This California family uses makeup to shatter gender stereotypes
C.J. loves makeup and has been giving dolls and family members makeovers for years. So when he asked his dad Matt if he could do his makeup, the California man said heck yeah. “Why wouldn’t I? Why wouldn’t I want to be a part of something that brings joy to my son’s life?” Matt Duron wrote on the blog, Raising My Rainbow.
Matt and his wife Lori use the blog to chronicle the parenting process of their 9-year-old son who is gender nonconforming. “Kids come to us with their gender intact. It’s as much a part of them as being right-handed or having red hair,” Lori told Scary Mommy. “As parents we just have to accept that our child’s gender identity and expression may not match the sex they are assigned at birth. We have to be open to the gender they tell us they are. ”
What better way is there to show your kid you accept them than to spend time with them? “When C.J. does my makeup, it makes me feel like I’m experiencing something with him that he loves doing. When I agree wholeheartedly as he discusses what makeup colors go with my skin tone, I’m teaching him that his opinions and tastes matter to me,” Matt wrote. “My son doing my makeup is the same as a dad throwing a football with his son. It’s not about what you are doing together; it’s about doing it together. It’s about encouraging your children to engage with you. It’s about spending time with your child doing something they enjoy doing.”
I remember doing my mom’s hair and makeup with my brother when we were young, and it sounds like C.J. is having as much fun as we did. “He loves doing my makeup because he can make me look silly or dramatic and it cracks him up. Sometimes he takes it very serious, like he is really trying to make me look good,” Matt wrote. “Other times it’s more of a face painting exercise than anything. Either way, he loves doing it, and I love being a part of some type of activity that my son loves doing.”
Matt’s post is one of several personal stories the family has shared with the world. Lori started the blog in 2011 and told Scary Mommy that, “It was a hard decision, but we decided to be open about our journey because raising a differently gendered child can be a very lonely parenting experience. I had been looking for resources online and other families like ours to connect with but couldn’t find any. So I started my blog hoping other families would find us and people would send me resources.” Tons of families found them and the site is now read by more than 1 million people. “We absolutely don’t feel alone anymore,” Lori told Scary Mommy.
The family has had their share of negative feedback online and in real life, but that hasn’t deterred them. Lori told Scary Mommy, “We’ve learned that some people will hate our family because of our child’s gender nonconformity and the way we’ve chosen to parent him, but the love we get from sharing our journey far outweighs that. Love always wins.”