. Stacie Ballard says:

    Amazing you have done so much already so I can’t wait to see what you do as you continue to get older. So proud of you this is a fantastic message. 💕🌈

  108. You are you and I see it the way you tell us your story. I just love your words.

  109. Kathleen Ann Bianco says:

    When I read this whole story I cried…not because I was saddened by the story but because I was so proud of this person who chooses to be who they are, right now, early in their life. I am so proud of you! Be an advocate for others, yes, raise your voice and let others hear you and spread these thoughts to everyone. You should hold your head high and be proud of who you are. What a fantastic individual you are and good luck for your future endeavors. Follow your dreams, your path. What wonderful parents you have. I have a cousin who is lettering her child be who they are too and I am proud of them as well.

  110. Marilou says:

    Way to lead, CJ! You’re an inspiration.

    Would love to see the dress code for schools as well! Our high school has come a long way, but middle schools in our district are still struggling.

  111. Talia says:

    Love this!! My kids and I have also enjoyed watching Glow Up on Netflix, I think you’d like it too.

  112. I love this. So wise. Such a beautiful post. So much inspiration, and so much courage. Keep writing, and keep fighting for your rights and yourself! I believe in you! It doesn’t matter what anyone else has to say, you are beautiful! Thank you!!

  113. John van Kleef says:

    Dear C.J.

    Thank you for sharing your story, your feelings, your life. You are wonderful. I can identify with you. Sometimes I wish I was born 40 years later. In my youth blue was for boys and pink was for girls. There was no room for personal choice, preference or feelings. I too was born into the ‘male’ gender, and I am very comfortable with my male body. But I too choose to wear more ‘feminine’ (as society defines it) cloths. Not the what’s known as typical cross-dressing, but tasteful choices, style and accents. Luckily, I am now at an age that it doesn’t bother me any more what other people think. I am a good, kind, sensitive and caring person.

    You look absolutely beautiful in all of the pictures in this blog post. Be proud of yourself, be faithful to yourself and never let anyone take that away from you!

    Love from the Netherlands,

    John

  114. Chele Schmidt says:

    I am seriously in awe of who you are and will continue to be. This is well written and conveys that you are already so mature and strong, and seems you will be a force to reckon with!

  115. Hi, I know there is so much confusion on this topic. But i would like to stress the fact thar I am a girl andI was born a girl. I lived in a neighborhood with many boys. i like girl stuff but I also like boy stuff. I used to wear boy sneakers and boy jeans in junior high school. I also like girl stuff to. i am very mechanically inclined and also worked with men in a mans field. But i consider myself a girl in everyway. I liked girls in school becausee I wanted to be just like them and i wasn’t into dating boys. Just so you know… and I’m not trying to be mean or say anything bad. But the person that you were meant to be with may not be here for a long time, and some people think just because they cant find that special somone , they believe they are gay. I found a special person at 24. I got married ,i got divorced. I have been divorced for 15 years now and I haven’t found that special person. my advice is don’t make any choices about who you are until you are 21. Children in school have a way of making you feel bad and just because you aren’t like them. You are specical and don’t need to be like anyone else. Just because you like girl things and clothes doesn’t mean you are gay or a girl. You asa boy should like girl things and like how they dress because you are attracted to girls. Remember think first. Don’t define who you are . We can have interst on both sides. God Bless you!

  116. Ronita Knight says:

    Thankyou C.J. You are definitely awesome and it is wonderful to read such a clear and passionate voice for freedom to live without stereotypes and to be oneself. I love the term gender creative! May your future be joyful!
    Ronita

  117. JStom says:

    Your heart comes across beautifully.
    I feel privileged to have read your words.
    How lucky your parents are you chose them!
    Keep shining sweet love!!!

  118. You’re awesome Gender is like everything else… you are who YOU are. As long as YOU know who you are, then you’ve got it!!! Sounds like you’re an amazing HUMAN BEING!

  119. 💯♥️‼️ I would say so… I have just discovered I am intersex. I’m no longer identifying as a transgender woman and taking spironolactone out of my diet. I was crazy while I was ignoring the half of me that is also real. I am on the way to walk to walk in clinic now to make sure that my mental health stays OK. We may be destroying lives by illuminating half of the equation. Sometimes the coin can stop by on the edge. The improbability complex: is real.

    #HeavenOnEarth

    Whatever this CJ person is saying they are that is what I said when I was four. Please listen to this kid because my life was destroyed by not being able to be them. I am being the same person. My body has the male body but my gender expression or whatever that was is the other side. I am the Nexus about possibilities and when we put me on spironolactone it crushes the man portion and I am an android of evil. Let me live like this person does.

  120. johnranjit says:

    CJ – You are awesome , it opened some parts of my brain to think from different perspective, you have an another faithful follower from today onwards .

  121. Lynn says:

    So beautifully said! Thanks.

  122. Biya Bajwah says:

    Cj, you are so pretty and intelligent. ❤️

  123. Dwight Rowan says:

    I have a hard time believing this was written by a thirteen-year old, but that is neither here nor there…this is a brilliant little snippet showing just how ridiculous it is to think we can box the younger generations into the gender conformities of yesteryear. To learn CJ is brave enough to just be who they are and to learn they have parents that fully support this is nothing but hope for everyone.

  124. JV says:

    Great article, thanks for opening up my perspective on gender.

  125. Fred says:

    Your thoughts and feelings are wonderfully expressed, giving to others an encouraging personal example of healthy self-affirmation and unusual reflective maturity for your age. As a next step, I’d like to encourage you to explore gender identity and expressions in other cultures, where social traditions and pressures can vary enormously. Personal identity is not just a personal thing; it often has social risks and costs that make an already difficult challenge even more so. Finding a way to authentic selfhood is a lifelong creative process, and you’re off to a wonderful start on the path. Thanks for opening a window into your life and heart and for having the difficult courage to live beyond stereotypes.

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  127. Natalie lalich says:

    Oh my god! CJ is such an amazing example someone standing out for who they are! Thank you CJ, you are a wonderful person and I wish we could all model our view on these things after what you believe in!

  128. Jane Kleiman says:

    I wish every adult in the world would read this. From the words of your son, it isn’t at all complicated and there is no arguing with the basic logic of a child who knows exactly what they are talking about!
    Is there any way you might share the dress code that isn’t gender specific? I’ve been trying to get my daughter’s school to be non-punitive toward only female gendered dress and they changed it for a bit, but it went back to punishing female gendered clothing violations. . I’d love to be able to show them an example. Thanks for being a shining example of what human beings can be if we get out of our own way and let love lead!

  129. woepwoep says:

    your posting was mentioned in the comment area of a Dutch magazine
    The article below is from a non-binary person Valentijn de Hingh, who started as a journalist for De Correspondent. Perhaps an English translation will follow at TheCorrespondent.com.
    https://decorrespondent.nl/10971/ik-ben-valentijn-de-hingh-man-noch-vrouw-en-jullie-nieuwe-correspondent-identiteit/

    • Hugs from Afar says:

      It’s: you go, boy.
      He is a male, likes male pronouns and he just likes to dress like a female. It’s in the first couple of sentences. 😊

  130. cxr444 says:

    Some people feel insecure about themselves and that changes them, not physically but mentally. Some people let all the bullying get to them and get affected by it, bringing out the extreme case of suicide. Some people suffer from depression, others anxiety, but not you. After everything you lived, you were able to stand up and say no to everyone who bullied you. You’re really a wonder. Take good care of yourself, people like you, so true to themselves, are rare to find. Keep that lovely personality of yours

  131. Barb says:

    Thank you, CJ, for such an understandable explanation. Your parents must certainly be proud of what a well-spoken person you are.
    When I was little I wanted to be a boy, but mainly because it would’ve been more convenient when I needed to pee when I was out riding my horse. Also because I hated wearing dresses (which were required for school back then). People called me a tomboy but it wasn’t something bully someone about. Unfortunately, boys didn’t/ don’t have that kind of freedom of expression.

