Dancing queen.

untitledson’s daycare center recently began offering dance class. For an extra fee, your child can get two 45-minute dance lessons each week. When I first saw it advertised, I passed it up, since he already attends a weekly music class. Don’t want to overprogram the three year-old, only to have him use the karate moves he learned in kindergarten to strongarm the car keys away from me when he is 16, just so he can pick up his weed and his 34 year-old stripper girlfriend.

After the first class, his teachers informed me that he threw a hissy when he wasn’t able to attend dance class with the other children (OK, girls). To be precise, the note on his daily report said, “He REALLY wants to go to dance class.” I told his teachers to let him go to one class, so he could try it out. I figured he would either dig it, or he’d find it a bit offputting that he was the only one not wearing a pink tutu and toe shoes.

Now, I’ve always said my son can grow up to be whomever he wants. I won’t mold him or shape him — I will simply give him enough pizza, applesauce and organic skim milk so he turns out however he was meant to turn out. If I see him tucking his shirt into his underwear, chewing his toenail clippings or huffing his own farts, I might straighten him out there. But other than that, I want him to grow up to be himself.

So why all of a sudden is this crazy homophobic fear gripping me? The pea-sized primordial part of my brain keeps saying, “If you let him attend dance class, he’s gonna go GAAAAAY!” Yeah, I know. It’s ridiculous. You are either born gay or straight — you can’t gay anyone up, just like you can’t straighten anyone out. What’s more, gay is normal, just like brown eyes and curly hair are normal. If he grows up gay, well then by god, he is gay. If one day, he sits me down and says, “Mom, I’m gay,” I’d thank him for being honest about it, and I’d tell him that very few people in this world are courageous enough to be themselves. Dammit, I would LOVE MY BIG GAY SON! I would prepare him, tell him it’s not always going to be easy, given all the ignorant fools out there. But in my home, he’d never feel anything but love and acceptance.

All this being said, I’m still concerned about dance class. Don’t get me wrong — I am going to support and encourage his interest. I just felt the need to come clean and put my dirty rotten thoughts out there. I mean, no one ever talks about it, but don’t we all have thoughts like this sometime? Ever hit the automatic door locks when rolling through a po’ neighborhood? Or do you look into the fat chick’s grocery cart to see how many Ho-Ho’s she’s buying? We need to be honest with each other. Maybe by hanging our horrible thoughts out on a line like a pair of holey underwear — the kind with racing stripes — maybe then we can truly get past it.

19 thoughts on “Dancing queen.”

  1. Okay…so now I”m not feeling so bad for my secret thoughts regarding my four year old son’s love of Barbie. Why? How did this happen? He’s a big, strapping boy – one who also loves Power Rangers, Legos and Hot Wheels. But, when push comes to shove and he is faced with a decision between his favorites, he’ll go for the Barbie 9 times out of 10. But hey, like you I will love my BIG, gay boy….in all his Barbie Fairytopia glory!

  2. I’ve had similar worries with Hercules. He’s been known to prefer girls’ shoes to boys’ because he loves those sparkly, flashy styles! I’m not worried about his sexuality, I’m just worried about how other kids are going to treat him when THEY make judgments about his manhood. Like it or not, homophobia is rampant in elementary school. It makes me sad.

    He can run around in a pink tutu and high heels at home all he wants, but I won’t let him go to school like that.

  3. I had the very same worries when my son was that age. He liked girls bathing suits, their pretty clothes, and like Renee said above, their fancy shoes. He’s 13 now and wouldn’t be caught dead in anything resembling female clothing. He does however still have quite an inate fashion sense as well as a bit of a flair for design. He loves to watch all those design shows on TLC. I’m not worried he’s gay anymore and think really that to some lucky lady he will make an awesome husband. If it turns out I’m wrong then hey I will love my little gay son too! 🙂

  4. My son is friends with a flaming 11 year old. I am floored by how gay this kid is so young. E has no leaning that way, but I just can’t bring myself to leave them alone… sort of like I’ll soon stop leaving him unsupervised with girls.

  5. Amen sister. Let’s hang all our nasty thoughts out there, because everyone has them, we are just to politically correct to say we do. Life would be a lot easier if we could all just be honest with ourselves, and not have to feel bad about it!!

  6. My son carried a purse all his preschool years. His favorite color was pink. He totally loved girls shoes though of course he didn’t wear them. He loved to play outside and loved science but hated sports and rough-and-tumble play. He preferred playing with girls to playing with boys. He always hated Barbies but loved his baby doll and endlessly played dolls with his sister. He slept with a piece of pink crushed velvet that he bought with his allowance because he thought it was so beautiful and so soft. He loved flowers and floral prints.

    People thought I was NUTS going along with all this. The only time I swallowed hard was when he dressed up in his sister’s pink leotard and tights. I told him he was TOO silly and needed to go change.

    He’s almost 11 now. Still hates sports but is a “typical” boy in all other respects. Still has that pink velvet though. ; )

  7. You’re on the right track so far.

    You wrote in the last paragraph taht we all think these things, so why shouldn’t we talk about it. This is true. And you’ve gone a step further. You’ve caught yourself thinking about it, but tell yourself that it is wrong. Some people give into that thought and go ‘Hell if my kid’s gonna be a fairy dancer’.

