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My Son Is Gay

Guest Author's picture

 

We are beyond thrilled to welcome A Cop's Wife to the Owning Pink stage -- Pinkie Matt found this post on her site and we just HAD to have it at Owning Pink. Read more about her here or follow on her Twitter... and enjoy this incredible post on what it truly means to Own You (and your kids, and your authentic self, and your motherhood, and...)

My Son Is Gay

Or he’s not. I don’t care. He is still my son. And he is 5. And I am his mother. And if you have a problem with anything mentioned above, I don’t want to know you.

I have gone back and forth on whether I wanted to post something more in-depth about my sweet boy and his choice of Halloween costume. Or more specifically, the reactions to it. I figure if I’m still irked by it a few days later, I may as well go ahead and post my thoughts.

Here are the facts that lead up to my rant:

  1. My son is 5 and goes to a church preschool.
  2. He has loved Scooby Doo since developing the ability and attention span to sit still long enough to watch it.
  3. Halloween is a holiday and its main focus is wearing a costume.
  4. My son’s school had the kids dress up, do a little parade, and then change out of costumes for the rest of the party.
  5. Boo’s best friend is a little girl
  6. Boo has an older sister
  7. Boo spends most of his time with me.
  8. I am a woman.
  9. I am Boo’s mother, not you.

So a few weeks before Halloween, Boo decides he wants to be Daphne from Scooby Doo, along with his best friend E. He had dressed as Scooby a couple of years ago.  I was hesitant to make the purchase, not because it was a cross gendered situation, but because 5 year olds have a tendency to change their minds. After requesting a couple of more times, I said sure and placed the order. He flipped out when it arrived. It was perfect.

Then as we got closer to the actual day, he stared to hem and haw about it. After some discussion it comes out that he is afraid people will laugh at him. I pointed out that some people will because it is a cute and clever costume. He insists their laughter would be of the ‘making fun’ kind. I blow it off. Seriously, who would make fun of a child in costume?

And then the big day arrives. We get dressed up. We drop Squirt at his preschool and head over to his. Boo doesn’t want to get out of the car. He’s afraid of what people will say and do to him. I convince him to go inside. He halts at the door. He’s visibly nervous. I chalk it up to him being a bit of a worrier in general. Seriously, WHO WOULD MAKE FUN OF A CHILD IN A  COSTUME ON HALLOWEEN? So he walks in. And there were several friends of mine that knew what he was wearing that smiled and waved and gave him high-fives. We walk down the hall to where his classroom is.

And that’s where things went wrong. Two mothers went wide-eyed and made faces as if they smelled decomp. And I realize that my son is seeing the same thing I am. So I say, “Doesn’t he look great?” And Mom A says in disgust, “Did he ask to be that?!” I say that he sure did as Halloween is the time of year that you can be whatever it is that you want to be. They continue with their nosy, probing questions as to how that was an option and didn’t I try to talk him out of it. Mom B mostly just stood there in shock  and dismay.

And then Mom C approaches. She had been in the main room, saw us walk in, and followed us down the hall to let me know her thoughts. And they were that I should never have ‘allowed’ this and thank God it wasn’t next year when he was in Kindergarten since I would have had to put my foot down and ‘forbidden’ it. To which I calmly replied that I would do no such thing and couldn’t imagine what she was talking about. She continued on and on about how mean children could be and how he would be ridiculed.

My response to that: The only people that seem to have a problem with it is their mothers.

Another mom pointed out that high schools often have Spirit Days where girls dress like boys and vice versa. I mentioned Powderpuff Games where football players dress like cheerleaders and vice versa. Or every frat boy ever in college (Mom A said that her husband was a frat boy and NEVER dressed like a woman.)

But here’s the point, it is none of your damn business.

If you think that me allowing my son to be a female character for Halloween is somehow going to ‘make’ him gay then you are an idiot. Firstly, what a ridiculous concept. Secondly, if my son is gay, OK. I will love him no less. Thirdly, I am not worried that your son will grow up to be an actual ninja so back off.

