Friday, November 5, 2010

About The 'My Son Is Gay' Lady

I love my son. If he turns out to be gay: Awesome. If he wants to dress up someday as Daphne from 'Scooby Doo,' I'll buy him the wig. So I'm down with the Nerdy Apple Bottom blogger who did just that for her son. I'm just not quite as down with what happened next:

"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?"

Good lord. How about most of the other kids? And maybe even many of their parents? Unfortunately, that's what happened.

I'm not one to criticize another person's parenting: It's a friggin' hard job, we all make mistakes, and we all generally do them out of love. I have no reason to believe that Nerdy Apple had any other intent in her own actions.

But like I say: If my son wants to dress up like Daphne, that's how we'll play it. If he decides to reverse course because he's not sure he can handle the ridicule at school, well, I won't blow it off. Is it fair that he was ridiculed? No. Was it predictable? Absolutely. And while it's fine to support your child if he wants to challenge conventions, it's probably also important to support your kid if they'd rather not fight that particular battle in that particular manner. I'm going to instill values in my son as best I can, among them a dedication to standing up for the rights and feelings of less-powerful people. My job, however, is primarily to protect him -- and nudging him gently to let his freak flag fly might end up being more a demonstration of my own open-mindedness than his. It's a tough balance, to be sure, but I don't think the Nerdy Apple blogger found the right side of it.

Nerdy Apple meant well, I'm certain. She clearly loves her son. I agree with her values. But I think she made a mistake.

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