I was so fortunate to find a copy of Lori Duron’s nonfiction book: Raising My Rainbow: Adventures in Raising a Fabulous, Gender Creative Son and I couldn’t put it down. I was so overwhelmed by how sincere and real her life was that I wrote her a letter. I hope she writes me back, but in the meantime I thought I’d blog my letter. And quite possibly get you to pick up a copy of this book ASAP, because it’s amazing. And it WILL change your life. Click image below to go to her website and blog to learn more!
NOTE: Lori is the mother of a gender non-conforming child named C.J. who is biologically a boy, but likes “girl” stuff. She writes in her book the adventures of raising C.J. and her gender conforming child, Chase — and all the challenges and blessings that come with it.
Can I just first say how much I admire you. And if we ever met somewhere and CJ was wearing a perfectly fabulous purple tutu and pink ballet slippers, I’d applaud him, and you. And sit down and chat. And thank you for being so brave in a world where everyone is constantly obsessing about what others are thinking, you are fortunate enough to have CJ in your life to teach you that those things don’t matter. Not even for a second. Not when it means CJ will be happy and his true self wearing ballet slippers rather than tennis shoes.
I’m a 21 year old progressive, liberal woman who attends college in a conservative state. And it’s a constant thing living here to remind myself that there is life outside of this state where people are far more tolerant and supportive of LGBTQers.
I’m a girl who likes boys. I’m a girl who likes to paint my nails. And I won’t admit it to most people, but I love shoes. I just don’t have the funds to go wild and buy every high heal in sight. And I also have bigger priorities than shoes. But sometimes I think about owning 50 + pairs of shoes and living a fabulous lifestyle. If only.
The reason I’m emailing you, is because I was raised by my gay father. I was born into a family with a mother and a closeted father. My mother died when I was young. And my father quickly took over the roles of both mommy and daddy. He did it so magically and it appeared so effortlessly. And I always thought good things about my dad. He was my dad. And sometimes he’d teach me how to fix a fence or change the oil the my car, and other times he’d break out in ballet pretending to be a performer in the Nutcracker or whip up a meal in seconds because he was Paula Dean at heart. But other people saw that he was different. And they would bully me for it. They would tell me I was going to be gay because my father was. And they stopped talking to me. As if the gayness would rub off of my father, onto me, and onto them. Anyway, I owe it to my father for raising me in a tolerant world. I truly believe I would have lead a different life had my father never been gay, and my mother had never passed. And although all those things seem “normal” and “right” in societies eyes. Having a mommy and a daddy. I wouldn’t trade my deceased mother and my gay father for anything. Because it’s made me who I am today.
And after reading your book. I’m amazed. And it restores my faith in this world that there are others out there who desire the things I do. I would tear up at the end of every chapter as you would conclude your stories. And I especially loved the times when people in your life would inform you that CJ had changed their lives. And taught them tolerance. And help them to see that sometimes boys like girl stuff. And sometimes girls like boy stuff.
I know for a fact that when I was growing up, I loved to climb trees and wear oversized T-shirts and never wear shoes. I mean my mother would have at least two pairs of shoes in the trunk and if ever we went somewhere, she’s secretly slip them on before we went into the store. I hated shoes. But look at me now. I admire shoes. And I secretly want them to match every outfit. But again, I’m poor. Ha. But what I’m saying is. When I have children I want to remind myself that kids are kids. And they like what they freaking like. And I want to follow their lead. Whether that be them hating shoes for the first 11 years of their lives, and then obsessive over them while online shopping on Black Friday. Or them preferring dance over soccer. Or pink over blue. Or…I’m sure you get my point. Because you see that everyday with CJ. Something new. Something different. He has you on your toes. But life would be so dull without him, I’m sure for you and your family. And you wouldn’t have him any other way.
But I love reading about the parts where you were unsure. And you didn’t really know what you were doing. Because it makes you human. But the greatest thing is, that you took the time to research. And you’ve done everything you can for your children to make them happy and understand their needs and wants. And even when you don’t understand them, you accept them. And it’s so beautiful to see that.
Thank you so much for your book and for you blog (which I’ve been following pretty much ever since you started.)
I felt compelled to write you. I just finished FINALLY reading your book. I was surprised it was in my local library. But I’m thankful it was. And I read it just in the right time of my life.
I hope to be half of what you are to your children to my own someday.
Thank you again.
With much love,
PS: Please tell C.J. he taught me to love myself even more than I do the day before. And that he is the bravest person I know (of). 🙂