  132. Jeanette says:

    You are amazing! And your correct about gender being over, it should have been years ago. It’s very brave and courageous of you to advocate for your community. It will cause positive change. My 30yo daughter doesn’t believe me how hidden being gay was in the 80’s and Elton John and Freddie Mercury his their authentic self from the world! It’s not that long ago people of colour and women were discriminated against and now USA had a black President! with strong, awesome souls like yourself hopefully soon all children can “just be”.
    I’m hard to impress but you’ve impressed me! You go rainbow raiser!
    Jeanette from Perth xx

  133. Colette Wood says:

    Dear CJ,
    You are a self confident and mature young person educating others. Thank you for being open and sharing your feelings. I would be so proud of you if you were my child . . . keep being yourself, you will go far.

    Colette

  134. Linda Kucinski says:

    Excellent piece. I’d love to see the document for gender neutral uniforms and such. Thank you for being true to yourself and sharing this message of strength with others.

  135. Madison says:

    Hey CJ, you are a rock star and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise!! I wish I had known at 13 the way I was supposed to be… took me another 34 to figure it out.
    Have you thought about doing any makeup tutorial videos, because you’re skills are beyond top shelf! I know there’s plenty I could learn from you.

  136. wmloving says:

    Dear C.J., I shared this brave and lovely article on my Facebook page and received a comment from my grandmother-in-law. She tends to think that when she reads a piece like this, that her comment will be seen by the author, so I’m posting it here for you to read. For context, she is 84 and grew up poor in Boston. She’s had many difficult experiences in her life but has kept hope. She has definitely been affected by having her a queer granddaughter (who I happen to be married to). Here’s her note to you:

    “The best to you, C.J. I read your note, and just want to say,,,I stand behind you…..I think ,,,,it must have been very difficult for you, Maybe uncomfortable,,,maybe not. But your decision should be yours and yours only… our lives are nobody’s business but our own,,,,,,we all have to be comfortable in what we want to be. Gay,straight,,,,or whatever. C.J…you are beautiful,,,,and you have soul. The best to you…Sending Love from Cape Cod, Mass. God Bless you”

  137. wmloving says:

    Dear CJ, I posted this article on my Facebook page and got this response from my grandmother-in-law. I’m posting it here because she thought that by writing on my FB page you might see it… Use for context, she’s 84 and had a difficult life but has kept a lot of hope and also been changed by her queer granddaughter who I happened to be married to.

    The best to you, C.J. I read your note, and just want to say,,,I stand behind you…..I think ,,,,it must have been very difficult for you, Maybe uncomfortable,,,maybe not. But your decision should be yours and yours only… our lives are nobody’s business but our own,,,,,,we all have to be comfortable in what we want to be. Gay,straight,,,,or whatever. C.J…you are beautiful,,,,and you have soul. The best to you…Sending Love from Cape Cod, Mass. God Bless you 🕊🙏🕊🙏💞🎶🌹👍❤️🌈👋🎉🐈🐄🎸😇🇮🇹🇮🇹

  138. Beth says:

    You go, CJ! Be the best non-conforming you that you be!!! The world needs as many like you expressing your uniqueness as we can get. Thank you for sharing your glorious self with the world. ❤️

  139. Petra says:

    Love to you from me and my enby teen. You ROCK!

  140. Valerie Amici says:

    You are brave. It is important to be who you are. Being kind, thoughtful, and loving is more important to me than anything else. Not everyone is the same. I think that is a good thing.

  141. Echoe says:

    THIS is why I am against ‘gender reveals’ at baby showers, blue and pink are colours and anyone can like and enjoy them.. 👧 👦 👦 👧 Guys can have long hair, girls can have short, men where tunics, kaftans, dresses and skirts in many countries and women wear pants/trousers, boxers, shorts. Men are shamed for being too compassionate and sweet ‘soft’ and women are criticised for being too ‘hard’ straight forward and direct. #Thereisnogender – Echoe Revivify

  142. Steve Flaherty says:

    As a father of 3 and as a Youth Director for a large church Youth Group I’m so happy to read this article!!!! It’s great to learn from you CJ and to see you being who you are. I love the idea that gender is over. People are people, we aren’t a gender or a word, we are each individual and amazing.

    Thanks for being awesome! I look forward to sharing your writing with our teens in the Youth Group I run and with my 3 younger kids at home!

  143. Shawnda says:

    I love your spirit! Keep being your authentic self!!

  144. Teresa says:

    I’m a mom of 2 and just here to say I am proud od you and you’re one cool kid!!

  145. Silke says:

    Thank you for being you and for sharing about it!
    I have loved both dressing and acting male and dressing and acting female – but that has been easy for me because I have been born a woman (and I would not have it any other way!) … it will be great when we all are able to freely express ourselves ❤

  146. Cynthia says:

    Any chance other people you know in the LGBTQ community would be willing to write similar letters so we can get a better understanding of the nuances within the community? I’m one of those people who accept all no matter what but being able to understand their specific positions and what that means to their hopes, desires, preferences, etc would be so helpful!!

  147. allisonayala says:

    Reblogged this on StarSongReiki And Astrology and commented:
    As a mom of a non-binary, gender non-conforming child, this young person’s message is like medicine to my soul. Thank you.

  148. Sarah says:

    Wow! You did such a great job sharing part of your journey and helping to educate people. Thank you for being you and for inspiring others to shine authentically.

  149. Guido von Fragstein says:

    Hi, this a comment from pretty far away, Europe, Germany. I just read your article, and to say it moves my hard would be an understatement. I even had a sad feeling partially because it seems to me, you have the childhood that I never had the chance to have. You can be proud for your parents, they are really great. I am 50 years old now, and I even to start 10 ago to find out why I never was able to see myself as male. When I was young, some of my friends were gay, and I always felt good with those guys, first because they were good friends, but also because I could see that I am different too. But back in the 80’s there were literally not even a word in any language to discribe how I felt about my body and my feelings. Some years ago I learned about queernes I realized immediately that I’m up to something here. I finally understand myself a little better and humans like you made this possible. I just wanted say thank and to encurate you to keep up the good habit of beeing yourself. You make the world a better place.

  150. Sheryl says:

    I think this is fairly accurate of Kettrick’s experience

  151. meghlion says:

    Dear c. J. I think you are natural and it’s help you and another person who are behaves like you but not think clearly like you once again thanks for writing the article DEVRAJSINH MEGHWAL

  152. jandel20 says:

    i learned a lot of lesson about your life its amazing💙

  153. Tracey Davis says:

    You’re wonderful and lining the life you should. Fabulous to have parents that support you.

  154. Kevin Lash says:

    I see so much of myself in you but it took me nearly 50 years to learn to love myself as a cis male; you are an amazing kiddo! Please continue to spread you love and light! 💖

  155. Stefanie Nettke says:

    When i was 13 years old, i was confused about who i was. I was born female, but i always thought my body was more male looking. I had broad shoulders, didnt have a waist, and thought my genitalia was all wrong. I never wanted to change in front of other girls for gym because i didnt want them to call me a freak. I never wanted to be intimate for that reason. I was anorexic, suicidal, and depressed. Im now 51 years old and JUST beginning to accept my body. It makes me feel good to know young people are getting healthy advice about how to cope with those ‘awkward’ feelings!!

