Warning: extended, only remotely related to Banned Books Week rant below. Please find a more indicative sample of our regularly scheduled light-hearted silliness here.
Yes, my son loves pink. He loves his glittery “do you believe in fairies?” shirt and his Hello Kitty water bottle and most of all his hot pink prairie skirt that twirls and that is, along with some boxer briefs, really the perfect summer play outfit.
Yes, I know he is wearing a skirt. And I know it is pink. No need to keep pointing that out, stating the facts as though you aren’t making a judgment in your head. Stop laughing; stop shaking your head. Stop congratulating yourself on your open-mindedness by saying, “That’s so great you let him wear it,” as though maybe I shouldn’t. In fact, please stop bringing it up in front of him at all because every time you do, you teach him that as much as he loves it, there’s something wrong or at least remarkable about that. And who wants to hear that it might not be okay to love something you love? Over and over, at the mall, on the street, at school, at your own family’s house?
While we’re at it, stop “reassuring” me that “it doesn’t mean anything.” What does that even mean?! Are you trying to say that his love for pink at age 3 doesn’t prove my son is gay? Thanks for the insight. Here’s a clue: the idea of him being gay doesn’t worry me. Here’s what worries me: it’s 2010 and my pink-loving son still has to defend his right to like a freaking COLOR. It’s 2010 and there are still people out there so incredibly homophobic that they CANNOT STAND the sight of a three-year-old boy in a SKIRT. It’s 2010 and my son wore his pink shirt to school the first day and there was MASS GENDER CONFUSION on the playground because some kids already, by age 3, are so gender-indoctrinated that they REFUSED TO BELIEVE he was a boy.
It is 2010 and every single time he wears his favorite color, my son’s feelings get hurt. Every single day, he gets told it’s not okay to be who is he is. I’m not worried about him liking pink or what it “means.” I’m worried that someday people are going to make him feel so bad about himself that he wants to jump off the GW bridge.
It’s 2010. It’s time to stop hurting people’s feelings with closed, terrified minds. It’s time to stop trying to prescribe other people’s lifestyles and families and reading material. It’s time to admit that reality is complicated and surprising and full of questions to which you don’t have answers. And it’s time to let my kids – and everyone's kids -- fully participate in that deliciously diverse reality without having to worry about the whispers.
It’s 2010, World. My son loves pink. Get over it.
P.S. Thanks for the chocolate donuts, though, World. Those things are awesome.