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Comments

chip

but CM, pink is just so preppy, whether gay or straight!

Scott Cunning

I know quite a few guys who are straight as straight can be who can pull off a pink sure (assuming it's not a girly cut or anything); conversely, none of the gays and bis I know ever wear pink. So there you go.

Also, I think on the "what can I as a parent do" question, social conservatives (most of whom, believe it or not, also do not want their kids growing up to call gay people "fag") wrestle with the same issue, and I think the responses are the same, whatever the value system: Communicate your values and expectations early and often. Be honest. Don't talk down to him. Respect his choices, even--especially--when they're different. Honestly listening to his concerns and prejudices will build up the trust that it takes to "bring him over" to your side if he runs astray. And most of all, just remember that you're always teaching. It's recently occured to me that things I heard my parents say just once--including things when I was as young as six and as old as twenty--ended up coming out of my mouth years later, and colored my intake of data on issues from religion to labor unions. As long as you're consistent in displaying the values you want, he'll pick them up. Kids don't rebel against values that aren't forced upon them.

Cynical Mom

Chip: True, except that I absolutely hate the color pink for *me* because I resent the girlishness attached to it :-) Not that I am anywhere close to preppy.

Scott: Thanks for the comments. I probably should have used a different term other than "social conservatives" which is a pretty broad term - what I meant by that was someone who thinks gays are somehow less deserving of certain rights such as marriage or even civil unions. I am of the opinion that someone who is anti-gay marriage/anti-gay-civil-union would not necessarily support *open* hatred or discrimination of gays, but I don't understand how anyone could be anti-GM if they don't harbor some internal hatred or fear, which I would then tie back to thinking it OK to use "fag" as a derogatory term.

Jennifer

My 4 year old son loves the colour pink, and so far we haven't bought him any clothing that colour (except a pair of swimming goggles). His plate and cup at dinner time are pink, and he spent a week after his third birthday carrying around a box of pink play-dough he got (other colours were included, but that was the one he carried around).

He's very blonde, and I got enough "what a cute girl" comments when he was born (I think everyone instinctively thinks that blondes are female because in the adult world, there are far more blonde women than men) that I'm a bit sensitive about dressing him in something that might mean he got taken for a girl.

His uncle is gay (and in a very long term relationship - they visit often), so I don't feel too bad about the messages we're giving him by not buying him pink clothes.

One of the things he failed on his 2.5 year old test was not knowing whether he was a boy or a girl, which I didn't think was a bad thing. He still gets "he" and "she" mixed up sometimes.

So what am I saying? I don't think pink clothes are the only way to be gender neutral for your son.

Jim

I think it was good judgment that you didn't get the pink turtleneck. Try a pink T-shirt or button up shirt. Those are a little more neutral, and less likely to draw comments that will intimidate your son into hating pink.

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