  156. donna says:

    What a thoughtful, insightful person you are!

  157. Peg Espinola says:

    CJ, You are AWESOME.

  158. Gwen Trowbridge says:

    Dear C.J. , Thank you for creating a beautiful, safe opportunity to talk to our son who is also gender creative and awesome like you. You gave us a way to communicate with the outside world too. We have nothing but hugs and appreciation for you. Thank you. With love, Gwen, Chase and the Trowbridge Family

  159. River Solstice says:

    I loved your article because I learned something new. These past few years I’ve been questioning what gender I am and what gender(s) I feel attracted to. While my family is okay with this they’re a little worried that it’s because everyone else especially one of my old friends is very pushy (though we’re not friends know because of that) is doing it too. While I don’t feel in the wrong body either, I don’t necessarily want to conform with birth given gender either. Thank you so much for writing this.

  160. Jen says:

    CJ, I just read your mom’s book because your story reminds me of my son.
    He is now 6 and is afraid to wear what he wants to wear, outside of the house. I am going to read your words to him, and show him your photos, in hopes that seeing another person that is similar to him will help him be who he wants to be!

    • Jenn says:

      Ditto! My 6yo boy loves wearing dresses and sparkles and French braids, but doesn’t want to be called a girl so often, so doesn’t want to wear dresses out of our house anymore…. He loves his long hair though, and we notice every man in our community who also has long hair, especially braids! (And occasionally even a man wearing a skirt.) It’s so helpful to see and connect with other kids who express themselves authentically too. ❤️

  161. Lauren says:

    You need to realize that gender expression is a social construct. Make-up and frilly clothes are a measure of male-driven marketing and rampant consumerism and have little to do with what it really means to be yourself. It’s a lesson that I learned after I started my transition in 1999.

  162. Keith Busby says:

    You are brave, eloquent, creative and beautiful. You are clearly in touch with who you are and fortunate to have such amazingly awesome parents! I’m sure you will inspire and empower many around you. I hope you find the joy and success you deserve, thank you for sharing your story.

  163. Jody says:

    You are very impressive. Thank you for being so kind. I commend you, and your parents, for your gracious and eloquent writing. You are an inspiration, clearly, and making a difference already.

  164. Cynthia Hoffman says:

    ❤️❤️God bless you!!!

  165. cj says:

    wow! We have come so far from when I was a tomboy growing up… I didn’t want to be a boy or a girl, the way it was happening around me. I was a girl who liked the privileges of being a tomboy, and I didn’t want to change my body. I just wanted the permission to be strong and able as any boy. So I went for it, and got criticized and questioned… “Are you a boy or a girl? Prove it! “… So tiresome. So rejected I felt. But since there were some people who loves me anyway, like my parents, I sallied forth, so to speak. And slowly it became OK to be queer, to be gay, and now look at the permission young people have! It is saving lives.

  166. Ragged Rose says:

    I love this. You are beautiful. I grew up in the 1960s. Kim perfectly happy with my female body, but I’m more boy than girl. And my parents let me be who I was. I’ve lived long enough to see the butterfly come out of the chrysalis. You are amazing.

  167. Chrissie says:

    CJ – you are incredibly eloquent and expressive. I appreciate your educating others about what the difference between gender identity, and gender expression. I think that as there has been growing understanding of such distinctions, there is still far to go for so much of our society. You are absolutely lovely and such a strong person for one who is so young. You are an inspiration to us all. xoxo

  168. Shelly says:

    You are just likey son thanks💞♥️👍😘

  169. jamieevolved says:

    I know what it is like to live a lifetime of struggle with gender identity and expression. Isn’t it wonderful now that community attitudes in some areas are changing? It took me 40 years to develop the type of courage you are displaying. Thank you for sharing.

  170. Samantha Clark says:

    CJ, I wish I could have had the opportunity to shine when I was your age. I’m just like you, but grew up in the ‘60s when there wasn’t even a language to describe how I felt. I hope to be able to be like you when I “grow up.”

  171. Jody says:

    Listen…. I think the Ellen Show is calling! 💕

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  173. effdot says:

    C.J., you are a great kid! I’m sorry people bully you, but am grateful that you’ve found it in you rise above it. I’m a generation-x age man from the 90s. And your generation reminds me of the best people I knew then and still know now. My generation, when we were young, we got so many things wrong, but we also got so many things right. To see you, to know you’re living your best life and choosing to be your self, fills me with hope. Thank you so much for sharing. And I hope you always choose to be yourself, your best, kindest, self.

  174. Kimberly Nusbaum says:

    I’m so very proud of you. I’m a 53yr old woman, 100% woman, but I truly believe that people should be who they feel they are. You are a beautiful person, inside and out and a wonderful role model to others that are “different”.

  175. Jonathan says:

    Dear C.J
    I am so very proud of you .
    You are a Superstar.
    Best from London to you .
    Jonathan

  176. Nicole says:

    I am SO excited to see a post from you, CJ! My daughter Bella is also gender creative. She rocks a mohawk and her absolute favorite attire is a 3 piece suit. She asks for a new one every year for her birthday and Christmas (and any other time she can work it into a conversation). I read your mom’s book as soon as we began this journey (around the time was Bella was 3 or 4). She’s 7 now and in 1st grade. Thankfully, her school is extremely supportive and loving. I hope the kids remain the same. I look forward to hearing more from you in the future! ❤

  177. Sky says:

    Not too long ago it was wrong for female identities to wear pants! It was considered just as “unusual” as men wearing dresses today. The fabrics we drape over our bodies, the colors we use to paint our faces, the way we sculpt our hair… non of this should ever be gendered. Keep being you! Thanks for sharing!

  178. Cameron Edin says:

    Very eloquent and wise!

    Life is so much on a spectrum, none of us are either totally on the right or left, whether it be beauty, intelligence, weight, height, or gender!

    The world is just waking up to what “transgender” is, and that it has been here since the beginning of time.

    But there is a full spectrum of “gender identification” that only each individual identifies with, hundreds more than just male, female or both.

    Good luck!

    You will be a great and wise advocate!

  179. KC Chamberlain says:

    Dear C.J.,
    What an inspiration you are to me & so many others! I am a 62 year old lesbian, & I only came out when I was 40, because of all the bullying & discrimination I experienced over the course of my life…including from my own mother, who disowned me because of my sexuality.

    You are so lucky that your parents are so supportive! That means you have the opportunity to express your true self to the fullest in this life, & I can’t wait to see who you become!

    Thank-you for being such a bright star & lighting the way for the rest of us to follow! You have such strength of spirit! Blessings to you on your life’s journey. You are a very special person, we are all lucky you were born! ❤️🧡💛💚💙💜
    🥰🙏❣️K.C.❣️

    • Aurora Sparkles says:

      Thank you. Your light shines bright and will touch so many. Your strength and wisdom is amazing. You are the future for a better world. Thank you

  180. Thank you for being yourself so lovingly and freely. The world would be a much nicer place if more people could truly love themselves and express how they want to (about gender and much more). Thanks for showing us a better way. blessings, Brad

  181. As a physician who works with ALL children in a loving way , I am so proud of him!! He has courage, grounding, intelligence and heart to be a voice in a society that is often derisive, divisive, and aggressive because of ignorance and fear. I’m sending so much support to him, his family and friends, and the LGBTQ community. May he be surrounded by protection and peace to remain strong.