    In truth, there really is no way to know about such things regarding untitledson. Myself? As a kid, I played soccer, basketball, baseball and hockey. The only ‘feminine’ thing I did was figure skating, and there were other boys in my group, so no big deal. Who would have known I would grow up to be gay?

    I think the important thing is to have some sort of forum on issues like this. It is okay to have the thoughts ‘Should I cross the street because of this black man? Should I stop my son from playing the flute in band?’ Things like that.

    However, it is even more important to step back and say ‘why do I think these things?’ We are all conditioned to think this way, whether we like it or not. But we now have to educate ourselves, and catch these slip ups.

    God, it’s like I’m writing a paper for my intercultural communications class. Great post, untitled.

  8. I DO love my big gay boy!!! He just stopped by for a visit this afternoon…, I just adore him. I didn’t know he was gay until he told me at 16. He had known since he was 5 but just never thought it needed to be brought up because he knew I loved and accepted him always. He is masculine and had girlfriends but never felt like he needed to explain anything til the first time he fell in love (and borrowed my van w/o permission–that was the thing that made me upset :O ).

    I remember when he was little and we played with my makeup and my husband was so certain he would turn out “queer”. I know that didn’t do it–I consider makeup just a type of paint for a different type of canvas (I like to do theatrical makeup for plays and for Halloween characters, etc.,). I do sometimes laugh and tell him I should’ve suspected when he used to finger the fabrics in my closet and want to know what each of them were! His fav was always pure silk–good taste, m’boy!

    Incidentally, my two younger ones are straight (as far as I can tell, tho I can’t say it concerns me overmuch) but they aren’t much different than Paul was at the same ages. I think girly stuff is just more visually attractive to most people…, more & varied colors, textures, brightness, shiny, etc., Plus, it usually feels better too.

    I tried to get my youngest interested in dance–he lasted only one season. It was “all GIRLS mom!” Too bad tho, I think it really helps physical coordination and I think he has enuff innate talent he could’ve been a hell of a dancer.

    I do totally get what you’re saying tho, untitled! Excellent post as always!

  9. As far as “fancy-dancin’ boys” … Baryshnikov and Nuryev looked pretty hot in their tights …

    And boy, they didn’t do too bad in the dating-hot-babes department either.

  10. who makes these gender rules anyway?

    when boys are boys: they make noise, move quickly, take up lots of space, have fast ideas, play to win, are driven, slightly smelly, a bit clueless about what to wear. masculinity is musculature, strength, physicality, working hard.

    when girls are girls they listen, nod, comfort, orgnanise, support, value consensus, shop with vigour, practice the skilled application of makeup, have flair with hair, understand the sociopolitical importance of footwear. femininity is curves, insight, emotionality, working soft.

    some girls cant afford beauty, or have better things to do with their capital. Some girls are violent, some girls are hungry, or ambitious, some girls kiss other girls, some girls have hair in unexpected places. some girls screw for money, some girls are screwed for money, some girls are screwed over for money. some girls like trouble, dont listen, talk loud.

    some boys dont play well, some boys are scared, some boys eat too much fast food, some boys are lonely. some boys wish they could cook, sew, sing lullabys. Some boys crave to understand, be understood. Some boys want to be mothers, sisters. some boys want to be held by a man, by someone stronger than them.

  11. 2 things: I was skimming through the post like I do first and all that stood out for me was ‘LOVE MY BIG GAY BOY!’ I had to read it =)

    Second thing: Cardboardy!! Howdy Cardboardy, I know you from the BTG Forum! Hello! (I’m Magic Bone, hee hee)

  12. well-put cardboardy, john, and all. thanks for the feedback and kind words.

    untitledson had his first dance class, and he seemed to like it. we’re going to sign him up for the rest of the classes and see how it goes.

  13. I appreciate the discussion and the honesty, untitled. I have lived long enough to see all things happen – straight friends become gay, gay friends become straight, boys who love to dance and girls who love to shoot guns…I’m just glad we are beginning to allow people to be more who they are instead of trying to stuff them into narrow little slots.

    The most beautiful and powerful thing in the world is someone who is confident about who they are and who is using their talents to the utmost.

  14. Maybe he threw a fit because he felt like he was being left out of something. It wasn’t necessarily the dancing and girly stuff he was going after.. could have just been a need to be included.

  15. Hi luvly KelseyBone: I’m glad you told me about this great blog, untitled makes me laugh loudly at work and waste time like never before. xx

  16. I painted my sons’ nails the other day just b/c he asked me to. I also let him put makeup on when I am doing it b/c he asks. I guess my only concern would be any issues he may or may not have with society’s views on homosexuality. As for me, I’ll be a great Mom to a gay man or gay woman.

  17. Well shit, I have curly hair AND brown eyes? Guess I’m fucked huh?

    I went through the same thing with my son, he’s 6 and can flirt with the best of them. He’s moved on to soccer and wants to start karate, but I will ALWAYS remember him surrounded by pink tutus, twirling a pink umbrella…

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