The whole boys loving pink is getting quite a bit of publicity these days. I’m on the fence about it all. Having a pink loving ballet dancing boy princess I understand it. However I also am not doing it because I relate to a celebrity or want my 15 minutes or want to exploit my son in anyway. I am here to help him pave the way, to help others who are in a situation now pave the way, to CHANGE things so maybe he won’t have to suffer quite so much. I do this as nothing more than Rory’s mother. I do this for love.
This was recently brought to the surface again from a place I least expected it. A mother was asking for help because her boy like mine likes pink, princesses and playing with the girls. When she asked him why he simply said because boys don’t fight. Then she said “My husband and I are very strict on this issue and most of the time try to not to allow him to do girlish things hoping that this might change his attitude.can we do anything to prevent it. we are really worried that this might affect his future sexual identity. please help.”
I drafted my reply :”This deeply offends me on many many levels. What is wrong with him liking pink? Will it hurt anyone if for a year or 6 months or 5 years he likes pink or barbie or princesses? Will it make him less of a man down the road to be caring and considerate kind empathetic in ways that many women complain that they wish their husbands, boyfriends partners were? Gender roles disgust me. If it were your little girl doing things that boys do like become educated, vote, work outside the home, become a teacher, doctor lawyer president would you still care? As recently at the 1950’s pink has historically been am masculine color and blue a calmer color reserved for girls.
I see my 4.5 yo boys love for pink no different than his 7 yo brothers need to wear orange for 2 straight years and honestly Rory is less intense and dramatic about it. He is my softer gentler boy. He takes ballet. He loves it it makes him happy so happy the teacher has said he truly brightens the class including the girl who used to push and shove in the class who doesn’t anymore. He was a “boy fairy princess” for Halloween I admire his creativity.
What right do I have to ever make him feel his beliefs are wrong? What kind of a parent would I be to make him feel any less than accepted for who he is! He wants to grow up and be a ballerina and a mommy so he can wear babies in slings and have snuggle time and read stories in nests. I can’t wait! And so what if in 20 years hens the “mommy” I’ll be there to love and support him. He doesn’t put gender roles on mommy & daddy other than mommy is comfort mommy takes care of us. Daddy can be abrupt and stern.
Future sex identity? Sounds to me more like some homophobic fear talking. Would it really be the end of the world if he is gay and happy? Or Would you prefer that he feel unaccepted and shut out in his own home by the people in the world who are supposed to love him the most during adolescence when things are confusing enough and rather than disappoint you or other fears kills himself instead?”
Should I have left it like that maybe not but I really wanted to make a point. I offended her. I think I probably meant to. I meant her to get mad to fight for her child to put on her mama bear big girl panties and protect her child to love him to fight for him. She is from Dubai she is using culture as an “excuse” for her behavior. I understand that homosexuality is not always accepted in other places and then I thought is it REALLY accepted here in the good ole US of A? BUT, BUT, BUT before we even get that far lets remember that we are also discussing a little boy here he is FOUR! FOUR! They don’t do things at this point to be gay or straight. They just do things to not hurt, to not feel challenged, or ridiculed. I sent off a second response. A response that in all honesty I cried while drafting. A response that has since moved me to tears reading it to a few friends over the phone. Friends that I know will be right there by my side loving my children and fighting for them as I will be for theres. Friends I thanks my lucky stars on a daily basis for having. Friends who urged me to share with you.
“This entire thing has been bothering me since I saw it. I was up pacing at midnight and couldn’t sleep til about 2 am and was up again at 4 still bothered by it. My heart breaks for children who are not accepted for whatever the reason by their family. Be it a father who is unaccepting of his daughter’s dyslexia. A mother who doesn’t understand how food is interfering with her children’s behavior. A sibling who torments his brother for liking to cook.
I was not intending to attack I was intending to ask tough questions to say the things often left unsaid. I understand cultural differences it does not mean I have to like them and I will challenge them. An example: My fathers family is from the old south my family did own slaves. Its a truth. It disgusts me. We live in the inner city of Baltimore we are the only white family on our block. A family member came to visit a year ago and asked us how we liked living around a bunch of niggers I nearly threw up. It was not a word my children had heard and if they had definitely not in that context. I explained that we lived around a bunch of hard working, working class families trying to do the best for their children and families. That it was hard enough trying to teach our children not to judge without someone they loved and respect to act in such a way and in my home I would not tolerate such language and I don’t.
I was very upset and posted a comment on my facebook page and a wonderful dear friend responded “The funny thing is, this isn’t solely about parenting. Rejecting the feminine, whether it’s attitudes or interest, in men/boys is plain old misogyny. I find it shocking to hear that there are so many femininity-hating mothers out there. FEMININITY IS NOT A CURSE OR AN INDICATION OF ONE’S SEXUALITY.” I hadn’t though of it that way at all, a new point of view.
Nada you asked a question I know my response upset you and I’m not entirely sorry it upset you. I believe our children are here to teach us life lessons. To teach us ALL life lessons. My 17 year old daughter like you and your husband fears that my acceptance of my pink princess loving boy and is also worried that it will affect his future sexual identity. Ironically he is her favorite of her little brothers and we have had many an argument not speaking for a few days over it my response to her was that no matter what I will love him I will support him I will fight for him. If he is a pink princess ballet loving construction worker with a gay lover I will love him. If he is an orange cowboy monster truck train loving ballerina hairdresser with a wife and kids I will love him. There is absolutely nothing in this world he could do that will stop me from loving him. I shared this with my daughter I said to her many of the things I said in the email. That I would rather him be alive and happy than dead because he was miserable and scared. I think she finally understood. For christmas she bought him a princess board game and pink pajamas. He hugged her and said “thank you brenna for loving the pink me”. I sobbed. Though she had never really said anything to him he knew. She is now a member of his boy princess club. She will fight for him she will love him. He taught her that pink, gay, straight, brown, orange it doesn’t matter WHO we are matters.
SPD has taught me a lesson. I was TERRIFIED of having a boy like my stepson. He was wild, crazy, a race car. He was constantly knocking into me. Knocked me down the stairs when I was pregnant with Jack and didn’t even realize or care. I prayed, I begged, I needed a girl. Girls were calmer, gentle, reasonable like my lexi was. Instead I was gifted with this boy who would make my wild stepson seem calm. I was given a boy. A boy who doesn’t feel pain. A boy who runs into walls, climbs the highest towers, has never gotten dizzy, who shows no fear or mercy. He is also the kindest and deepest loving of all my children. He inspires me and terrifies me on a daily basis. I homeschool for him. He is a mustang wild and free I will not have him broken. Story time is often accomplished while he jumps on anything or everything or is hanging upside down off the side of his bunk bed. I used to watch him climb frozen in fear that he would get hurt. Now I watch on occasion with pride (often i don’t watch because i don’t want him to be worried about me watching him) he is happy when pushing his body to its limits I remember being that girl on the back of a horse riding faster jumping higher until i learned from others fears. I don’t want him to stop on account of mine. He pushes me to new limits that I didn’t think i had in me. I learn I adapt I love.
Love and acceptance thats all I want for children not just mine but all.
I love that you asked for help. I hope you can accept that I was not trying to judge but ask tough questions to give you a place to accept him that it really isnt the end of the world. Just love.”
Honestly I don’t know how to end this post. I don’t think its about homosexuality at all just about gender roles and assumptions and frankly I wish in so many ways children were sexless until I don’t know 10 then it wouldn’t matter if our boys were ballerinas or girls played soldier they would just be children free to explore, learn, play and most of all just be loved.