Her Son is Gay?

So, this post, originally written by Sarah of Nerdy Apple Bottom, is blowing up all over the Internet.  It’s hit a nerve (in a good way) in a lot of people, and there’s all kinds of love and support flowing around for her.

Stupendous!  I love it when the Internets redeem themselves and throw kisses instead of rocks!

The only problem is, the post is a bit disturbing.  At least to me.  It’s called “My Son is Gay” and it’s about how her 5 year old son, who loves Scooby Doo, decided to dress up as Daphne for Halloween and how Sarah got some flack about it from three moms at her son’s school.

Regardless of how you feel about moms giving one another their opinions (which, we all know, is kind of a national mom past-time), this post is odd for a couple reasons.  First,  she declares outright in the title of the post that her son is gay.  Then goes on to equivocate that maybe he isn’t, but she doesn’t care.

I’m all for a gripping, interesting post title, but this just seems to me to be drumming up shock value for the sake of creating drama.  If, as she claims in her blog post, cross-dressing on Halloween is an innocent childhood right, then how and why does it make him gay?

Second, she’s posting her child’s face right there on the Internet in his Daphne costume with a giant headline above his face that proclaims that he’s gay.  How’s he going to feel about that when he grows up?

I’m all for supporting your kids.  But this seems soap-box-y to me more than truly supportive.  In point of fact, she’s become the person her son was dreading in that she’s labeling her son as gay because he wanted to dress up like Daphne for Halloween.  Her son expressed concern that people would make fun of him (perhaps draw conclusions from it?), and she’s gone and proclaimed his sexual preferences (he’s 5, remember) to the whole world.

This just seems like nonsense to me.  We’re applauding her for what, exactly?  Calling her son gay?  Just because you say you’re fine if he’s gay doesn’t make it ok to unequivocally declare to every single stranger in the universe that he is.

I don’t write these things to be cruel, but I have genuinely ask: what are we applauding her for doing?  Letting her son dress up like Daphne?  Equivocating Halloween cross-dressing with being gay?  Getting annoyed by other moms?

You’d have to be a fool to think she wrote that post out of anything other than love, but I’m not sure she did her son a service by writing it.

26 thoughts on “Her Son is Gay?

  1. Yeahhh I’m with you. Wanting to dress as Daphne in no way makes her son gay, and she shouldn’t have posted that.

    I remember at that age, I cut out pictures of pretty models from magazines and hung them on the walls of my room. I distinctly recall that I did it simply because I thought they were pretty, and I thought you were supposed to put pictures of pretty things on the walls. I mean, we had pretty dolls and pretty ponies, right? I was simply too young to have any feelings of romantic attraction, at all.

    My sister came in and made fun of me and said I should only put pictures of boys on the wall, and I didn’t really understand it. Well, I didn’t turn out very gay, and by that mom’s logic, I should have. Children just do things for very simple reasons sometimes, and adults love to over-analyze them.

  2. “First, she declares outright in the title of the post that her son is gay. Then goes on to equivocate that maybe he isn’t, but she doesn’t care.”

    Since I’ve missed the whole debate (apparently I’ve been rusticating away in my own little corner of the internet), is it that she doesn’t care whether he’s gay or that she’s posting that he’s gay whether he is or not?

    Either way, it seems a little too much protesting. As if she really does have a problem with it but wants to not appear that way because it’s not politically correct.

  3. -Blanche, I don’t think it’s a debate, so you haven’t missed anything. I think I may be the one person who thinks her post is weird. I think my whole problem stems from the fact that she’s labeling her onw (5 year old!) son as gay just because he dressed as Daphne for Halloween. I just think that weird.

  4. I’ve never heard of this blogger lady before. but 3 of my liberal Californian friends have re posted it on their FB and I just have to laugh. poor boy. now he’s been labeled gay by his mom’s blog title and he’s probably going to make the tabloid TV shows at this point. have you heard of this blogger before?

