Thursday, April 14, 2011


Kids go through phases when it comes to things they like or not. As they get older, some tastes change, others stay the same. As long as what they enjoy does not hurt or endanger anyone including themselves, then of course the best thing to do is to support them, even if it what they like is "weird". Don't force them to stop and then make excuses that you're protecting them from a society that wouldn't understand them. Don't make assumptions based on the boogeyman of the day - transgenders <spooky voice - oooooooooh>.

Copyright J. Crew 2011
That's exactly what a number of national news outlets and commentators have been doing after the release of an email ad campaign from J. Crew, which features CEO Jenna Lyons enjoying a weekend with her young son. Now, it just so happens that her son likes pink, and apparently finds it fun or funny to have his mom paint his toenails pink. Wow, big deal. He's goofing around with something he sees his parent do. He's a bit young to be worrying about what activities lie in the "male" domain or what activities should be prohibited because they are "feminine" (actually, The Daily Show did a great and funny report on this, ending with super-manly champion martial arts fighter Chuck Liddell... and his painted toenails). This, of course, does not stop the talking heads and other people who shoot their mouths off without actually thinking first.

Transgender people are the "big bad" of the moment. Having found that there are too many homosexual people who might rise up against them and voice their outrage, social conservatives have decided to attack transgenders as an affiliated group of people, hoping to color opinions about gays and lesbians by association. From exaggerated worries about vicious attacks on "real" women in the sanctity of the "ladies" bathrooms by transgender women who are apparently held at bay now only because they fear arrest for being in the wrong bathroom, to the commentaries of "Dr." Keith Ablow yesterday suggesting that the J. Crew ad was a piece of transgender-celebrating propaganda, it seems that a lot of people are getting awfully upset over very little. What is so important about maintaining a strongly distinct gender binary?

Let the kid be a kid. Maybe he is transgender - if so, support that, because study after study shows you can't change it. Maybe he is gay - support that, again, because you can't change it, and the statistics are very clear that the more support a GLBT child has, the lower his/her chances of suicide. But far more likely (considering the low probability of being either homosexual or transgender) he's just a straight kid playing around with bright colors, whether on his body (have you seen what 5 year olds will do with finger paints or bath paint/soaps!?) or his clothing, or maybe his artwork. He may always like pink, whether he grows up a "manly man" or not.

I know or have met so many good people in the GLBT community in almost every part of the country I've been to, and I'm very tired of ignorant people trying to chip away at their humanity. I say, whether you're gay, straight, trans, in the closet, or out of the closet, wear some pink on your nails and show some solidarity with a little kid enjoying himself, and against a bunch of small-minded loudmouths who apparently have nothing better to do than criticize a mom playing with her child.

PINK NAILS FTW!  (for the win, if you aren't into gamer-speak)