I’ve reposted and commented on posts from Raising My Rainbow, by Lori about her family and her gender-noncoforming son, C.J. It’s a wonderfully written — funny, touching, informative — chronicle of their day-to-day journey and the hurdles they face (and overcome). She’s a parent who, like most parents, thinks long and hard about how her actions will impact her children. Unfortunately, though, since her child does not fit the so-called “norm,” others feel free to judge how she parents and comment on what they think is best. And because — thankfully for the kids and for the future of our every-diversifying society — more parents are joining Lori in “coming out” and talking about the challenges their children face. Of course, for some folks in our society this means more targets, more parents to criticize. Amelia’s piece, “Don’t Be Your Child’s First Bully,” in the Huffington Post, written in response to an earlier one by Randi Zuckerberg (yes, same family) questioning parents of gender-nonconforming children — citing Kanye West as an expert, no less — eloquently sums up what she, Lori and other parents go through and think about every day… trying to keep their child safe and happy and honoring who they are.
Parents do the best they can each and every day and, as my own parents have said many times, children do not come with instructions. So maybe the naysayers should consider a version of the old adage before speaking or writing: Until you’ve walked a mile in someone’s shoes, don’t judge.