Do unto others…

Hello. My name is Violet, and I am writing this because last night I received extremely hateful and disgusting messages on Facebook. Out of everything I have experienced in my life, I have never experienced rage and fear so strong that it physically manifested itself and made my body shake and sweat uncontrollably. My heart was pounding and my ears were on fire. I am only now, a day later, beginning to calm down.

I am the proud mother of a gender-nonconforming son. What does that mean? Well, let’s break it down. Gender: the state of being male or female (typically used with reference to social and cultural differences, rather than biological ones). Non-conforming: refusal to conform to an established or conventional creed, rule, or practice. Basically, my son does not adhere to typical gender roles. He loves Hello Kitty and all things sparkly. He wears bows and clips in his beautiful long hair. He wears dresses and carries a purse. He prefers the things typically associated with the opposite sex. and guess what? We don’t care. We don’t care that he likes to shop in the little girls section, we don’t care when he chooses the pink sparkly winter boots, and we don’t even care when people call him our daughter or address him using female pronouns (because he doesn’t care either). He freely chooses to express himself this way, and we allow it. We did not choose this life for our son. We do not force this on him. Nobody in their right mind would choose a life of struggle for their child, which is why it is important to us to give him the freedom to be the person he is.

Is this a precursor to something bigger? Does it matter? The answer is no, it does not matter. What matters most is my child’s wellbeing. I, like most every other parent I know, would do absolutely anything to ensure my child’s wellbeing. It is my responsibility as a mother to make sure that we are raising this child in a safe, nurturing, accepting, and loving environment. My child is happy, healthy, moral, and smart and that is what matters.

Sadly, I knew this day was coming. I’ve been expecting and preparing for it ever since he decided to pierce his ears and started painting his nails, years ago. I’ve played out scenarios in my head where I had to fiercely defend my kid against ignorance. I just did not expect it so soon. He is only six years old.

I am aware that not everybody “agrees” with us on this. For a lot of people, a lack of understanding and a fear of what is unknown or different can be very frightening. Generally, as humans, we are used to what is “normal” and what is comfortable. When something comes in and shakes up our views, we may react poorly. Unfortunately the woman who sent the nasty messages saw us as a threat to her small world, and she attempted to frantically defend that small world using religion and hate as a weapon. The thing is, religion and God should not be used as a weapon. If God created my child, then God created him exactly how he should be. If you believe in God, you should know better than to question his work or his plans.

The world is a huge place. You are sharing this planet with seven billion other people, each of them unique. Each of them from different cultures and different walks of life. Each of them facing their own struggles. If you personally could make it a point to practice love, acceptance, tolerance, understanding, and compassion, perhaps the suicide rate among people like my child would not be 41%. And for the people who cannot do that, and will continue to spew hatred, remember: my love is far stronger than your hate.

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Do unto others…

11 thoughts on “Do unto others…

    1. I definitely do not mind! Please feel free to paraphrase, quote, or share this post. I am happy to try to help bring more understanding and positivity into the world. Best wishes!

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  1. I bought my boys what society would label “female” toys. A kitchen, pots and pans, cabbage patch dolls, Ken and Barbie… The toys didn’t make them gay. Only thoughtful and kind.
    Stop the stereotypes!!

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  2. at Trans Youth Equality Foundation we are appreciative of your story and your response.We will share this. If you or any family needs support please follow us on FB at Trans Youth equality Foundation and http://www.transyouthequality.org as you will find much info and support there. Also we are a foundation for gender non conforming kids and trans kids. Let us know how we can help. I am sorry this happened to you. If you are anywhere near the east coast we hope you will send your child to our summer and fall weekend camps. We have other young ones that age that are gender nonconforming and this winter we have a “family retreat” in Connecticut, a weekend of fun, learning and meeting others! We even have a heated pool! I hope the person who wrote the hateful words has been reported. Sometimes schools want to know about this too if it happens outside of school among the kids or the parents. And on line this is cyber bullying and threatening, even when a parent does it. However you are associated with this person, I would report. Wishing you the best! We are here for u!

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  3. When my son was two, he broke his leg. I took him to the emergency room, and when the decision came to pick a cast color, he didn’t hesitate. “Pink,” he said. The nurse looked at me with suspicion, then looked at my then-wife (yes, my son has two moms). She started to argue with my 2-year-old son and I cut her off.

    “He said pink.”

    A burly man came in shortly thereafter to cast his leg, and was rattled by the selection of pink.

    “Is his father gonna come here and kick my ass?”

    “Not a chance,” I said.

    All you can do is love your child and instill confidence in them. There are thousands and thousands of gender-nonconforming boys. These boys should know it’s ok to embrace stereotypical “girl” things, because, at the end of the day, nothing is actually girly or actually just for boys.

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  4. Alisha Rohde says:

    My 6 year old son is also gender nonconforming. He loves nail polish, make up, dresses, and many of the toys and shows that are geared towards girls. He has recently started wearing dresses to school and faced some bullying from classmates. Thankfully he has also had a lot of support from various staff members and from his teacher. They compliment him and look out for him, he knows he can go to them and they make sure he feels safe. I love that my son feels comfortable being himself, and that he is not afraid to love what he loves.

    Much love to you and yours. ❤

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  5. mstanchich says:

    Beautifully expressed and so right on point! I also want to recommend the resources for children, parents and schools at Lambda Legal, which has been at the forefront of legal struggle in this arena for decades. I have been a yearly contributor since 2003:
    http://www.lambdalegal.org/

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  6. mom2ferals says:

    I missed your original story, as we have been pretty caught up in our own battles over here. But I saw your post “on the board” this morning, and wanted to run over and send you some love and support. It is an absolutely horrible thing that we have to battle, sometimes daily, for our children. But in the bigger scheme, whether its a precursor or not, it is fortunate that your child has such a strong mother. When I read the hate messages we get, I am horrified, devastated, angry and so many other things. But when you think about it, seeing how strong this hate is, there is a relief that we can shelter them from that, that they’re not sitting alone trying to swim through the hate. That’s the advantage, I guess, to our situations. The hate is directed at us mostly, and Id far prefer that over the alternative. Thinking of you ❤

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