Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Raising My Rainbow

I was a younger child with an older brother.  I was a tom boy, a gender nonconformist according to Raising My Rainbow by Lori Duron.  I wore my brother's hand-me-downs.  I played with his boy toys and played with children of the opposite sex more than I ever played with girls or girl toys.

Most gender nonconforming children usually turn out to be some form of LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bi, trans, or questioning).  Though I am not a lesbian, some of the children I played with did turn out to be homosexual which was no real surprise to me.  We crossed boundaries in our hick town.  We didn't choose to conform and if I have children I won't expect them to conform either.  I truly think I had more fun being a tom boy than I would have if I were given dresses to wear.

Growing up on 57 acres of woodland in upstate New York dresses would have been out of place.  I couldn't very well hang by my knees from a tree with a dress on.  Well okay I could have but my little girl panties would have shown and it wouldn't have made my parents very happy.

By the time I hit the tween years I was already being called "weird" by my aunt and uncle that lived next door.  I didn't want to listen to music blasting, go to dances, or put on make up.  I was happy being a tom boy.  Oh I did like boys maybe that was the reason why I loved dressing like one so I could be around them more.   I wasn't considered the icky girl that boys didn't want to play with, they liked playing with me because I liked to get just as dirty as they and play rough.

I had my first kiss when I was but 5 years of age from a boy. Along the way to adulthood I've also had a few kisses from girls.

Love is love.  Love doesn't have to have gender boundaries and it shouldn't be forced to conform.  I can only hope that one day if I'm blessed enough to have a child I'll remember to raise it with an open mind, heart and arms.

This post was inspired by the memoir Raising My Rainbow by Lori Duron as she shares her journey raising a gender creative son. Join From Left to Write on September 5 as we discuss Raising My Rainbow. As a member of From Left to Write I receive a free copy of this book to review. All opinions expressed in this blog are my own.


  1. Love is love. It's as simple as that!

  2. I was a total tom boy, something that I regret now that i am older. I wish that I would have taken much more time practicing cooking, entertaining, sewing, putting on make up, dating etc

    1. My mother made sure that my brother and I learned survivalist skill of housekeeping in that we did all the housework while she was at work. We cooked exactly what she left instructions for us to cook and we did all the chores on the list too. I grew up thinking that all kids had to do the amount of chores that we did, I was wrong!

    2. My parents raised us the same way, Rebecca. Hell, my brother can patch torn clothes better than I can, but his wife has to change the oil in the car. Everyone has different talents and they shouldn't be based on stereotypical gender roles, but on what they have the abilities to do.

      ALso, I completely agree. Love is love.

  3. I was a tom boy too. I've been really taken aback by my girly-girl...but she thrilled me by telling me "I'm half tom boy, half girly-girl," the other day. It's a gift to feel so free!

  4. I was a tom boy too, raised by my Dad alongside my brother who was only 15 months older than me. I didn't have any girl friends until I started school. By the time my step mom came along I was in the 3rd grade and she had no chance of turning me at that point. LOL! Thanks for sharing!

  5. This emulates my youth, as well! Granted, I was the only child in the house growing up and well, we didn't have a farm, but I was the girl that the boys wanted to play with because I didn't care about getting dirty or girly things. I still really don't, although I have an understanding and appreciate for them now. Thanks for sharing! :)


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