Tuesday, January 11, 2011

How to Tell if your Toddler is Gay

Okay, so, for starters, let's get the obvious out of the way and let me ensure you that the title of this post is a joke. Part of my amusement comes from the whole "Shiloh Jolie-Pitt is transgendered!" debacle. (A four-year-old doesn't like wearing frilly dresses? Unheard of!) The other bit started a few months ago when we were Christmas shopping. Taking a little breather in Toys R' Us, my son seemed really interested in a little doll baby that babbled and cooed when you held her. He very gently played with and rocked the little doll, just barely touching her hair and hands.

Uh-oh...my son's gay! Or, maybe he's curious about babies due to the fact that, between myself and two sisters, there's always someone in a stage of pregnancy or with a newborn. (He is the 2nd oldest of four cousins, all under the age of 3.) So when he saw that little doll, he treated it the same as he would his baby cousins, smiling at it and touching it very gently.

I almost got it for him, but I knew some of his less open-minded extended family would have a fit over buying a doll for a little boy. After all, I might "confuse" him. In my opinion, I think he should be more confused at the idea that males can't take care of little babies, especially considering how great his own dad is with kids, but I don't expect outdated gender roles to reverse themselves overnight.

A few weeks after that, we, along with all the grandparents, attended his preschool's Christmas pageant. The little ones in my son's class were to be sheep, tasked with the simple goal of being led across the stage by Mrs. B playing a shepherd, and saying "baa baa" before they walked off stage. Inevitably, in such a large performance with so many little ones, there is always one kid who decides to steal the show. Even more inevitably, it was my kid.

My little monster, in full cotton-puff sheep regalia, walked proudly up the steps to the stage with the rest of his class. Standing under the spotlight, he looked out and saw, not the empty sanctuary he knew from practice, but a full and attentive audience. He got a huge grin on his face, and I knew we were in trouble.

While the rest of the little sheep (not being metaphorical here, they really were playing sheep) obediently filed offstage, my son broke into dance, tried to grab the microphone away from the older kid playing a wise man, and had to finally be dragged offstage by his teacher/shepherd.

There are numerous other examples I could get into, like the fact that he enjoys mopping, disco music, and has recently refused to stop wearing a fabulous blue hat (reminiscent of DJ Lance Rock from "Yo Gabba Gabba", just blue instead of orange). However, I think he does these things not because of some sort of latent sexuality issues (considering, you know, the kid is FREAKING ONE), but because he knows Mommy and Daddy love him and that he's allowed to be as awesome and unique as he wants to be.

I'd love to hear about other cool little pint-sized individuals bucking gender restrictions. Share your stories and examples in the comments below.


Anonymous said...

My father abandoned the family when I was six weeks old. I grew up living with my mother, grandmother, and two sisters. One of my Mom's great fears was that I would "turn out queer". Therefore she signed me up for every sport known to man,and I excelled at them all. As an example I started Little League baseball at six years old though the league's age range was 8-12. Being so athletic helped alleviate some of my mother's fears for sure. But I wanted her to be sure. So....the umpteenth time she found me and the girl of the moment snuggled up in my little sister's playhouse (far from our house) she yelled "Okay, you're not queer! I don't need any more proof!". And here I was just trying to ease Mom's concerns.

Michelle Craps said...

my little cousin when he was a toddler had a baby doll & i think it was the cutest thing, especially when he started crying b/c he left it in the car & she was cold!! & as far as i know, no one said anything to his parents about him being gay or whatever. everyone thought it was very sweet.

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