  182. Natalie says:

    What an incredibly beautiful person you are on the inside and out. The thought of having a world with more kids and adults like you in it, makes me smile. You are brave and strong. You my dear, are no doubt going to make huge changes in this world. I don’t even know you, but I am so incredibly proud of you. You’re an inspiration.

  183. Jacqueline says:

    Loving one another with out judgement. It’s not our job to judge. Only person that has that right, is my Father in Heaven. All we do as Christians is If you really fulfill the royal law stated in Scripture, “Love your neighbor as yourself,” you are doing well.
    Without Judgement ❤️ we may not understand some of there choices but that’s ok. All we as humans need to know is that our father in Heaven loves us, and so we ALL need to LOVE one another ✝️

  184. Jamie says:

    I love this article. I only came out two years ago at the age of 42 but remember feeling like you at 6. I am so glad there is the debate, vocabulary and understanding to facilitate this these days. I have shared your article with all of my friends. Stay strong, stay safe and keep loving your life.

  185. Jolee says:

    You are a beautiful person, inside and out!! Thank you for being you!

  186. Dee says:

    👏👏 I applaud you. Being your authentic self truly body, mind and soul.

  187. elliot corbitt says:

    bro this is so chill. i’m nb and kinda just do whatever i wanna do. people expect me to be androgynous and sometimes i am but sometimes i also love wearing makeup and dresses so ye. i wish this was normal, to be able to express who u r and just do what u wanna do without repercussions.

  188. Roberta Painter says:

    You are an amazing young man! Thanks for making a difference!

  189. nick says:

    C.J. —

    thank you. thank you for your advocacy, your voice for gender non-conformity, your courage to face a world that isn’t always kind. i am a transman, and i FINALLY gave myself permission to live authentically about four years ago…when i was FORTY-SIX!!! i grappled all my life…not knowing WHAT to call it, but now realizing that it was gender misalignment. i’m so glad you are getting to live authentically so soon. it’s hard not to feel sort of bad knowing all the years i lost to fear and societal ‘rules.’ and i’m so grateful to you for joining the amazing lgbtqi+ legion to keep chipping away at the bullies, to give the world insight into the fact that there is way more than the oh-so-ingrained binary all too frequently applied to gender, to give support to kids so that they don’t have to go well into adulthood being someone they aren’t for the comfort and approval of others. i appreciate you.

  190. Maureen says:

    Thank you for being who you are and who you want to be it is super important that parents support their children and never ever turn them away.

  191. Jamie says:

    Perfection.

  192. Don says:

    That is just awesome keep up the work

  193. Bob says:

    Who are you ?
    I am 43 gay man . You just gave me hope. Please thank your parents for bringing you into this world.

  194. What a beautiful post!!! What a beautiful person you are. You are going to touch so many lives with your words and demonstration of self compassion and compassion for others.

  195. Kelly Clark says:

    THANK YOU FOR YOUR ESSAY! I’m so happy that you are just being you with AMAZBALS parents! Could you post a link or share a draft of the gender neutral dress code in your district? It would help those if us in this fight a lot! Thanks

  196. Meggan Peters says:

    C.J., you are all kinds of awesome! Keep on keeping on! Ps – I am seriously coveting your makeup mirror!

  197. Ellen says:

    Like you, I have always felt fine with my physical gender and my body – but not with the societys expectations going with it. Being chased like an object for male desire between 15-30 years, for example. Or being expected to want to look pretty. Rather than trying to escape the categories by applying certain pronouns, we should expand them, I think, so there is no typical male or female anymore, and anybody can express themselves in any way they want.

  198. Nikki says:

    Amazing C.J. Thanks for being authentically you in this world that continues to resist acceptance on so many levels. I would love to learn more about the gender neutral dress code and start advocating for that in my own area. You are an inspiration and a light in the world. Never let anyone dim that light! Shine on young man!

  199. Thank you, C.J., for being who you are, sharing your love with others, practicing courage against injustice, and writing this beautiful essay.

  200. Marg Fitzbugden says:

    What an amazing young person, as a parent I would be very proud of you and as a teacher my class motto is celebrate being different. We should celebrate you because you are unique and one of a kind and I just wish all children could be as confident and proud of themselves as you are. May your life be full of wonderful things.

  201. Avery says:

    I am a nonbinary twelve year old and this article had inspired me to stand up for our community more than I do already, to educate people and to help people. Thank you for spreading the word about this brilliant, beautiful community. Keep doing you!

  202. Maz says:

    I love the description “gender creative”. You Are indeed Awesome! Power to you. Stay Fabulous!
    ❤🧡💛💚💙💜

  203. Anat says:

    What an intelligent, courageous and creative human being you are! Thank you for opening my eyes and heart!

  204. Adam says:

    I am a white straight male from a world rarely exposed to creative individuals. I do act with a code that means treating everyone with the same benefit of the doubt regardless of what I see on the outside. There is no malice, but there are my own conservative preferences. In a libertarian sense, live and let live, and do not impose double standards. Each of our own journeys determines the circles we will fall into, and each of us has limits to the types of characters we are exposed to. Outside of that, when I meet individuals outside of my own circles, I rarely find anyone patient and graceful enough to articulate their own experiences, feelings, and perspectives. Fortunately, this article taught me some new things as it shed light on how various human experiences can be, while demonstrating how one can be themself without feeling anger towards those who are different. I see that C.J. shares a similar code of conduct and that is refreshing. I also commend C.J. on showing strength, resilience, forgiveness, and leadership. I hope more people learn the patience required to properly communicate with individuals like myself and champion the differences in one another, even if they do not fall into the same group.

  205. Shawn Fries says:

    I think she is so beautiful.
    But the true beauty is she is living her life for herself and I see the strength in her eyes in these pics of her. God loves her .this story is a true blessing to read.

  206. Nat says:

    CJ, sweetheart, you are incredible. I remember when I first started following your mom’s blog and you were so much younger. You’ve grown into an amazing young man and even though we’ve never met, I am so proud of you.

    Nat
    A non-binary lesbian from London

  207. Kerrie-Ann says:

    CJ you are awesome, a fabulous person, with strength and keeping to your true self, you are an amazing young person and will make a super fabulous adult. Keep leading the way for others whatever their age, Bravo! 💜

  208. Laurie Blau-Marshall says:

    Your son is beautiful, inside and out. Whatever you’ve been doing, keep on doing it! I have a feeling he will always make you proud. ❤

  209. Angela says:

    This is amazing! My son is very similar. Thank you for sharing your story!

  210. Maggie says:

    Dear CJ: Thank you so much for your eloquent words and your activism. The dress-code changes that you initiated are awesome! I can relate to a lot of what you say and kind of wish I was 13 again. (I’m about 4 times that old now.) I would definitely do some things differently if I could do it all over again. Rock on being YOU! ❤

  211. Joseph Meany says:

    I learned something from a friend in the community. He said when asked “What are you?” You simply answer “Fabulous!” (although your awesome does equally well.) I think telling your story will help many children in various situations who consider themselves part of the LGBTQIA+ and more community.

    .

  212. robin greene says:

    you are fabulous! the way you explained everything so simply makes it so easy to understand. this is not an easy thing for people who grew up long ago, and for people growing up now with hard hearts and minds that dont want to grow. bullies and haters dont like themselves and probably dont even know why, so i agree 100% that they should not stop. i
    people from being who they truly are. i hope you are ok with me sharing this, and i hope you keep writing because it really helps people understand. you are an amazing teacher. totally blessed with having parents who put love above all. i am so glad i read your story, and so glad you wanted to share it. making people aware is not enough, helping them understand, as you did here, thats the key. thanks!