  5. -Amy White, I’d never heard of her either before today! I agree, the child is really unfortunate to have all these people thinking he’s gay just because he likes Scooby Doo. Everyone seems to think this is a such a moving story, but I just don’t see it. Maybe everyone just sees something I don’t?

  6. I think she was using that title because that’s the conclusion that the judging mothers came to when they saw him, not because she actually believes that he is gay. Yes, I understand that it is a ‘fetchy’ kind of title, but she’s simply putting it out there that that was what the other judgmental mothers were calling him. It makes perfect sense.

  7. I have to agree with Rose: perhaps she was just giving the big middle finger (so to speak) to the situation that she found her son in, at such a young age and what should have been a safe place for him.

    “I hate that my son had to learn this lesson while standing in front of allegedly Christian women. ”

    Maybe she was a little “in your face” with the title/pic/etc… But it was a little less obvious than “Christians Are Judgy. Also: Jerks.” ;) Either way, I’m glad that you were brave enough to voice a dissenting opinion (ish… to the way it was handled.) :)

  8. -Rose and shaina, But none of the mothers said that, and based on her recollections of the conversations I think they were out of line for voicing their opinions but never said anything that could even remotely be construed as the title of the post. I also don’t think it was out of line for the mothers to be concerned. In a perfect world, no child would ever get teased. But it’s an imperfect world we live in, kids get teased, and it’s natural to want to protect them from that.

    -Txtingmrdarcy, I just struggle with her vitriol toward the other mothers. Were the other mothers really so wrong to assume he might get made fun of? According to Sarah, none of the other mothers said anything about her son being gay, so the whole gay thing is her projection, not theirs. I totally support her decision to let her son dress how he wanted on Halloween, but I really don’t think she’s serving her son’s best interests in that blog post.

  9. I agree with Rose too and think you are misreading the situation. There isnt a problem with her headline or in what she has written, but there is a problem in how some people think.

  10. -Dylan, I respectfully disagree. That’s why I wrote this post, though, to see if I was the only one who thought this way.

  11. I agree with Rose:

    This mother said that those women were judging her, and they were, for letting him wear womens clothing. THis is because it is stigmatized to be a GAY thing. It is a virtual middle finger, shes not calling her 5 year old gay. It is that she is saying so what if he is gay, pink, blue, whatever, she loves him and she was not taking his ability to choose what he wants to be for Halloween. My little girl, who is three, was a dragon…oh no, she loves boys toys, she has a little sister that loves Thomas the train, woody, and buzz. These girls LOVE american dolls, girls stuff, and getting their nails done too! AND more importantly, who am I to say they cant?

    The title is not saying that she thinks the little boy is Gay, though I am not impressed someone took this avenue. People in this world have a real problem with judging someone else and not being able to see the real point. I am just glad that the mother that wrote this dosent care!!! It is people like her that make me proud. Im a grad student at a reputable university and I have studied this topic and many others. Its people like you that cant see past the title that discredit posts like this. This woman is standing up for her son, to bad you cant read past the title to see that she is literally saying I dont care what you think my son is, Im his mother and Hes loved NO MATTER WHAT. That is your job as a parent! Not to make their every decision. As long as she is not harming the child, and letting him dress as a girl is not, the title is not, the moms that were upset about his costume because he is a boy dressed as a girl are. This is where the title derives from.

    People like you make me wish that the title was non existent and that you would be able to see the point and then maybe go back and see it after reading the whole thing, you were immediately bothered by the title and have failed to connect who it was meant to be taken and just seemingly cannot get it because you dont want to. It is soap boxy! its meant to be a rant! CLEARLY!!! this post is too honestly!

    I just think that people are to judgmental, to pc, and to scared into doing things and you are attempting to do that here to this mom, just as those moms were attempting to do it to that mom also! GOOD FOR HER that she is strong and gets it…I wish you did also!