If my daughter had dressed as Batman, no one would have thought twice about it. No one.

But it also was heartbreaking to me that my sweet, kind-hearted five year old was right to be worried. He knew that there were people like A, B, and C. And he, at 5, was concerned about how they would perceive him and what would happen to him.

Just as it was heartbreaking to those parents that have lost their children recently due to bullying. IT IS NOT OK TO BULLY. Even if you wrap it up in a bow and call it ‘concern.’ Those women were trying to bully me. And my son. MY son.

It is obvious that I neither abuse nor neglect my children. They are not perfect, but they are learning how to navigate this big, and sometimes cruel, world. I hate that my son had to learn this lesson while standing in front of allegedly Christian women. I hate that those women thought those thoughts, and worse felt comfortable saying them out loud. I hate that ‘pink’ is still called a girl color and that my baby has to be so brave if he wants to be Daphne for Halloween.

And all I hope for my kids, and yours, and those of Moms ABC, are that they are happy. If a set of purple sparkly tights and a velvety dress is what makes my baby happy one night, then so be it. If he wants to carry a purse, or marry a man, or paint fingernails with his best girlfriend, then ok. My job as his mother is not to stifle that man that he will be, but to help him along his way. Mine is not to dictate what is ‘normal’ and what is not, but to help him become a good person.

I hope I am doing that.

And my little man worked that costume like no other. He rocked that wig, and I wouldn’t want it any other way.


Comments

Anonymous's picture

This is one of the things

This is one of the things that irritates me. We counsel mercy and understanding for murder, robbery, adultery, (and oo, that big one, lust!) but we're ready to egg a person's house because they're gay. I mean seriously!
Good job, Mom, you have once again became your title, rather than just wearing it.

Sarah Hoffman's picture

Thanks for Celebrating Pink Boys

I love this post and I love you for sharing it with your readers! I'm the mom of a pink boy and I write about my experience raising him (www.sarahhoffmanwriter.com). I'm so, so happy to see America talking about accepting boys who are different. We have long accepted tomboys, and now it's time to love our pink boys, too. Thanks for bring attention to our kiddos.
Sarah Hoffman

Sarah Hoffman's picture

Thanks for Celebrating Pink Boys

I love this post and I love you for sharing it with your readers! I'm the mom of a pink boy and I write about my experience raising him (www.sarahhoffmanwriter.com). I'm so, so happy to see America talking about accepting boys who are different. We have long accepted tomboys, and now it's time to love our pink boys, too. Thanks for bring attention to our kiddos.
Sarah Hoffman

Megan Monique's picture

Deb, we LOVE you

I can't imagine what it is like to be in your place, but I do know that I have the upmost respect for you and your courageous journey. You are a beautiful part of our community and I am glad you chose to keep your photos up. lOVE you sweetie. xO

Melanie Bates's picture

Deborah...

Yes Deborah... I second Lissa's comment. We love you and everyone here who shares their selves and sacred space at Owning Pink. I'm so glad you decided to stay.

Lissa Rankin's picture

Oh Deborah, honey

Please don't pull your photos. We love you! We accept you. You're beautiful and perfect just the way you are.
Just sayin'....

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Deborah Beaulieu's picture

MY SON IS GAY

I was getting ready to pull my photo's off of Owning Pink untill I read about you and your son and then I felt a little bit better and decided not to.

Thanks for this.

Deb.

Deborah Beaulieu's picture

My Son is Gay

...my tears starting falling like raindrops the second I began reading the way you felt about this...sometimes it is going to be so hard trying to find a reason to love oneself when there is so much hostility and misunderstanding in the mainstream society towards this subject.

Thank God it is getting somewhat better and that for once in the history of this country it feels possible for person's like us to do and to live and to love the way we are in the inside, on the outside.