  213. Nicci says:

    Awesomesauce.
    My almost 13 year old daughter, Bex (she, her) read this and declared “II would like to become best friends with him RIGHT NOW. 🌈 ❤️

  214. Diana says:

    You are awesome

  215. Diana Maag says:

    I’ve been following your story since your mother first publicized the way you were being bullied in kindergarten more by adults who should have known better.

    I’m amazed and proud to have watched your journey. You are an amazing young man. I am the chair for my company’s Working With Pride group. I took on the role because even though my company is a top 100 employer there are still pockets of employees at our location who don’t understand the need to be accepting and diverse. We’ve come a long way since I joined the company but we have a ways to go. I’ve recommended your mom’s book and this blog to employees on how to deal with their own situations or to help their LGBTQ children.

    Thank you for your bravery and advocacy of others like you.

  216. Nana says:

    God bless this amazing child. Maybe there
    Is hope for the upcoming generation yet!!❤️👍

  217. Margaret Miller says:

    You are an amazing person and so self-confident that it’s a joy to see. You should be proud of who you are! Bravo!

  218. Margaret says:

    This is so awesome! So well said – can’t believe you are only 13! I wish these discussions, and this particular post was around when I was your age. I was the opposite of you, born a female, happy to be female but never felt I fit into what girls were supposed to like – I’m 63 and nothing has changed. So silly that we create these limited boxes for us to be identified. I am me. I like what I like. I’m much older now and it took me YEARS to learn this. It shouldn’t matter what genitals I have, what activities I prefer, what clothing I’m comfortable in, and what attracts me sexually – those are conforms created by society so everyone feels ‘safe’. You spoke to my heart…thanks!

    • Mack Duude says:

      CJ is the future (I hope). As you say, what we have under should not determine what we wear outer. I pray someday that this will be the norm and people will be accepted and loved regardless of how they dress.

  219. Lee Clouds says:

    yaaaaaay!!!! how refreshing to read your article. i think you are a lovely young man. i’m about to turn 50 this year and i’ve been wearing skirts and sarongs (wraparounds worn by men in many asian countries) since i was 19. back then, not many guys were wearing ”skirts” haha. i wish i could upload a picture here, from just the other night, me in my royal purple sarong w aqua dolphins, striped ochre yellow socks and cool black shirt, and my long hair flowing around over the front of one shoulder. but i don’t wear any of my sarongs out too often cause i usually get unwanted attention and sometimes mean-spirited. i’m not trying to stand out to say “look at me!” — if everyone would just express themselves freely and not be so uptight, then i wouldn’t seem so outlandish! the only places i’ve been in my whole life where i could be myself without standing out like a glittering pinwheel to people was in India, or at rainbow gatherings in the US (picture a thousand hippies and free thinkers camping in a national park). such places where freedom of expression is encouraged society-wide seem rare. its wonderful that your parents are open-minded folks. mine were so stodgy! lol, and i never was able to help them understand, it all went right over their heads like i was speaking unrecognizable gibberish or the fourth Pleiadean dialect! i had to let go of wanting their blessing. but i kept on being myself and healed enough to love myself as i am ~ and i’m so glad i did, because it’s fun to be me! some day i’m going to step out on stage and play my guitar wearing whatever i want & just be the hi-EQ, womanly-hearted lover of eccentric wild colorful expression i am. 🙂
    hugs and peace
    may all beings everywhere be free!

  220. Susan T. Moak says:

    You are awesome!

  221. Ronald Joseph says:

    I have twin sons one heterosexual one homosexual, both are brilliant young men who participate in in today’s issues and never excepts the conservative point of view because of public opinion.teach your children to view the world as an equal .it will serve them well to trust themselves .

  222. alkmoney says:

    So inspirational thank you for that you are being yourself that is good thank you sharing to us

  223. Christine Humphries says:

    Firstly, a huge congratulations to C J for a well written and informative introduction of yourself. It fills my heart with joy knowing you have the strength and confidence to be your genuine self. Many people live their whole life without that strength.
    I am so pleased your parents support you because I’m sure being bullied wasn’t an easy time. People fear what they don’t understand. You have explained your true identity very eloquently, what is there not to understand.
    You will go far in this world with ever changing times and I look forward to reading your story as you mature into manhood. I have every confidence you will be a success no matter what your future holds. 😍

  224. jabberwock says:

    I’m glad you’re holding onto your authentic self and inspiring others. My parents never pushed me to wear “girls clothes” and I wore boy’s stuff until about age 10. Then, I started realizing how society thought about gender and bought women’s clothes because that was what I was “supposed” to wear.

    I only started wearing men’s clothes again when I was 28, and luckily my parents are still supportive. I now identify as a non-binary woman, but still, I wish I had a role model like you as a kid to see that being who I am is okay.

  225. Misty says:

    I very much love your outlook on life, and you are right just because you like things that are considered “girly” does not make you a girl, just because you live makeup or dressing up does not make you a girl, be who you are. Only thing I disagree with the message was when you stated “doing boy” things like baseball and such, that also would not make you a boy as sports are played by all genders. Keep your head up, you are very intelligent and have a bright outlook and because of that you will have a great future. Love comes from someone’s soul not from their gender.
    Your parents must be very proud of the child they are raising.

  226. Carol Meindl says:

    Awesome! I like the idea of. “ Gender is over. gender is so yesterday”

    You are a great role model for anyone who just wants to enjoy their life as they truly want to live it.

  227. Jamie Davis says:

    Thank you for sharing this. It was very helpful.

  228. D'Angelo says:

    Just awesome!!!! Be yourself, Be the change.

  229. Katie says:

    You’re awesome, C.J.! I wish more people had the courage to explore their gender. I feel pretty much the same way – I never felt like a girl, or that I was supposed to be a girl, either. I do consider myself transgender, though. Once I started exploring my gender, and presenting more feminine, I started to feel that he/him pronouns didn’t fit anymore, and that when people referred to me as male, it made me feel terrible. So I came out as a trans woman, and I’ve never been happier! For me at least, gender is not over — I just discovered mine and I love it!

  230. Mickey says:

    I always hated the pink aisles but I am a girl I love skirts hate formal dresses love pants hate typical girl toys and makeup never but I am a girl who fell in love with a boy and have 3 kids that are allowed to be whoever they want to be and one loved dolls when he was younger and we let him now he’s all rough and tumble and his favorite color is pink. Love the child not how they Express themselves.

  231. Marine NAYME says:

    What a strength!!! You are amazing and beautiful. Don’t choose, or don’t let anybody choose for you. Just be ! Whoever you want. And you’ll be great.
    I’m a teacher in France. I teach in junior high school. I fight to protect my pupils, I fight every single day to promote happiness and difference, and I stand against bullying. You make it matter, you’re worth it. So keep going, keep being yourself and be happy. ❤️

  232. Raeeka says:

    You are *AMAZING*!!!!! Thank you for educating us. Thank you for encouraging us as humans to be ourselves and understand what authentic means. Thank you for promoting peace. THANK YOU!!!

  233. Collette says:

    You are who you are. What a fantastic thing you are doing both for yourself and for other kids like you. Well done kiddo and how lucky are you to have such wonderful understanding parents.love xxxx

  234. this is amazing keep being yourself and keep doing what you are doing

  235. Rainbow Martz says:

    Hi my name is Rainbow. I wasn’t born with that name but I changed it last summer. I’m 8 years old. I read your article and I realized I’m just like you. I’m a boy and I wear pink, purple, shirts pants and dresses. And I love putting on makeup too.

