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I remember being maybe 5yrs old and LOVING a certain dark blue jumper. I wanted to wear it every day. I remember waking up in the middle of the night and getting it out of the laundry just so I could wear it again.. I am not quite sure what happened but
somewhere along the way I discovered that I hated skirts and dresses and wanted to wear jeans, t-shirts, and hi-top sneakers. Was this a problem?
Well yes.
In the mid 1980s in upstate NY it was apparently NOT acceptable. I spent 2 years in high school being called "Gerald" for my choice in clothing. I was told straight out that it was because of what I wore and how I styled my hair.
So I got pink pants and a grey sweater with pink teddy bears on it.
I got a perm in my hair..
And I felt like a clown.
I hated myself.. 

 I wanted to feel comfortable in my skin, but I was not sure how to do that. So I went back to being a tomboy.. playing sports and wearing jeans and sneakers. I accepted that I should be able to wear what I want or cut my hair the way I want in able to feel comfortable in my own skin. This discovery, in conjunction by the way my parents and grandmother raised me, shaped my parenting decisions.

When Jaxen was a baby I gave him dinosaurs, super hero toys, and dolls to play with.. I made him camo, tattoo, & batman  diapers.  I also made him pink and rainbow sponge bob diapers.. I dressed him in jack skellington onesies and pink piggie baby legs... I had high hopes to have an alternapunk boy. But, more importantly I wanted him to be himself and not stick him in a certain genderhole.

What does jaxen love at the age of 5 and 1/2? Hello Kitty and anything Pink.
Does he like dinosaurs? a little.
Does he like superheros? Yes... the power puff girls.. 

Do I push this on him? Not at all.

Do I discourage it? Why would I?

I am distressed to learn that some of the biggest voices railing against my decision to not stifle Jaxens preferences and self expression are coming from within the LGBT community itself. I would think that I would have more of a support system from within the community. 

Does he think he is a girl? nope. 
Does he like boys? nope.
Would either of those things really matter if he did? nope. 

He likes to wear pink. He loves hello kitty. He likes to paint his nails. Why in the world would I tell him no? What purpose would that serve other than to crush his idea of self? He is an outgoing, confident, loving boy. I would not have him any other way. Why
would I force him to adhere to social pressures that I do not believe in? If he is happy in his own skin with his pink crocs on and his pink hello kitty back pack, who am I to tell him that he is wrong? I refuse to do that to him. Why should I deny him something that he is attracted to because of an arbitrary decision in the 1940s by store marketing campaigns? I refuse to do it. 

So judge me if you will.
I am not going to make him be something that he is not in order to please other people.
He is not hurting himself or other people,
Why would I discourage him from being comfortable in his own skin?
I won't.
I refuse. 




Posted via LiveJournal app for Android.


( 8 spews — spew forth )
Mar. 18th, 2012 12:58 pm (UTC)
Arbitrary and meaningless markers of gender identity can get stuffed.

This is a beautiful post and that is a beautiful child.
Mar. 18th, 2012 02:17 pm (UTC)
I think you are remarkable!
Mar. 18th, 2012 03:21 pm (UTC)
Totally agree and wonderfully well said. </p>

My guy is just about to turn three and is getting to an age where his friend at school seem to "know" what boys should be doing/wearing and the same for girls. I'm trying to figure out how to have the conversation with holland if he does want to wear nail polish or do something stereotypically female. I won't discourage it (at all) but I feel like I want to prepare him for what he could potentially (unfortunately) hear from other people. Do you talk to Jaxen about this at all? Would love to hear your approach.

Laura Mcintyre
Mar. 18th, 2012 03:25 pm (UTC)
Love it
I just love you and your parenting style and Jaxen is just such a lucky boy.

My 3 year old loves Pink and taken part in girly stuff - nail painting/make up etc.. just yesterday he was at a birthday party and got upset as he forgot his party dress lol. Of course he does have two big sisters who encourage him.

Im a big believer in letting them find there own way , Ru for the most part is a very boys boy and loves everything boy..just with a bit of sparkle underneath :)
Mar. 18th, 2012 04:54 pm (UTC)
It boggles my mind that people actually care. Well....I guess I should say that people who want to be themselves, but unfortunately have a lot of prejudices against that, actually care and want to do that to someone else.

Like you said, it's not hurting anyone so let the kid enjoy what he enjoys.

Mar. 18th, 2012 10:11 pm (UTC)
You're doing the right thing. I will admit to being quick to commenting to Jessi on a young boys' DS bag...it was pink, he was about 7. She reminded me, "maybe he likes it" I said "you're right, he probably does. I just don't see it often so it's still socially weird." BUT once I remember that I let Jessi wear what she wanted and if that meant Harry Potter glasses and a scar drawn on her head, then so be it. And if a girl wants to wear blue and black and have short hair, that's fine too. So if Jaxen likes pink and Hello Kitty, people need to let him (and you) be. He is 5. He hasn't been brought up to think that pink is for girls and I think that's how it should be. And the kid with the pink DS bag also had an older sister and the fact that he didn't care the bag was pink was my indication that I (and other people) shouldn't either.
Mar. 19th, 2012 03:54 am (UTC)
Great job on raising him! I think a lot of people say it wouldn't matter but when it comes time to put their feet to the fire they shrink away. So great job for truly living your beliefs. I think Jaxen looks wonderful.
Mar. 26th, 2012 03:41 am (UTC)
Good for him for being confident and secure, that's what matters.
( 8 spews — spew forth )


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