Take Two for September 9, 2013

'Raising My Rainbow' highlights the challenges of raising a gender-creative child

Lori Duron

Orange County mom Lori Duron (R) and her 6-year-old son C.J.

When Orange County mom Lori Duron found out she was pregnant with her second boy, she was a bit disappointed. She had dreamed of having a girl to dress up and play dolls with.

Turns out her dream came true in a very different way.

Despite being a boy, her son C.J. loves princesses, the color pink, and Barbies.

"We say that his life is marked by 'Before Barbie' and 'After Barbie,'" says Duron. "That's really the day he came alive and he found a toy that spoke to him."

Duron writes about what it's like living with and raising a gender-creative child in a blog and a new book called Raising My Rainbow.

"I wasn't uncomfortable with a boy playing with a Barbie because my brother had played with Barbies," she says, "I was afraid of what other people might think and what other people might say."

But then she realized she was disappointed with herself.

"As a person that's not the kind of person I want to be and that's not how I want to mother my children: worried about what other people might think," said Duron.

Duron wrote this book as both a way to tell her family's story, but also to offer advice for people who might interact with a kid just like her son.

"Try to understand what it's like to be C.J. everyday," says Duron. "Sometimes people can't tell whether CJ is a girl or a boy. If you can't tell whether someone is a girl or a boy, then just treat them like a person."

Do you have your own personal story to share? Post it in the comments below. And read an excerpt of Raising My Rainbow, by Lori Duron


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