  236. David John says:

    Such and awesome share from CJ . As future adoptive parents – we want our children to grow up loving themselves fr who they are which extends to all classifications out there . We should all advocate fr people that are “different” and I feel like I will.
    Cj made my day …I feel more woke .

  237. Natalee says:

    CJ, thank you for being you!

  238. Erin says:

    I read this to my gender creative son last night and he said “that’s epic!!!” Kids like C.J are so amazing and important. My son thought that he was all alone. This showed him that he’s not. He’s not ready to present like he feels, but knowing that there are others out there makes all the difference.

  239. Tracy says:

    I love this!
    Me being older am just a little confused by the new transgender, not transgender,Pronouns, etc..
    Is this still “drag queens” I’m just naive.
    I’m truly impressed with CJ and support kids going thru this and their choices.
    I hope CJ can change all dress codes around the country! I think that kids should dress in what makes them feel the happiest no matter what it is!
    Thank you CJ for sharing this personal information and educating people like me.

  240. Suzy V says:

    This article was really informative for someone who is trying deeply to understand this topic with a more open mind. I have 13 year old twins so your story hits home. Keep being you my friend, you are brave and beautiful. If there’s any way for you to point me to the work you’ve done on school dress codes, I’d be really interested in reading more about that.

  241. Amy says:

    Whereas others with less confidence would find it so much easier to ‘live as a transgirl’ to justify being their authemtic self. Bullies wouldn’t even think if they thought he actually is a girl. Such a strong and stunning young man.

  242. Joe Hedges says:

    This child is so inspiring for other children and adults. It’s fantastic how this kid can be brave and speak up. BE YOURSELF AND NEVER BACK DOWN!!!

  243. Dennis Schamp says:

    Hello CJ and family. I’m a middle school teacher who’s been looking for ideas on gender neutral dress codes for my own school. We’ve adopted something called “norms” but I believe we can do better.
    Would you be willing to share your gender neutral dress code guidelines with me?
    Thanks for the consideration, and stay awesome.

  244. ashareem says:

    A pleasure to meet you, C.J.
    Good luck in your future, and congratulations on your successes so far.

  245. April Betts-Gibson says:

    Wow. Just wow. Adults – take lesson from this brave young man. LIVE YOUR AUTHENTIC LIFE. BE TRUE TO YOURSELF. BE FIERCE. BE FEARLESS.

  246. Julie domac says:

    This is awesome. Be who you want to be. Let’s change the old school way of thinking, not our children’s choice to be their true selves. Thank you CJ for the inner strength and beauty you have shown us all. I wish there was no prejudice or unkindness in this world . But today you have shown me and made me feel that my wish may be coming true sooner than I had expected. Thank you so much. You are very very awesome!

  247. Ted says:

    What a fortunate child. I just worry for children like C.J. whose parents are bigoted or uneducated in these matters.
    Education is the key!

  248. Pete says:

    Thank you so much for the beautiful post. This is what I needed to read when I was 13. I’m 43 now, and slowly, belatedly on the way to accepting myself

  249. I am so impressed with so many in this upcoming generation! Being your authentic you is so important to learn and then express. Thank you for doing so!

  250. Jsun says:

    I love how clear, thoughtful and inspiring this is. Concise and straight forward about how they feel. Props on taking action with the school dress code and having a very positive outcome. I wish I was this expressive and knew of gender creative at that age. Way to be yourself and lead with love and light! Our community needs determined individuals such as yourself on the forefront standing up for LGBTQIAP causes 🏳️‍🌈

  251. Tina says:

    You are awesome in every way, and I am so heartened that you are making positive changes in the world around you. May your guiding star lead you true for the rest of your days.

  252. jolenedoray says:

    Thank you for sharing your story. My 8 yo, with a huge smile, just said “they are just like me!” ❤️

  253. Krista says:

    Thank you for writing this! I have a number of young people I plan to share this with. I am sure if you have an Instagram account they will start following you as well. Now that you are out there in the world, you have far reaching influence to support and do good for some who are invisible or unsure or just looking for someone like them, so thank you. You are extraordinary.

    • Thanks for sharing! We are both on Instagram at @raisingmyrainbow and @cjduronofficial

      • Julie McLeod says:

        You are such a brilliant and beautiful soul. I am so glad you have found peace with who you are and you shine with it. You know how to give this joy to others! Find all the ways you can express who you are and give that to others. I am at the end of my life and you are just beginning! Dream up all the ways you can be happy in what you do and give. It will give you back multifold!!

  254. Pingback: Gender Is Over | Raising My Rainbow – QSA/GSA Vancouver WA

  255. Margo Fall says:

    You are Beautiful! You do you because you’re amazing!

  256. Kyle says:

    Hi CJ,
    Like probably so many people commenting here, I’ve been following your mom’s blog for year, since you were very small, since before any of you even had a name. This is the first thing I have read from your own voice, and it’s beautiful. I dare say perfect. I applaud you. Keep rockin’!

    • Maura says:

      Me too!!!!!
      It’s so exciting to see CJ’s own words after loving that baby for so long!!
      I was just thinking yesterday- I really wish I could hire CJ to help me with some makeup decisions!

  257. Sage says:

    Love it 😊👍

    Do what matters to you, full support.

  258. “…I am me.” Love that!

  259. Sandy says:

    Thank you for your beautiful words. My 15 year old Non-binary kid and I just read this together and loved it!

  260. Carolyn Marts Whitehead says:

    Excellent article C.J. Thank you!

  261. I love that this kid can be who he wants to be and wear what he wants to wear and his family is supportive. Major kudos to him for the changes he has inspired in the school district that is no easy task. Kids are our future; support them, empower them, and love them as they are or you will destroy them and our future.

  262. Amber says:

    I love that you help others thanks to the love you have for yourself! You are so lovely and confident and will do so many other great things ♥️

  263. Michelle Stephens says:

    Thank you C.J. for sharing your thoughts and your strength! I wish I had been as confident as you are at your age! It was later in life that I had the courage to dress the way I wanted to in “feminine clothing” (as society calls it) and be true to my self. Today fortunately I have supportive friends and society in general accepts me for who I am! A man who feels better and freer in “women’s” clothing! Keep being you and hopefully others will follow and bring a needed change to our world! Blessings to you!
    Michelle Stephens

  264. theenglishrider says:

    Anyone who thinks the parents are forcing this on their 13 year old child has never raised a teenager! 😁

    What a confident young person!

  265. Peggy Sue says:

    Exactly what I believed about myself in the 1950s/60s at CJ’s age, but back then, one was not permitted to express your true self. CJ has done a fantastic job of expressing herself!

  266. Thank you so much C.J. Every time I read this, tears pour down my face from pride and relief at how our world is shifting around us. Shifting because of wonderful humans like you. Keep being you. The world needs you exactly as you are, but you already knew that. A wonderful friend sent me this to share with my exuberant gender creative son and I was so excited to read it to him. I wish you could have seen his face light up with validation as he said, “Wow! Just like me!!!” – a proud mommy

    “C.J. is like me. That’s because I wear dresses.” – my 6 year old.

  267. Elle says:

    C.J.! Thank you so much for sharing your story ❤ You've helped me understand your different-ness better and I'm so grateful that you are YOU!
    Love, fellow cis-female American friend currently living in Stockholm 🙂

  268. Rene says:

    Thank you for sharing your insights. Your story will help me better serve and support others on their gender journey to authentic fulfilling lives. So happy you are living your best authentic life!

