The “My Son is Gay” Phenomenon

Yesterday I read an essay by mom blogger Cop’s Wife, entitled My Son Is Gay. It’s a fantastic essay, about the blogger’s son, Boo, who dressed as Daphne for Halloween. It says most of what I’ve been saying on my blog for more than a year about acceptance—but she’s funnier and smarter than I am, so you should definitely read it. I made a comment on her blog, and signed up to receive future comments by email, because I take a personal and professional interest in how people respond to stories about gender-nonconforming boys.

By this evening, there are 14,000 comments on the site (all of which have appeared in my inbox…I might think twice next time I sign up for that function). Maybe I’ve just been sheltered from the viral blog phenomenon, but I’m completely blown away. There are 14,000 people who care enough to comment on this woman’s boy in a skirt (probably more by the time you get this post from me and check out her website)! Most of these people are enthusiastically supportive (and only a few tell her she’s sinning, or ruining her son’s life, or using other assorted scare tactics). And this is what really blows me away: how much support we have. How many people will jump to defend a boy who’s different. How strongly people feel about not bullying boys who make choices like Boo did. I really had no idea.

So please read it, pass it around, talk about it with your families and friends, and celebrate how many supporters we have in the world!



  1. says

    It was a great post. I think one of the reasons it went viral was the accompanying photo of that adorable kid rockin’ the Daphne costume. However, it’s hard to know whether Boo is going to be happy, later on, about that photo having gone viral.

    • shoffman says

      It does worry me, putting a photo of your kid online. I think you’re right–it’s a big draw, but it also feels like a big risk to me. Not just violating that child’s privacy, but potentially his safety. It was an awesome post, though.

  2. says

    I thought frankly it wasn’t particularly that great. For whatever reason (probably her tone, which wasn’t so funny, but a little snarky) it ‘hit’ & yet you or Accepting Dad or I have said the same thing for eons. She really didn’t go beyond the ‘i’m letting him be daphne, in fact i’m making him b/c i paid $$ for the costume’. to me, not such empathic parenting. & not really looking head on at what if. which at five, she doesn’t have to!

    • shoffman says

      On a more administrative topic, what do other people think about receiving the whole blog post by email vs. a truncated post that leads you to the website?

  3. Meganne F says

    I had a couple of fb friends post that story, so I am guessing that it hit a nerve. I’m not in her same situation, but I liked her whole attitude (even though it was snarky) about people/parents needing to focus maybe more on their own kids and not so much on perceived “issues” of other kids. Maybe if we project that as parents, the next generation will grow up to respect other people more and not be so judgmental. (This discussion is definitely part of a broader societal direction that scares me.)

  4. mark says

    Sarah, you could read it as her forcing him to continue with it, or you could see it as her pushing him past giving in to his fear.

  5. says

    I actually enjoy snarky-writing and thought the post was good, especially about how she wasn’t worried about the other women’s kid growing up to be an actual ninja, “so back off”.

    What I think has hit a nerve – or perhaps what SHOULD hit a nerve – is the fact that this child was being bullied, teased, and having his gender identity/sexualy orientation questioned by ADULTS.

    My son has many challenges in life, and the one group of people who are quick to judge, quick to condem and quick to blame, are his peers’ parents. Adults, not kids.

    I am sincerely hoping that the judgemental-mom crowd out there gets that they should let kids be kids. Whatever that looks like.

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