WRITING

gender roles

GENDER ROLES

at home, i consider them largely self-defined. outside of the home, the world attempts to apply its own definitions.

a child of mine struggles with his identity, but he doesn’t know i’m aware of it. it’s a right of passage for all children, and as a mother, my role is to support their growth in whatever form it takes, so long as it doesn’t assume the form of harm to others or self.

my boy likes to cook, play with hair, and apply makeup to his sister. for him, most everything he does falls under the umbrella of art. for much of the world, it falls under the umbrella of confused gender.

when he was a baby, no more than one, i looked at my mom as he was playing and smiled while telling her he was gay. why i felt that, and why i said that might not make sense to anyone, because at the time i said it, he was after all, playing with a tonka truck – a boy toy.

her reaction was unexpected. she was angry with me, and told me not to put the spirit of my opinion in the world so as to solidify it into reality i guess. i laughed, because she had a brother who was gay, and who everyone pretended wasn’t. i brought him up and she changed the subject. from them to now i don’t understand how some people take a person’s gender as a personal affront or judgment from their god(s).

sure, i could have been wrong, but my rightness wasn’t important to me. what was important was following my intuition, and being a little more sensitive with that particular child’s personal interests, to ensure i doubled my efforts to encourage any activity the world would frown upon based on roles and the assumption of gender defaults.

a child’s gender is not their calling card, nor will it be the legacy they leave the world with, so encourage their pursuits, passions, and self-defined purpose, that the opportunity to succeed in their chosen endeavors and chosen loves be done in peaceful pursuit, rather than hidden in painful defiance.

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