I watched a remarkable doco last night on ABC called Growing Up Gayby, produced by and featuring Maya Newell, a 25-year-old Australian indie film-maker who grew up with two mums. You can see it here:
The doco features the parents and their donor-conceived children, (some now adults, including Maya) who grew up in two mum families. What a powerful and rawly truthful account of what it is like to grow up in Australia with lesbian parents. Maya took on Fred Nile in the most dignified manner, I actually felt a little sorry for him and gained an understanding into why he is so ignorant.
The interviewees discuss gender roles, and what it means to be a mother, a father, a man and a woman, in today's world. This is something I am personally very interested in, as I continue to evolve and develop new ideas about what it means to be a mum or a dad, a woman or a man.
My darling son Toby wants a princess costume. Toby's words, "Oh mummy I want to be a girl so I can wear sparkles". I asked him why he needed to be a girl to wear sparkles, boys can wear sparkles too. My sweet daughter is into helicopters and trucks. Toby thinks we need to dress her in pink and buy her Hello Kitty toys (which he then commandeers as his own). This morning I painted Toby's fingernails and toenails with blue felt pen (ie nail polish). He wanted blue nails and I am not about to deny my son what he wants or needs in order to express who he is. Will he turn out gay, or a transsexual, if I let him dress in traditionally girl clothes? I doubt it, but if he does then he is who he is and I will support him wholeheartedly. I don't think 3 year olds are aware of gender roles, nor have any idea about what boys are "meant" to do nor how to behave, at the same time, he did tell me, with great disappointment in his little eyes, that boys don't really wear princess costumes.
I told him it was okay, boys can wear princess costumes, and boys can wear sparkles.
Today I am pulling the fabric box and sewing machine left over from my days of being a dancer and costume-maker - oh the sparkly things contained within! - out of the cupboard and I am making my boy the princess costume he wants so much.
He also wants a crocodile costume ... arghhhh ... infinitely more difficult to create ... but I will most likely have a go at that too! Wish me luck :))