Mother of 'Rainbow' comes out in new book

Healthy, happy 6-year-old likes being a boy but loves pink, worships Disney princesses
Associated Press
Sep 4, 2013

For Lori Duron, parenting her younger son C.J. is etched in time as B.B. and A.B. — before Barbie and after Barbie.

The 6½-year-old discovered the doll at the back of his mother's closet about four years ago, and she's barely left his clutches since.

In a new book "Raising My Rainbow," the Orange County, Calif., mom describes C.J. as — in a word — fabulous as he lives life largely in pink, playing with girl toys, dressing in girl clothes and worshipping the Disney princesses.

If you want more words, there's "gender nonconforming, gender creative, gender fluid, gender independent, gender variant, has gender identity disorder, or whatever you prefer to call it."

A world of nagging fear and anxiety about raising a boy who wants to be treated like a girl prompted Duron to begin an anonymous blog, RaisingMyRainbow.com, documenting their family's adventures. More than a million readers later, the book from Broadway Books is her humorous coming out.

A conversation with Lori Duron:

AP: How's C.J. doing now?

Duron: He's getting ready to start first grade, so he's great. He's fun. He's a great kid. He's healthy and happy. C.J. could be transgender. We've always been open to that possibility, but right now he's entering first grade as a boy and he likes being a boy. He's already picked out his rainbow-colored, leopard-print backpack and his pink lunch box.

AP: You've tapped into a burgeoning parenting "movement," of sorts, meaning those parents who are allowing their children to be gender creative.

Duron: It has been great that we've met other families. That's part of the reason why I started the blog, because we were feeling so alone and we were feeling like we were the only family going through this and we knew that that couldn't be the case.

This is also something you don't necessarily see when you're out and about because some kids are in hiding, and sometimes their parents don't allow them to be gender creative out in public or even in the house.

I've made amazing friends who are raising kind of this next generation of LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, questioning) youth and we do consider ourselves to be in that community. We may not always be. There's still the possibility that C.J. could identify as straight.

AP: What are some of the fears as a "spokesparent," with the blog and now the book?

Duron: I never anticipated that. I thought I would start this blog and I would meet other families like ours. I never, ever intended to show my face, let people know my name. But because of the emails and the support that I've received, I know it's so important that someone needs to speak out for families like ours. I'll be that person who speaks out. I get some hate mail and I don't like getting hate mail, so there are people who definitely disagree. It would be much easier not to deal with that but it's too important for kids and families like ours. I can't hide.

AP: You're not a fan of Dr. Phil. Have you ever met him?

Duron: I've never met him, no. He said some things that are hurtful, that could be really hurtful to kids like C.J. if parents took his advice to heart. He said if your son is playing with girl toys redirect him toward boy toys. Redirect those feminine behaviors, to limit play things to those in line with their gender. I just think that's so dangerous.

AP: You grew up with a gay brother and brought that experience to the table when C.J.'s preferences for "girl stuff" surfaced.

Duron: I definitely saw my parents make some mistakes. It was a different time and a different place. We lived in a not-so-great area of Los Angeles and we grew up in the '70s and the '80s into the '90s. We come from a very religious home, where homosexuality was considered a sin. I watched my brother struggle and I watched my parents and I promised that I wouldn't make those same mistakes with my kids should they be LGBTQ.

We wouldn't call C.J. a sissy. My brother was called a sissy at home. My brother was encouraged to "man up." We don't try to get C.J. to man up. My brother was not always given the toys that he wanted for Christmas and birthdays. My brother grew up feeling shame and some of it was in direct relation to actions of my parents and some of it was self-inflicted because he knew he should have been doing boy stuff. I know what it can do to someone from a home that isn't totally supportive.

AP: One of the talking points in your reader's guide at the back of the book struck me: Can you parent to the best of your ability when you're concerned about what other people will think or say?

Duron: Yeah, that's something that we had to deal with. It got to the point where we were putting all of these constrictions on C.J. at first, like you can play with your girl toys and put on your girl clothes at home but not in the car. Then it was you can do it in the car but not when we get to the destination, then you could do it at this destination but not that destination. It was making all of us a little bit crazy. No one knew where the lines had been drawn because we had drawn them so many times.

My mom finally said, "What are you guys so afraid of?" because she just saw that we were so anxious and so worried, and I just blurted out the first thing that came to my mind: "I'm afraid of what other people will think," which is so not like me as a person in general, which is so not like me as a parent.

AP: When will parents of gender nonconforming kids get some answers to the tough questions you pose in the book about the root of this behavior? Does their behavior need to be explained?

Duron: The thing that parents like me take away the most is that they're not alone, and that can feel so good, to finally feel like you're not alone in this. That is very powerful.

There's more and more research being done. It's hard. People are just now starting to dedicate the time and the money to research this in children. A lot of parents won't allow their children to participate. I would love to see more studies. That would also raise awareness for kids like C.J.

 

Comments

KnuckleDragger

Any mother that encourages a child this young to express their sexuality should be charged with child abuse. Reading this story leads me to believe the mother was planning on making a spectacle of this child even before the child was old enough to know show any outward signs of being different.