  12. I don’t think the point of the title is to forcefully out her son. The fact that you even find issue with the title means that you are still one of those people who associate “gay” with “bad.” What she’s trying to point out is the ridiculous stigma that is associated with being gay. The fact that your post screams that you want to protect this child from a gay stigma indicates that you yourself still equate gay with something negative. And please; don’t give me that bullshit about being supportive of the lgbt community. I hate when people use the “but I have gay friends so it’s okay” defense. As a lesbian, how do you think I feel when my friends constantly throw around “that’s so gay” when they talk about something they find stupid? It’s not just semantics. It’s about destigmatizing and desensitizing the word.

  13. -brandy, I think I aptly summarized the bulk of the post here, thereby establishing that I did, in fact, make it past the title. I made it clear I don’t disagree with how she let her child dress as he wanted, what I disagree with is the wisdom in writing a post about it with his picture in it topped by the words “My Son Is Gay”. Regardless of how you think the world should be, the world we live in is not the kind of world where you can do something like that with repercussions. Which her child will have to pay. I question the wisdom of her exposing her child to that, without at least the forethought to obscure his face to protect his identity.

    -Kim, Hmmm, I think I was very careful to avoid associating gay with bad, and in point of fact went painfully out of my way to avoid maligning either her son’s costume or the state of being gay at all. What I find interesting is the fact that, though many people have disagreed with me, none can answer the questions I asked above: What, exactly, about this post do you find inspiring and laud-worthy?

  14. Erika,
    “I think my whole problem stems from the fact that she’s labeling her onw (5 year old!) son as gay just because he dressed as Daphne for Halloween.” As a matter of fact, I never saw her label him as definitively gay or not. I read the entire post and still have no clue what the 5yo’s sexuality is (as if that matters in the slightest). Then again, if you can’t read the first sentence of the post I can see where you’d just go with the flow of her son being gay.

    “But it’s an imperfect world we live in, kids get teased, and it’s natural to want to protect them from that.” Thats the problem, our desire is to protect them from it, as opposed to teaching them how to deal with the situations where they are going to get teased. By trying to hide your children from being the one that is teased, you are also teaching them that it isn’t ok to do what their heart and head want to do in their life because “I want to protect you from being teased.” Instead this mother, let her son do as he pleased and walked him through the situation to deal with those people who weren’t supportive (including standing up for him). Whether this post or this picture was put on the internet, her son will be teased for many of his other choices down the road, and it seems as if Sarah is trying to help prepare her child in the most correct form necessary – by letting him know she has his back no matter what his choices are.

    What do I find inspiring and laud-worthy about this post you ask? This is what I find praise worthy. Sarah has a son who wanted to be something for Halloween (in this case, it was Daphne from Scooby Doo). And once she found out that her son was worried about how other peers (including bloggers) would react towards her son, she gave him the confidence and support to allow him to express his desires/opinions in the midst of other people (bloggers included) questioning the motive behind it all. Not only that, but as a mother, she took to her soapbox (her blog) to air the ignorance of the people surrounding her. Finally, she was able to put her concerns about other people questioning her behind her, and post it on the internet as a sign of support for her child. Sure, she could have just let her child be Daphne and never posted it on her blog and no one would’ve known one way or the other, but to be proud enough to stand up in all aspects of your child’s life is laud-worthy (which goes beyond the easy situations like praising him because of education or accomplishments). Again, what is laud-worthy of this post, she is a mom who is sticking up for her child’s desires, no matter what they may be.

    Is “my son is gay” for the sake of being controversial any different than “her son is gay” for the sake of being controversial. Or are you just reinforcing the ABC parents actions by feeling that it is ok for you to voice your opinions about her choices? So what if Timmy in 5th grade never see’s Sarah’s post, but instead finds your blog and this post starts the chain of events in teasing Sarah’s son. How is that any different than what Sarah did? See, being questioned and ridiculed goes on even after we are out of middle school and high school – and you can NEVER avoid it, but you can figure out how to deal with it and still do what you want. Maybe we as people need to just figure out how to let people make their choices and not worry about if we like or dislike those choices (including how they handle blog titles and pictures).