  269. Tim says:

    CJ you are amazing and an absolute legend. I am so jealous.

  270. Thanks for posting this CJ, my daughter is very similar to you (and the same age), they have decided to be they/them as they prefer for people not to know what gender they are, but I’m still trying to get the hang of it (they’re very patient as they understand they’ve been she for 13 years and I’m a tad forgetful). I’ve passed on your post to them because I think maybe you post will help, they’ve had a tough time with bullies as well it’s always good to know you’re not alone. Keep being you, you’re awesome.

  271. Rhonda says:

    I think you are perfect just the way you are no matter what you like or how you dress. For me, 13 is too young for makeup no matter your self expression.

  272. Jean McKenzie says:

    Thank you C.J for supporting and reflecting the gender spectrum.
    I am encouraged by your brave display of yourself. Of course, I enjoy the nonbinary aspects and your thoughtful reflection whatever that is.
    I encourage you to not be limited by available roles but to make space for your expression wherever you are.

  273. Jennifer says:

    Thanks C.J. for sharing your story and the language to describe it. I learned something new and appreciate you teaching it. Keep being yourself and you totally have it right that being kind, sticking up for others and not being a jerk really is what’s important in life.

  274. Michelle says:

    I love your article. I’m happy for you that you are able to be yourself and have the support of your parents. I like the term gender creative. Nonconformative just makes you sound like a rebel which doe not sound to me like you’re being yourself. Always be who you are. Don’t let anyone change that.

  275. Amanda Aronson says:

    Hi C.J.,

    Thank you for your article. I learned a great deal. I am on a Board of Education in CT and would be interested in seeing your model dress codes and other things that affect school policy.

    Keep up the great advocacy work!
    Amanda Aronson
    West Hartford, CT

  276. Roz says:

    What a well spoken teen! While I don’t fully understand the issues I am all for personal expression so long as it doesn’t promote negativity or hate. This teens life style while not traditional is totally harmless. Good on you for being true to you!

  277. Rachael says:

    “Hi. My name is Verity. Even though I’m a girl, I still like boy stuff. And even though you’re a boy, you still like girl stuff. That makes us kind of the same. Some people say that girls and boys have to wear and do different things in order to be a girl or a boy. We are kids that don’t think that. 🤓🙃🙂😁😆😌 My family thinks that it’s okay for people to be who they are. Thank you for listening!” – Verity Rose, age 5

  278. Rachael says:

    Your generation gives me so much hope in a time where I have been feeling hopeless. Thank you for sharing your message, your thoughts, and yourself with the world. You are a beautiful human and I cannot wait to see what you and kids your age do in the future.

  279. Serena Rockland says:

    Brilliant piece – so validating. What a wonderful, clear-headed kid! Carry on the good work, and keep doing you. ❤️

  280. Ira says:

    That sure means you’re awesome! Loved your expression and self confidence, I hope you never lose it. You’re embracing your self love and self acceptance with what you love and what you do good and this is priceless. Btw you got skills please keep up your work!

  281. michele ryan says:

    I agree 100% that seeing people being their authentic selves is so important. The more everyone becomes accustomed to people being open about who they are the more we will see the many ways in which we are the same.

  282. Douglas says:

    You are an amazing human being

  283. Gayle says:

    What a beautiful ,young human! I love to read the confidence they have. I would like to use that last quote on my board for my 8th grade classes. It sums it up nicely!

  284. Laurie Andrews-Lester says:

    C.J. you are rockin’ it!! I lobe your style, and your heart!♥️

  285. Patty says:

    What a beautiful person.

  286. Jessie Saunders says:

    I’m not sure if its ever okay to ask a child about their private parts. If CJ wanted to share his, he would’ve, brave and awesome as he is.

  287. Veronica says:

    This is wonderful to read, thank you for being in the world and sharing your awesome self with all of us. Been following this blog for several years and it gives me hope for humanity. Much love to you and your family ❤ ❤ ❤ btw, I'm a make up artist and you've got more skills than I could ever dream of!

  288. Robert says:

    Correction you are awesome before you identified with any of that. You are awesome because you are unwilling to be less than that. You are awesome because of any reason you choose.

  289. Sandy Cortello says:

    Good for you!!
    Your parents must be proud.
    This is coming from a 72 year old.
    Enjoy your life.
    Sincerely,
    Sandy Cortello

  290. Doom Donnelly says:

    Hi C.J.
    I’m a Professor working on a film about non-binary identification. You’re incredibly articulate and by far the youngest person I’ve come across discussing this aspect of the breaking of the male/female gender paradigm. If you (and your parents) would be open to speaking with me, I would like to talk to you about potentially telling your story in my documentary.

    Dr. Ashley “Doom” Donnelly

    • lazykittenproductionsgmailcom says:

      Hey, I’m just wondering if you have any trans people on your production team! If not, or if you’d like to add someone in a consulting role, I’m a trans woman and documentary filmmaker. You can contact me through my website: lazykittenproductions.com

      Good luck on your project!

    • lazykittenproductionsgmailcom says:

      Hey Dr Donnelly!
      I’m wondering if you have trans folks on your production team. If not, or you’d like to add another in a consulting role, I’d love to chat with you! I’m a trans woman and documentary filmmaker. You can reach me through my website: lazykittenproductions.com.

      Good luck on your project!

    • Hi! We are definitely interested in learning more about your project. Let’s connect over email at raisingmyrainbow@gmail.com.

    • innorb says:

      riot grace from @tinybangs is a non binary kid if you are still looking. they are awesome!!

  291. Charles says:

    Thank you for writing this.

  292. Meighan Traynor says:

    You are an awesome amazing person. Keep being you.

  293. Lee Anne says:

    Just be you. If others have issues with it that is their problem, not yours. You know who you are. That is all that matters. I wish you a wonderful and spectacular life.

  294. CJ, I have been following you through your mom’s blog for many years. In fact, I was just thinking of y’all the other day. I must say I’m very glad to see such a rainbow of inspiration coming from your way. Keep up the wonderful work. Much love to your mother.

  295. FreeGoddess says:

    Yes!

  296. kidulz says:

    I am glad that your mom especially, is really supportive. This means a whole lot. You wouldn’t ever find a mom one third as supportive as yours here in Uganda, let alone find one. You are awesome!!

  297. Jenny says:

    Your family must be so proud of you they could burst. Keep being so inspirational- the world is a better place for young people like you!

  298. JPEG Wall says:

    You are an inspiration to all of us.
    Thank you!

  299. Ambrosia Monroe says:

    Thank you, thank you. Thank you! You have come closer to describing how I feel and gave felt for most of my life and never had a label for it home group where I really felt truely at home. I’ve been called a poser by someone who was supposed to be a mentor. I’ve had close trans friends push me to get on with transitioning. “How long do you want to wait to be happy?!”! But I was already happy. Happy for her that’s she’s happy about transitioning to what she feels she should be and happy for me because I’m finally already where I should be and no longer ashamed or afraid or confused. It’s wonderful (especially at your age) that you know who you are and what you want and haven’t felt the need to move from a traditional set of pigeon holes into one of the trendy pigeon holes that so many people are confirming to these days. God bless!

  300. travel girl says:

    CJ – Keep being AWESOME!

  301. Michelle Besing says:

    Darling, I thank you. I was 38 before I admitted I’m not a girl. I told people at nine, and they told me to stop being stupid so I repressed myself for ages.

