His day did not turn out as planned.
One of the things they did early in the day, sounded to me like a kind of get-to-know-you exercise. Hey Kindergarten Kids, what's your favorite color? When they got to Brennan, he answered honestly, like every other kid did.
"Pink," he said.
To my sadness, and anger, this created a problem. The other children thought that was something to laugh at him for. Something to make fun of him for. Something to abuse him for. And by abuse I mean my son came home reporting being shoved to the ground on multiple occasions, punched in the stomach, and hit in the head. Brennan, I should add, is small. He's in the 6th percentile for his age. This only makes it easier for kids to rough him up. To his credit, what he lacks in size, he makes up for with a strong will and the knowledge that assaulting him is not okay.
This can not continue. Period.
I have an email out to his teacher. I'm hoping to hear back from her without much delay. I know the start of school is crazy, but I'm sure she will see that this is important.
Here's the deal. My kid's gender expression in terms of what he likes, is kind of a mixed bag. He loves things that are traditionally considered "boy" interests, but what he really loves are things that are traditionally considered "girl" interests, too. And that's okay. Anyone who thinks otherwise should realize that the issue at hand isn't in what a five year old enjoys, but with their own attitudes.
Brennan loves pink. He wants to eat off of his pink plate, and use his pink silverware. He loves dolls. He carries the doll he got for his birthday as if she's real, and his, and he takes care of her. He loves the Powerpuff Girls and My Little Pony. He even dressed in princess play clothes until he and his brother finally wore them out.
Is he gay? I don't know! He's five! Gender expression and sexuality aren't one and the same. And just so anyone who reads this is clear, I don't care. He can be gay, straight, or anything in between. It won't change anything for his dad and me. The thing is, I'm pretty sure at five years old, there is a wide range of what kids really like, if societal pressure is removed and they're just allowed to just be themselves. And what's wrong with boys liking these things? For example, if girls play with dolls as practice for being mommies one day, why wouldn't it also be practice for little boys to be daddies?
My son isn't anything I could label. And I don't want to. He's just Brennan, and he should be allowed to be himself without fear of abuse. I have to ask myself, how do kids know that they should laugh at another child for liking a "girl" color when he's a boy? I guarantee they didn't come up with that on their own.
Parents, if you're teaching your children that there's something wrong with liking a certain color based on your gender, shame on you. You're the problem. You're also probably not reading this. The people who read my blog are largely a very accepting bunch.
But I will protect my son. He doesn't need to change. He doesn't need to stop liking what he likes, and he can be totally honest when asked what color he likes, and what toys he wants to play with. They have dolls in his classroom, which made him so happy. I want him to be happy about Kindergarten. And I want him to know that I will always stand up for his right to be whomever he wants to be.
Because that's my job.
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