  15. -Morgan, Thanks for taking the time to leave such a lengthy comment! Your answer is very long, so I think I’ll just address the point you make at the bottom of your comment. There are two schools of thought on this approach to teasing. My mom took the approach you mention, of just letting your kids do whatever they feel like and then helping them when they’re inevitably teased. Trust me, having your mom tell you the other kids are small-minded idiots doesn’t lessen the pain. At all.

    As for what you find worthy of praise about the post, I have to say it still doesn’t seem terribly out of the ordinary to me. Parents let their kids cross-dress all the time, but to far less acclaim. I think it’s great that Sarah supported her son’s desire, I just think her writing a blog post with that title may not have been the best move.

  16. Why is everyone talking about cross dressing? Does anyone really know what cross dressing means?

    For heaven`s sake, the child is 5. Who determines what is girls clothing and what is boys and who should wear what?

    I still like some men`s t-shirts and in high school, the only jeans that fit properly were guys. Does that make me “something“?

    I agree about calling your child gay at 5, cause who really cares. They are your children and determining one halloween outfit is gay is a stretch. It is another way of showing both homophobia and misogyny.

    People, let us just be people. Christians, if you cannot be nice, then follow your own advice, say nothing at all.

  17. My last comment, there is no way to ever lessen the pain (whether you hide them from the teasing or try to console them during the teasing). It doesn’t happen. There is a way to hide yourself in order to hope you don’t get teased, but what does that get you. In my opinion, it needs to be about figuring out how to deal with the pain and know that you don’t need to kill yourself because you are getting teased (referencing other non-Sarah situations of course).

    Do we all really think she wrote the post hoping 20,000 people would comment on it and it would go viral? No one said it is exceptionally amazing in terms of revolutionizing the world of child raising/development, but it is definitely a step in the right direction compared to all of the parents in the world who encourage their children to be “normal.” But in a world where people are hiding their true feelings, desires and wants in order to “fit in” and be “normal,” it is always laud-worthy when you find parents who defend their children and their choices. Whether that is you Erika as a mom (without 20,000 comments) or whether it is Sarah (who was doing it with no assuredness of her 15 minutes of fame) or maybe even Heidi Klum on a national stage.

  18. -Sherry, I always thought cross-dressing was dressing up in the clothing of the opposite gender in an attempt to conceal one’s own gender. Do you have a different understanding of the term? Also, I’m not sure the “If you have nothing nice to say, don’t say anything at all” is a Christian term. I think maybe Thumper from Bambi can take credit for that one.

    -Morgan, There really is no way to avoid teasing, this is true. However, I think you can make the learning process a lot easier if you educate your kids about what courses of action are likely to result in the most teasing from others. I don’t really see a lot of people hiding their true selves, if anything I think the proliferation of social media has encouraged people to air their true thoughts and desires with less regard for social ramifications than ever before.

  19. I can see where you are coming from, but I disagree.

    I don’t think she outed her son. That’s been covered here in some of the other comments, so I’ll just leave that alone. It was a catchy lead. And I don’t think it will harm the boy (gay, not gay, or otherwise). This is a cute story about a boys costume and some snobby fearful people. It’s a drop in the bucket of Internet-dom and will not be remembered or considered noteworthy in…a week, a month, a year, ten years from now. So, I don’t think she sacrificed her son’s honor, virtue, or reputation.

    What I find worthy of praise about the post is this: It’s well-written, funny and has an adorable photo. That’s it.

    I don’t think she’s done anything super extraordinary. The line about the ninjas was a perfect zinger and people love it when someone smart says something strong and true to people who are being incorrect.

    It’s a timely, cute story that people are focusing on because of the other gay children who were bullied and committed suicide. It’s an alternative to pain. It’s support instead of shame.

  20. -Syd, Of all the dissenting opinions I’ve read, yours by far makes the most sense to me. Thanks for explaining your thoughts to me, it’s helped me understand Sarah’s post a bit more. I still can’t say I’m in full agreement with the whole thing (and the ensuing viral-ness of it all) but it makes a lot more sense. Thanks for weighing in!

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