No pictures today, just words. A story that I've debated whether or not to publish, but after reading this post, shared by Danielle, I felt a responsibility to share. Below is the comment that I left on the post. (I'd highly recommend reading her story before mine.)
I must share that I have had a similar experience recently that I have not written about- until now. Last week, my 12 year old son needed to wear crazy socks for school. We had a boy scout function that lasted until pretty late in the evening, which left no time to buy socks. Since he was going to be a gnome for Halloween (which I thought was pretty cool and daring to dress up as a gnome at his middle school- in light of the fact that everything out of the ordinary is considered GAY), he had an extra pair of long black socks. I suggested that he cut holes in the socks to make them look "crazy." He and his dad cut big holes, he tried them on, and we all thought they looked perfect- and were different from the normal silly socks that he'd worn in years past. The next day, when I picked him up, he said that a couple of people liked them, but a couple of older kids (who have never talked with him prior) asked him if he was a "fag." A couple of others said they look like fish-net stockings... "stripper socks". We had a discussion about it and in the end he felt okay about the situation. The day after that, as I picked him up, he shared a conversation that he had with a girl from his school. The girl was talking about her friend- discussing that he is considered to be gay by all of the other kids (due to "gay" activities, such as wearing tights, heels, etc.). My son shared a bit of what we had discussed the prior day- in essence, that this boy may or may not be gay- but in middle school, "everything" that is different is considered gay. She replied with a statement to the effect of "Oh yeah- like yesterday, I told my mom about your socks, and she said, 'Isn't that gay??'"
And some wonder why kids act the way they do... why they judge, bully, criticize.
HATS OFF TO YOU FOR YOUR COURAGE TO DO WHAT YOU FELT IS RIGHT- for accepting your son for who he is.
Words cannot express how much this issue- of judgment (parent-parent, parent-to-others' children, child-child) and bullying concerns me. It is sad that something like wearing silly socks now needs to be scrutinized because a thought has been placed in Jacob’s head that this “could be gay.”
Thank you Danielle, for sharing the article, as it gave me a chance to put this experience that has been ‘eating at me’ into words.
* Jacob did dress in his gnome costume the next day- and won 1st place!