Your best take: My pink boy

A man who demonstrated his cooking chops early on weighs in on Sarah Hoffman's story about her "feminine" son


Salon Staff
February 23, 2011 2:11AM (UTC)

Sarah Hoffman's story about her "feminine" son prompted heated responses from our readers. Our favorite came from jcwtts1:

Hmmmmmm

I'm a straight guy in my 30s. But I had an easy bake oven, thought I was wonder woman (loved the invisible plane and the bracelets that could block bullets) and after seeing the "Seven Samurai" used to wear one of my mom's skirts as I fought ninja and other samurai in my back yard. I also had a bow and arrow, a bb gun, played tons of sports, and would and could fight.

On hobby day in second grade I brought the Easy-Bake Oven to school and as everyone teased me set it up and started baking. Once done everyone was begging me for cakes and cookies and I refused to give them to anyone who had teased me. The teacher said that I had to share with everyone or no one so I threw them all out. The next time I brought the oven to school no one teased me. At all.

My Mom wanted a girl and got two sons. Two 6'4" sons built like NFL linemen. My brother can shop, I can cook, my brother understands how to decorate a house, I understand how to feed a family of four. My brother reads magazines that deal with decor, I can tell the difference in perfumes and how they interact with body chemistry. We're both straight. But while my older brother was running football patterns and watching the Eagles on Sunday I was in the kitchen watching old black and white movies making sunday dinner with my Mom.

Life is complex. I'm a teacher and I've had to tell these stories to parents, panicked and terrified of the gay son or the lesbian daughter. They think that because their daughter plays football with the boys she is a lesbian and because their son jumps rope with the girls that he is gay.

They never ask themselves if the girl is playing football because her Dad worships that game and she loves her Dad, or if the boy is jumping rope because a girl he likes skirt flies up every time she jumps and he can see her panties if he holds his head just right. They never ask that.

I had the first co-ed birthday party in K - 4th grade. I sat with the boys and the girls at lunch alternately depending on who had the best sht that day. When I punched my hands through dixie cups and used the resulting bracelets to pretend to block bullets my Dad was horrified, but he didn't say anything so I never thought about it. When I used to spin around like wonder woman. again, he was horrified, but never said anything. I grew out of it. And then one day, when I was wearing a skirt, holding a wooden sword, with a bow and arrows strapped to my back, my Dad finally got it. I was just having fun. It didn't mean anything either way. In high school I didn't play football I was the editor of the lit mag, the sports editor for the newspaper, I had a group of friends who were girls and I read and wrote poetry. Now I make my living reading poetry and guess what, I'm still straight, I just actually like poetry. My point is, wearing a dress to school, maybe a little too much, but making a huge deal out of gender assignments to kids who do not, in any way, sexualized those things, is a terrible idea. Terrible. There are tons of studies that kids don't sexualize two daddies or two mommies, that telling a kid jon has two daddies doesn't make it likely the kid will be gay, that it has zero effect at all, that gay doesn't indicated a sexual act to a child, all of that pressure and reaction and taboo bs comes from parents who hear gay and think gay sex. It isn't the kids who have the problem it is their parents. The sooner we get that straight the better.

To read the rest of the letters, click here.


Salon Staff

MORE FROM Salon Staff


Related Topics ------------------------------------------

Your Best Take

Fearless journalism
in your inbox every day

Sign up for our free newsletter

• • •