    I’m not a girl or a boy. I’m a person named Chelle, whose friends call them dragon.

  302. Pingback: Gender Is Over — Raising My Rainbow – The Flirty Feminist

  303. Shelly Martischewsky says:

    Not being a jerk is what it’s all about. Enough said. You’re awesome

  304. Sarah Schnaithman says:

    Wow! Your story is extremely inspirational to me. I couldn’t help but cry. Your writing is so clear & confident, despite the challenges you’ve faced from those in the world around you. THANK YOU for sharing your story. I really needed to hear that at this point in my life. I do have a word of advice for you: Have you considered law school? (You can be a stylist on the weekends. 🙂 Just saying…

  305. Gayle M. says:

    Brave and beautiful you are going to be a force to be reckoned with in the years to come. Show them how awesome you can be.

  306. DeniseLKrejci says:

    CJ, I send a big o’ thanks. My vocabulary is way old school, but not so archaic to know when a young person has it going on. This tomboy never grew out of being who I was rather just got older and hopefully wiser. You are an old soul in your heart and it speaks volumes. Be well.

  307. RJ says:

    Please, will you link us to the dress code policy so we can submit it in our districts? Even the parts specific to special events. We need a model to go off of. Thank you!

  308. Virginia Sowell says:

    Kudos to your parents for being aware enough to let you be you.

  309. Tonja says:

    C.J., you ARE awesome – no kidding!!! 😉

  310. Catalina says:

    C.J. I’m very proud of you!! Keep being yourself. My son also loves makeup and now he lives in NY City following his dream to be fashion photographer so he can show people that you can wear what ever makes you happy. Check his Instagram @DanielRoaArt
    Thank you for making a difference ❤️

  311. LisaS says:

    CJ, you are well spoken and have obviously given this a lot of thought. Can you share your thoughts on how you will cope as your male body matures and develops secondary sexual characteristics? I’m curious because it’s one thing to be gender creative as a child and very different as an adult; society can be so unaccepting.

  312. Hi C.J., my name’s Micah and I’m nonbinary and use they/them pronouns. I’m 16, just a few years older than you, and I’ve done some pieces for the media a bit the one you’ve written. I want to say a few things. One, I love the way you write. I can see your personality in every sentence. Two, it feels so amazing for me to see gender nonconforming people who are younger than me, because it means that our world is changing to be more accepting and parents are being kinder to their kids and to themselves (like you said, it probably does hurt them to reject their child.) my parents were accepting of my gender since the day after I came out. As many people probably know, it’s really hard on the day of coming out. I’m just feeling really proud and happy and delighted that you’re in the same world I am and that you’re spreading your message and doing your part to make the world better. Keep being you and keep being beautiful.
    Love, Micah

  313. CJ-This is such a moving piece. Keep being you, because it is clear by reading this that you are thoughtful, smart, and compassionate just as you are!

  314. CJ, we have been “following” you through your mom’s blog for many years. In fact, my husband and I met your mom when she was at Palm Springs Pride a few years ago to sell her book, which I purchased. We feel great affection for you and your family as we follow your journey. And your column you that was published today is amazing! We’re so glad you got through those rough days and months in your previous school and are now happy with good support and great friends. I saw the video of your speech at Orange County Gay Pride a couple of years ago, too.
    When I don’t see anything posted by your mom for a while, I get concerned. But obviously all is well these days. And we’re grateful that you have parents and a brother who love and support you as they do! Your story is so inspiring that we look forward to learning more about your journey as time goes on. Thanks to you and your mom for sharing your story!

  315. Kate Symons says:

    Wonderful! This is beautiful and it’s great to hear your story.

  316. kenny says:

    great to hear from you cj.
    i have been following your moms posts for
    years.
    i love your spirit.
    i am the grandmother of a transgender
    granddaughter.
    she is the bravest and most creative
    , now 11 year old, one could ever hope for.
    she inspires me.
    keto your posts coming.

  317. Nancy says:

    I continue to be so impressed with the accomplishments you have achieved in your short life. They are ground breaking things that should happen in every elementary/middle school so that children can grow up without fear. You are making the world a better place!

  318. punkyb9 says:

    Thank you for sharing your story C.J. You are awesome! I’m sure it’s not easy, but keep up the good work being true to who you are.

  319. Ed says:

    C.J. was great to read your post. It’s been forever since you posted. Looking awesome as usual. Best wishes to Mom Dad and Chase.

  320. Elizabeth Marshall says:

    CJ,
    My name is Elizabeth and I have a beautiful son just like you. From the time he was 2 I knew he was special and I have never, and would never, tried to change him. I love him exactly the way he is. I remember going to pick him up from preschool one day and he was in the housekeeping section with a Snow White gown and heels on. The teachers thought i was going to be angry but I went over and told him he was the most beautiful princess i had ever seen. I explained the them that he can wear whatever he wants and to not stop him from wearing the dresses. He is now 16 and he is in theater and is proud of who he is and I am proud to be his mother….the same way your parents are proud of you. I am proud of you also, CJ. For having the strength and courage to stand up and be your most authentic self. We go to Denver Pride every summer as a family and it would be so amazing for you to come one summer and march alongside us. Stay beautiful, stay real, stay you. All the love in in the world….

  321. Gabrielle says:

    CJ, you’re amazing and an incredible role model for all kids. Heck, for all people. Keep being fabulous, wonderful, compassionate YOU.

  322. Phil says:

    CJ, what a great essay. Your parents are terrific and it’s great to see you becoming such a very fine young person. Thanks!

  323. You are wise beyond your years. Congratulations on the success of your activism. You are making the world a better place. xo

  324. katholtz says:

    Keep speaking your mind! You are amazing!

  325. katholtz says:

    CJ you are amazing! Keep speaking your mind!

    • Amberosa Monroe says:

      CJ, you surely are an old soul! -Mature and Wise far beyond your years! God bless your parents for letting you be the beautiful person are are, inside and out, unimpressed by senseless, hurtful restrictions so many have forced upon others needlessly, too often with tragic results. I am blown away by how well you are handling your life. I’m probably older than your parents, but I’ve only very recently acknowledged my true nature, and dispite becoming embedded in the GBLT community(s) for the last 3 years, doing a lot of reading and being surrounded by people everywhere on the spectrum, no group, label, category or description has ever felt like it really fit me. -Until I read your introduction! Thank you. And God bless.

      Sent from Yahoo Mail on Android

  326. Stacey says:

    CJ I’ve been following you since you were Daphne for Halloween! I’m so proud of you.

  327. Monica says:

    CJ!!! I have so loved watching both you and your family grow! You are an example to EVERYONE on how to be a better person. Thank you!

  328. Joelle says:

    you go CJ. be YOU… cuz you’re doing it really well

  329. grannyK says:

    I love this so much. And your hair is beautiful. I am jealous! lol. Mine is thin and unruly. I don’t know you, but I bet you are beautiful inside and out.

  330. Dan Woog says:

    CJ, you’re a true American hero. You make more sense than 99% of people who are decades older than you. I am so happy that you’re happy. Everyone else should be happy for you too — and then get on with their own lives (which are probably a lot more boring than yours). Keep up the great work. Keep smiling. Keep writing. And keep being CJ. Don’t ever change a thing.

  331. V.J. Knutson says:

    Wise words, and such an important message. My father was born male but identified as female in a time when there were no words to describe such a phenomena. Science had not yet discovered genetic variances and “experts” considered his actions as addiction. He received electric shock treatments and therapy to try to remove the “bad” parts. I cry for him reading your words.

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