Hopefully, there will be a day that life is really as Pink out in the world, as it is on Owning Pink...someday.

Love All of You for being there for anybody who finds themselves in this or other difficult and diverse situations in life...someday, it will won't even be an issue hopefully?

Deborah Beaulieu's picture

My Son Is Gay

Good for you, no matter what a person's gender or sexual orientation are...they are still a person. Thank You for allowing your son to express himself as he chooses. Maybe if I had been allowed the same freedom growing up by my Mom (Bless her Heart!) I would not have turned to other outlets such as hard core drug use and gambling in order to cover up those feelings I had to stuff since I was a pre-schooler. Maybe I would not be having to go to two therapists now to try to find something to love about myself? Maybe I would have learned to love myself long before now. Love Your Children, and more than likely they will grow up loving themselves too.

Becky Homich's picture

Support

Hi Deborah,

I hope and pray that you will find the peace that you deserve. The path that you chose doesn't mean that you have to continue on that path. I found something to love about you right away...the fact that you are seeking help with the therapists. That tells me that you are trying to find yourself and that is the best place to start loving yourself. It doesn't matter what your sexual orientation is, what matters is that you can look in the mirror and see yourself as a person who deserves to be loved. Every day when you wake up, you need to look in the mirror and tell yourself that you deserve to be loved for who you are. Once you truly believe that you deserve to be loved, it will happen.

Positive thinking brings positive results. I am proof of that. I have been on a journey to improve myself for a long time and I can finally look in the mirror and say, I am a good person and I deserve good things.

I want this for you too. You can do it. I have faith in you and I will be praying for you!

Take Care,
Becky

Shannon's picture

Thank you!

Your post brings tears to my eyes. Boo is blessed to have you as a mommy and you are blessed to have him. What wonderful lessons you are both experiencing together - like a life of acceptance and non-judgement is the best way to live. That we will be faced with challenges along the way but in the end we can choose to be ourselves and treat ourselves and others with love and compassion. I have a two year old boy who likes imitating me by putting make up on in the morning. I often wonder when I'll be faced with a situation like you just had, because I know I would do the same thing you did. I'm so proud of both you and Boo for finding your inner courage and allowing yourselves to be authentically you. What a great gift you are gving your child at such a young age!!

Thank you for sharing with us.
Warmly,
Shannon

Anonymous's picture

BRAVO!!!

CLAP! CLAP! CLAP!

M. Kessler's picture

Outstanding! Smart mom, lucky and brilliant son!

Take it from me, dressing as a girl when you're a little boy no more makes you gay than standing in the garage will make you a car. As a mom you've done a wonderful thing for your boy. A mom secure with herself and her own decisions will have a strong, secure and happy son. And, in case you were wondering, I am an educated, heterosexual male, married with kids, whose mom allowed him to dress however he wanted when he was little!

Mama Micki's picture

Owning Pink-Go Mom

If there were more mothers out there like this the world would be a much better place...while the children of Moms ABC will always be concerned with what others think and never truely find their own way because they are stifled by society's prejudices...your son will grow up strong and confident in who he is and his ability to do and be whatever his heart desires (even if it is working purple tights and a red wig!!!). When my son was just a toddler his daddy looked at me one day and said what are you going to do if he marries a black woman...without missing a beat I said what are you going to do if he marries a man...as a mother who loves her children unconditionally all I want is for them to be happy and loved...the who and why are not important!!!

Anonymous's picture

Firstly, I think you did a

Firstly, I think you did a really brave thing. Congratulations.
I don't know if I would have encouraged my son to do that. Not that I don't think what you did wasn't right, but I guess one could anticipate those problems. Would I like my son to go through that to set an example or just because I know what is right? Listen, this is not a criticism at all.
I hope there are more mums like you out there.

Monica Wilcox's picture

A Remarkable Mother and a Brave Boo

It would not surprise me if Boo ended up living an extraordinary adult life. To get out of the car and make a stand for his choice at age 5...I know long lists of grown adults who are incapable of that kind of bravery.

