As the mother of a boy who routinely wears pink pants, sparkly shirts, and sports a pair of cobalt blue gem earrings, the news that a bullied 11-year-old "Brony" boy attempted suicide hit home, and hit home hard. 11-year-old Michael is in intensive care after attempting to commit suicide. Our children are committing suicide because they're not "manly" enough. They're committing suicide because other children can't understand how they can like something outside the norm.
As a person who grew up amidst a drive for "diversity," it boggles my mind how anyone can have an issue with someone simply for being who they are, for liking what they like. Why are we forced to conform to THAT person's idea of what is right? Where is the pursuit for happiness in that?
A few days ago, a BlogHer blogger posted about her son wanting to wear a dress, and a bunch of anonymous posters started weighing in on it, with such stellar statements as, "boys don't wear dresses." Really? Tell that to every king who has worn a robe, or every Highlander who has worn a kilt. The traditional baptismal clothing for a male infant in the fifties was a dress. So why is the idea of a boy putting on a dress so threatening?
Because we have become a misogynist society, where anything that makes a boy more "girl-like" is wrong, where men who show their feminine sides (guess what, boys, you all have one, whether you can admit it or not) are suspect, and where liking anything that a girl might like (BTW, I grew up on GI Joe & Batman, so the idea that only girls should like My Little Pony is absurd) means you're gay.
And while I'm on that, because in addition to my cross-dressing son I have a gay daughter, what the hell is wrong with being gay? You know what I see in a gay person? I see a person. I have to hope that society is changing -- my children attend schools where they can be who they are and be supported by teaching staff and friends -- but it's not changing fast enough. When little boys like Michael, who by all accounts are fully supported at home, are still attempting suicide, we just aren't changing fast enough.
Previously featured on BlogHer.