This is something we dealt with back in the 70’s and 80’s – the ideals of self-expression. Self-expression is a very healthy thing – it’s a way of showing the world who we really are on the inside.
I go by the mantra that if you are not doing any harm to others, then you should do as you will. These days, that ideal is under more fire than ever before. Even before the 70’s, back in the 60’s, it was about love power and being free – in the 70’s, it was all about showing your grooviness – in the 80’s, it was the punk/new wave movement – nowadays it’s about expressing what type of person you are on the inside, even though your outer shell and plumbing say otherwise. It’s about the whole transgendered movement.
The statement has been made by many that they are a man trapped in a woman’s body and a woman trapped in a man’s body. I’ve heard this from many different people, and to say it’s a mental disease or a perversion just really can’t be valid anymore – this is something that is growing (or the media sure makes it seem that way). In some ways, I think it’s a rebellion of gender stereotyping. We at one time said “blue is for boys and pink is for girls” and “pants are for boys and dresses are for girls”.
One has to stop and wonder………..who started THIS train of thought? WHO decided what was for whom? Look back in our history for a moment. At one time, women were banned from wearing pants. In earlier times, it was the men who wore heels first before women adopted them as a fashion statement. In the early days of theatre, many women’s parts were played by men, and played quite well.
One of the challenges we face at that point in our lives when we decide to become parents is “What type of world will I raise my children in?” Well, the world I grew up in was very intolerant of the life I wanted to live, and in fact, I lost a few good friends as a result of it. I told myself back then that this was NOT how I was going to raise children. Being different is part of who we are – it’s what makes us unique, and if we take away that uniqueness, then what damage are we doing? They grew up healthy and happy, and still go out in the world with smiles on their faces. Our children are our future, and what we teach them will go out in the world.
The best thing any parent can do with their children is to BE THERE for them. If they don’t fit your ideal of what a perfect child is, remember…..just because they don’t fit YOUR ideal of perfect, it doesn’t mean they aren’t wonderful. Take some time and learn what your children really enjoy – what makes THEM happy and how THEY want to live their lives, and then communicate with them. It’s a cruel world we live in these days because of how some kids can be – heaven knows I found that out the hard way, so all you can do is take life one day at a time and work through those challenges together.
Some good resources I’ve recently found are:
Far From The Tree – Children and the search for Identity
The Sissy Duckling by Harvey Fierstein – a wonderful man
Quotes About Different
and remember this quote:
“If you’re always trying to be normal, you will never know how AMAZING you can be!”
– Maya Angelou