My bother dressed up as a woman in 1979 for a Halloween Party at our METHODIST CHURCH in Cheyenne,WYOMING. Everyone laughed, told him how great he looked, gave him the second place prize for best costume. If anyone there questioned his 7 year old sexuality, they were kind enough to keep it to themselves. That was 21 years ago. Have we grown as a society or not? When are we going to learn that judgement of others diminishes our own light; boxes it and limits how far it can reach?

My only wish is that I could have been at the school, given Boo, and his mom a HUGE hug and told him how incredible he looked.

Thank you for sharing your story! You have an incredible young man there!

Boo's picture

Who is this Boo

Great work of art. I'll bet that boy turned out alright in his expression of self. But... who am I to judge. Your writing put a smile on my face.

Shannon's picture

I'd of done the same damn thing!

I don't see how some parents can be so controlling and ridiculous. My 5 yr. old is always curious about 'girl' stuff. Do I think he's gay? No. And who cares if he is.

He wanted to try finger nail polish on Halloween when mom was painting her nails. He seemed rather shy about it, but really wanted to. I assured him it was perfectly fine and normal. We painted one nail. He liked it.

My older son (8), circled a girl and boy rocker-barbie type set for his Christmas list. (He still has a baby doll that he used to take with him every where when he was 4.) And both my sons want an Easy Bake Oven. Will I get it for them? Damn straight.

I feel it's not up to me to dictate what my children should and shouldn't like. However, I feel it's my duty to keep all possiblities and opportunities open to them so that they can gain the experience of making decisions (expressing) for themselves. After all, we learn from experience. I don't think it's healthy for kids to wait until they're 18 yrs. old to start making their own decisions.

Shannon's picture

I'd of done the same damn thing!

I don't see how some parents can be so controlling and ridiculous. My 5 yr. old is always curious about 'girl' stuff. Do I think he's gay? No. And who cares if he is.

He wanted to try finger nail polish on Halloween when mom was painting her nails. He seemed rather shy about it, but really wanted to. I assured him it was perfectly fine and normal. We painted one nail. He liked it.

My older son (8), circled a girl and boy rocker-barbie type set for his Christmas list. (He still has a baby doll that he used to take with him every where when he was 4.) And both my sons want an Easy Bake Oven. Will I get it for them? Damn straight.

I feel it's not up to me to dictate what my children should and shouldn't like. However, I feel it's my duty to keep all possiblities and opportunities open to them so that they can gain the experience of making decisions (expressing) for themselves. After all, we learn from experience. I don't think it's healthy for kids to wait until they're 18 yrs. old to start making their own decisions.

Becky Homich's picture

My son is Gay

I am so impressed with A Cop's Wife for standing up to these narrow minded women. It's a Halloween costume! Even if it isn't just the costume, it is nobody's business. This mom is just doing what she does naturally. loving her son. No matter what and that makes her a hero in my eyes.

God bless her and her son!

Becky Homich

nightowlcraftworks's picture

He's the best Daphne ever!

This is so great! I'm so proud & impressed that such an article was written. I hope those moms can evolve out of their little bubble <3

AMAZING LITTLE MAN! YOU'RE MY SUPERHERO!

Lissa Rankin's picture

Isn't she the best mom EVER?

I love love love this post! And apparently, she's not alone. There's an article in this week's People magazine (yes, I read People- shut up) about a woman who wrote a book called My Princess Boy (http://myprincessboy.com/) about her son who loves to dress up in sparkly princess costumes.

I'm so touched that there are mothers willing to just let their children be who they are. God bless you A Cop's Wife for setting an example we all might follow.

Love and mojo,
Lissa

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Heather Sobieralski's picture

I love you and your son!

This is one of my favorite OP posts to date! You and your son are my new idols and I have nothing more to say.

Heather Sobieralski

My Mama Mojo

Life Coach for Moms

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