I unknowingly started a firestorm this evening on my Facebook by posting what I thought was a perfectly innocent picture of Jose at dance class. He was wearing leg warmers because it was chilly at dance and I suppose that – combined with the fact that he was at ballet – was enough that some were worried for Jose’s mental stability and future sexuality. I don’t really want to re-hash the whole thing here, but we (friends/family) ended up having a (fairly) healthy debate about the topic – 44 comments total. I had no idea that some of the people in my life (on both sides of the issue) held such strong views about right and wrong! To me, it’s really a non-issue. If Jose likes to wear leg warmers, play dress up with “girl” clothes, or sit on the couch and do my hair, great! If he’d rather crash his trucks, wrestle with his nephews, or laugh a big belly laugh EVERY TIME his brother toots, more power to him! (Although the last one does get on my nerves… 😉 😀 )
At any rate, I wanted copy my response to the whole thing here, not only for posterity (lol!), but also simply because as his mother, I think it bears repeating. So here goes:
I just want to say that I appreciate and understand the comments from both sides of my family. I personally don’t believe there is anything wrong with a 4 1/2 year old being a little creative, whether or not it is in public. He likes dance and tumbling, and this was the class we could afford that the City of Phoenix offered. He actually really wanted to be in gymnastics, but they didn’t have that available, so this was the next best thing.
I do believe, as the Bible states, that the ACT of homosexuality is a sin – I would think that anyone who claimed to know me at all would know that. However, I also believe that in this fallen and broken world, there are things beyond our control – including genetics – that have mutated and changed beyond God’s original purpose. This is to mean that I truly believe some people are born feeling as though they are in the wrong body. However, I also believe that this is something through which they can glorify God by remaining celibate and dedicating their life to God’s kingdom work – however much that may seem like it would suck.
THAT BEING SAID! Do I think Jose is gay? Really, no. If you saw how he behaves in class vs. how the girls behave, you’d see that despite his “metrosexual” tendencies, he is definitely a “boy” in the societal sense. And he loves doing all sorts of things that “boys” like to do. In fact, as I write this, he is rolling a truck across the room as hard as he can and cackling when it crashes into stuff.
I honestly don’t think that letting him play with dolls or wear his leg warmers if he wants to is going to do him any harm. In fact, it might do him some good! He goes around all day trying to emulate his father, who (by the way) does all of the following BECAUSE HE ENJOYS IT: writes poetry and songs, leaves “lovey-dovey” notes for me in the morning, gardens, cooks, does housecleaning to relieve stress, etc. etc. etc.
And honestly, considering all of the detrimental things that are typically attributed to men being men (beating the crap out of each other for fun, getting drunk and carousing, watching porn and going to strip clubs, etc.) I think I would quite prefer if Jose grew up to be like his father rather than like what most people would consider the ideal for a “man.”
I just don’t understand why things have to be such a big deal when he is as young as he is, and I don’t think that “That’s not a boy thing!” is a good enough excuse to break Jose’s heart. After this all started, I asked him what he would have done if I had told him he couldn’t wear his leg warmers tonight, and he said, “I would have been very upset. I would have cried.” And that, right there, is why what others think about him means so much less to me than what his little heart truly cares about.
Yeah, that’s the only part that worries me – how other kids will treat/respond to him. And I am still weighing the decision (as my mom did before me) of telling him the cold hard truth up front and possibly causing him to build an impenitrable wall around himself or letting him be who he wants to be and having a million little heartbreaks along the way that may eventually lead to that same wall being built. Either way, it really sucks.
But for now, since the kids he’s been around all love him and not a single one has made fun of him (in fact, he’s pretty much the most popular kid in school right now – something I NEVER managed to achieve, lol!) I will just continue to let him be himself.
So that’s all for tonight. I’ve posted the infamous picture below so you can judge for yourself.
P.S. The title of this post is in reference to this book: http://www.myprincessboy.com/index.asp
Obviously, the boy this book was based on is much more “into” things that are considered to be only for girls than Jose is. And I think in Jose’s case, his interest in dressing “girly” is more likely to simply be something that lends itself to instilling a decent fashion sense in him when he is older, but when Jose read the book, it made him smile. And that was good enough for me.