Raising my gender creative son
name each Disney Princess and her movie of origin, but when his third birthday finally rolled around, he wanted a Disney Princess themed party.
Where we live, in conservative and competitive Orange County, California, third birthdays are when things start to get out of control. It happens right around the time there are preschool classmates and parents to impress. In Orange County especially the southernmost portion, where we live, where you can run into a Real Housewife in the grocery store or at the gym people are constantly trying to one up and outdo one another. Kids’ birthday parties are a big deal here. There are mobile salons that cater to tweens and mobile video game trucks that bring every gaming system and every video game to your driveway so that the pint sized party peeps can get their game on in an air conditioned fifth wheel. We’ve been to kids’ parties that were fully catered and have left with goody bags that cost more than the gift we brought. had been to enough of these over the top parties to know that he wanted one for himself, with as many people in attendance as possible and with the house and his cake decked out with Disney Princesses. There was no room for negotiation.
Finally, the big day came, and it was almost time to sing “Happy Birthday.” Friends and family were gathered around the table outside by the pool. So were the preschool classmates and their parents, cheap wedding dresses all strangers to us. [My mother] Nana Grab Bags exited the kitchen and approached the crowd first. She proudly carried a tray of homemade genderneutral yellow cupcakes that had been rainbow sprinkled to perfection. In her blue maxidress she moved like Cinderella’s godmother.
Nana Grab Bags set the cupcakes in the center of the table. All eyes were on us. as everyone watched. was clapping his hands out of excitement and in approval of his cake. His smile was wide and his dimples were deep. It was the cake of his dreams.
The group turned into a mixture of skeptical looks, baffled expressions, and smirky smiles. No one said a word to us. It seemed like every partygoer wanted a shot of the birthday boy with his princess cake. I held my head up high and carried on, asif this were perfectly normal, because, increasingly, for us, it was.
It felt like a coming out party for our family, like we were saying to everyone in attendance, This is our son, he is three, and he likes girl stuff. If you don’t like it, you can take your goody bag and go. was three years old and a total and complete pinkaholic. He ignored every other color, except, on occasion, purple. So much so that during his annual checkup just after his third birthday, I asked his pediatrician to test him for color blindness because at preschool he wouldn’t name all of the colors. Maybe he just couldn’t see the color blue; maybe hewas color blind. Maybe that would explain something, anything. could see colors perfectly. refused to acknowledge the color blue. why he ignored the color blue and disliked it so much, but all I ever got from him in reply was a shouldershrug. In fact, we were getting pretty comfortable with it because it made our son so happy. started cross dressing.
It started one day when I was I folding my clean laundry. grabbed my orange tank top with scalloped trim and ran out of the room and up the stairs. He was always sabotagingmy laundry work, most often knocking over a pile of just folded towels and laughing so hard he’d fall on the ground. I ignored the tank top thievery, until he came downstairs wearingit as a dress with a pair of my plum colored heels.
He entered the living room methodically and ladylike, with a happy, mischievous grin spread from ear to ear and eyes that looked dangerous with excitement.
I worried constantly, unnecessarily, and unprovoked about Matt and how he was doing with all of it, with his son not being a typical boy, when he himself was that personified.
Would Matt’s concern and questioning turn to anger, distance, or some other feeling so powerful that fleeing the situation might begin to seem like the better, easier option? cheap wedding dresses Wouldhe blame me? Was I the one to blame? I blamed me. was just like my brother. I had passed on the gene that made him a little boy who liked all things fabulous.
Initially, we only allowed him to wear them in the safety of our own home, because we didn’t want him or Chase getting teased. Then we realized that it was just as fine for him to wearthem to the homes of his cheap wedding dresses grandparents and our close friends. Soon he was wearing his hot pink dress with light pink hearts on it and Tinker Bell boots to ride his scooter up and downour street. But that’s as far into “public” as he ever wore “girl clothes.” And the vast majority of the time, he was 100 percent fine with that. He never pushed us or campaigned to wear his girl clothes out in public. The first parenting memoir to chronicle the journey of raising a gender nonconforming child, the book is based on her popular blog of the same name. Duron and her blog have twice been named one of BlogHer’s Voices of the Year; one of Ignite Social Media’s “100 Women Bloggers You Should be Reading;” one of Circle of Moms “Top 25 SoCal Moms;” and one of Parents Magazine’s blogs that are “Most Likely To Change The World.” Publishers Weekly recently named Raising My Rainbow one of the Best Books of 2013. Duron and her blog have earned the cheap wedding dresses attention of a variety of media outlets including: The TODAY Show, CNN, Time, Anderson Cooper, People, BBC, MSNBC, The New York Times, The Huffington Post, Psychology Today, Fox News, Out, The Advocate, Newsweek, and The Atlantic. Duron lives with her husband and two children in a happy, messy home in Orange County, California.