Stop It

Agreed. At 6 1/2 yrs. old, a kid doesn't need to know anything about sexuality.

bnjjad

Yep. Lets stop encouraging kids to be what they want to be and do what they want to do and be happy so they continue down a forced path of "perfectness" so you feel better about yourself. But at the first sign of rebellion by this child after they have had enough of trying to fit into a mold, through them away as they are no good.

Child Abuse? For what? Letting the kid have a happy and fulfilling life?

From the Grave

I played with GI Joes, a LOT. I made them kill each other, a LOT. I haven't killed a real person, yet, though some of your comments make me think about it...

4shizzle

I agree KnuckleDragger.
Sounds like mother was dropped on her head at birth.

KnuckleDragger

Well at least we agree on something :)

thinkagain

Another homosexual in training…

44846GWP

Another ignorant comment from neverthinks.

thinkagain

Twinkie troll

margaritaville88

GEEEZ people..it's Adam & Eve....NOT Adam & STEVE !!!!!!

bnjjad

its actually neither. its primate and primate.

44846GWP

Hahahahaha............so funny. Never heard that one before.

brassman

That poor kid

Unassumer

I see we have the usual closed minded bunch spouting off. Obviously the child wanted to do these things and the mother just let him be himself which goes to prove that homosexuality is not learned. People are born that way. The bible is not the last or only word and was not written by God or Jesus. It was written by men who promote violence towards women and made up a bunch of rules that do not fit into our current society. So wake up and realize that not everyone is the same or has the same values and we are not here to judge others, but rather to try to accept and understand.

KnuckleDragger

Closed minded would also be anyone who can't accept that someone may have a different opinion than yours. Maybe it is time for you to wake up?

themomx6

You start with this:

"I see we have the usual closed minded bunch spouting off. Obviously the child wanted to do these things and the mother just let him be himself which goes to prove that homosexuality is not learned. People are born that way. The bible is not the last or only word and was not written by God or Jesus. It was written by men who promote violence towards women and made up a bunch of rules that do not fit into our current society. So wake up and realize that not everyone is the same or has the same values and we are not here to judge others..."

And end with this:

"...try to accept and understand."

Hilarious! You just spent most of your entire post NOT "accepting or understanding" those who believe in God and the Bible.

thinkagain

Yet another example of the homosexual advocates hypocrisy when they cry for tolerance…

Militant homosexual groups boycott Christian business. Owner received messages threatening to kill his family and hoped his children would die.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/20...

bnjjad

I know where you get your news from with that wording. How many militant christian groups have boycotted or caused problems for homosexual groups/businesses?

Everyone has their own beliefs and thoughts and should be able to exercise them freely without other people shoving them down their throats. I don't care if you believe in God or Zeus or Wican. Let ME be!

KnuckleDragger

Looks to me like he got it from the liberal Huffington Post.

bnjjad

using those words, more likely: http://www.newshounds.us/2013090...

or Fox.

44846GWP

neverthinks, where in your link does it say ANYTHING about the owner"received messages threatening to kill his family and hoped his children would die"? Make up some more stuff to support your ignorance!

The Big Dogs ba...

Gee good thing my parents had the gall to tell me that I in fact WAS NOT a dinosaur...

KnuckleDragger

Gee, how lucky are we.

red white and blue

I'd like to read the paper one day without hearing how great being gay is.bnjjad you talk about pushing people beliefs on others well that's all I've seen lately with the gays wanting to be married in a church gay parade gay day at cedar point seems to me there the ones pushing now we have a 6 year old that allready knows he is gay really

Stop It

Not only that, he was TWO YRS OLD when he decided to be gay.

bnjjad

Yep, becuase a two year old has the mental capacity to decide that he is sexually attracted to males or females (like they even know the difference) and would rather play with barbie then GI Joe.

ITS A TOY PEOPLE! So what if he wants to dress up as a girl. Let the kid be. If he really is Transgender or gay then so be it, but realistically he is most likely having fun while being a kid. I am sure I did some weird, non gender correct things while I was growing up (as we all did at some point I am sure)

If the mom is really trying to shape him into what he currently is, then shame on her, but at this point I don't see evidence of that.

4shizzle

Yeah , at two years old he probably said (if he could talk): "I've always felt like a woman..."

KnuckleDragger

LOL

bnjjad

To be blunt, I don't push my beliefs on anyone, I am a very passive person. I just want to make sure everyone understands that it goes both ways. You can't push your beliefs on others and not let those others push their beliefs on you. As I have said before not only on this site but others, I don't like hearing about it all the time either, but until something happens its not going to be that way. This is a hot subject for news agency's and gets a lot of page views and a lot of commentary that either turns into more news or into money for them. We either hear about the gays wanting their stuff or the Christians who want it their way.

Like I said before, let ME be!

Gay parades are no different than other celebrations either. (it shouldn't even be needed, but if you wanted a straight parade, I am sure you could organize one if you really wanted too)

totallyamazed

.
Man up kid! Play with a G.I Joe, have your dad (none was mentioned though) take you to the dump, and throw a football around you'll snap out of it....I'm pulling for ya.

"gender nonconforming, gender creative, gender fluid, gender independent, gender variant, has gender identity disorder".... What the...?

Somehow I see state holidays erupting out of this list.
**How about California's Gender Identity Disorder Day?**

Hope his mom isn't gender fluid, she's pretty. If she is gender variant, well...I'd be feeling pretty salty then wouldn't I?

HA!
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