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My Son is Gay

By Madeline Holler |

my son is gay, nerdy apple bottom


Cop’s Wife, who blogs at Nerdy Apple Bottom, has written a post called “My Son Is Gay.”

First line? “Or he’s not.”

Whatever he is, she doesn’t care. The kid is 5. It’s nobody’s business.

It’s especially not the business of the moms who, at her son’s preschool, cornered her and criticized her for letting him go as Daphne from Scooby Doo for Halloween. First, several moms failed to hide their shock and dismay in front of the boy — who feared that morning that he was going to get laughed at. (Funny thing, he thought the criticism was going to come from other kids!).

Next, the moms lectured Cop’s Wife about how she shouldn’t — and can’t — let her son dress up like a girl in the future. It’s bad enough that she allowed it to happen in pre-school.

The underlying worry, of course, is that she’s allowing him to be or turn out gay without putting up any kind of fight. Cop’s Wife says, so what. What is there to fight? She writes:

If you think that me allowing my son to be a female character for Halloween is somehow going to ‘make’ him gay then you are an idiot. Firstly, what a ridiculous concept. Secondly, if my son is gay, OK. I will love him no less. Thirdly, I am not worried that your son will grow up to be an actual ninja so back off.

She points out that no one cares if girls go as Batman. Or wear overalls. Or role play the father. But if a boy goes as Daphne, likes tights and insists on acting like a girl, it gets attention. Brings up questions. Provokes concern (or “concern”).

What’s especially sad is that her son, at 5, knew there’d be trouble if he dressed like a girl. But why, why we have to ask, is that trouble coming from adults? From the other mothers?

If moms aren’t OK with allowing kids to be who they are — whether that’s gay or straight-but-Daphne-loving — what are the chances their kids will be? If moms can stand in front of a boy in his costume, mouths agape and fingers wagging and judgment-o-meters off the charts, what makes us think their kids won’t? Because they will.

And then what? More bullying? More school dropouts? More depression? More suicides?

A 5-year-old shouldn’t have to be brave for Halloween, Cop’s Wife writes. And it’s true. A 5-year-old should only be worried about maximizing candy intake — not how his costume bothers his friends’ moms.

Also, Cop’s Wife? Her son? They’re awesome.

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About Madeline Holler


Madeline Holler

Madeline Holler is a writer, journalist, and blogger. She has written for Babble since the site launched in 2006. Her writing has appeared in various other publications both online and in print, including Salon and True/Slant (now Forbes). A native of the Midwest, Madeline lives, writes, and parents in Southern California, where she's raising two daughters and a son. Read bio and latest posts → Read Madeline's latest posts →

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0 thoughts on “My Son is Gay

  1. alison says:

    And I am positive that all those moms who felt the need to register their “concern” spend a lot of time patting themselves on the back over how “tolerant” they are and how their kids “know bullying is wrong.” And we wonder where kids learn to be bullies? FROM THEIR PARENTS!

  2. NoVa Mommy says:

    I am so over-the-top proud of this mom. This kid is sooooo going to turn out okay no matter what he ends up as, gay, straight, or just a guy who loves a good party. Good job, lady!

  3. Mandy says:

    Great job mom! Way to stand up for your kid! I wish everyone could hear this story and think twice about their judgements. But I know that would never happen.

  4. Michael Anthony says:

    This is almost 100% the EXACT SAME as in my IT GETS BETTER video:

    Please, Moms — Watch and share with like-minded people! :)

  5. Manjari says:

    I just love this. I can’t stand that those other moms would make a child feel that way. What asses!

  6. Beatrice says:

    Yay!!! This mom is fantastic, her little boy is adorable, and I hope the kid got more candy than anyone else in the neighborhood.

  7. Providence says:

    I am in the minority in not giving this mom a giant cheer. I completely agree with the message, but I do fault her for not letting her son back out of the costume the morning of the event, which he clearly, strongly, and repeatedly expressed that he wanted to do. He realized that he had picked a costume that might be perceived as strange, and whatever the mom says, she knew it too. I suspect that she wanted to make a point and challenge the uptight, judgmental parents to make their ridiculous comments. And ridiculous they were, of course.

    I would love this except for that part. But her son wanted to reconsider, and she pushed him, and she had to know what was going to happen. I feel a bit as though she used him as bait.

    That said, I am thrilled she is so supportive of her son, and I agree 100% with her message.

  8. MnMama says:

    What big bullies those moms were! I wish there were more moms like the author of the blog out in our world. That is unconditional love right there.

  9. [...] (Written by Madeline Holler, taken here) [...]

  10. JennaBoettger says:

    If parents are bullying each other how can we expect kids not to bully each other?

  11. Ivonne says:

    I loved your post! It is not a wonder why kids have so many prejudices… It comes from the parents. What a vicious cycle. He looked absolutely wonderful!!! Congratulations. I let my daughter be whatever she wants. She was a gangster this year!!!

  12. Ooo says:

    I do not think outing your five year old son as gay to the entire internet because he wanted to dress as a girl for Halloween should be considered good parenting. Whatever the child’s future orientation, he is the one who needs to define himself. People remember headlines not first lines. Ironically cop’s wife is making the same mistake the other moms did by overreacting!

  13. Proud says:

    I’m so proud of you Cop’s Wife.

  14. bob says:

    Is it just straight people that carry the assumption that this boy’s choice could indicate homosexuality? Do gay people tend to make the same leap?

  15. parkcities says:

    Residents are waiting on a response from Highland Park ISD. A challenge has been issued for them to do the right thing and put a historical dent in discrimination.

  16. Amy says:

    OH NO! My hubby was Edna from Hairspray! I wonder if he is gay! NOT! I do applaud this mom. As far as not letting him back out, that is the rule in my house too, you pick the costume, I pay for it, you wear it! What a cute little boy! Shame on those other Mommies! I hope they do not have to spend a lot of time in the principle’s office when their kids are older. If they do, they deserve it, they are teaching their kids some horrible lessons!

  17. Linda, the original one says:

    I wondered the same thing, bob, particularly with a five year old. I’ve raised two boys past this age and they were both pretty fluid in that reagrd. My first son loved nothing more than when I would paint his finger and toe nails and their older sister used to get them to “model” for her (she dressed them up and put makeup on them.)I understand that the mom was saying she didn’t have a preference about her son’s future sexuality (it seems silly that anyone would, honestly, since that’s something completely beyond a parent’s control)but her mind clearly went there even bfore the rotten mommies commented.

  18. Rosana says:

    If I would have seen that kid in my kid’s school I would have thought it was hilarious. Look at that outfit, it is really cool and I would have got it for my son too if he asked.
    The ignorant moms’ reaction reminded me of the reaction that one of my male co-workers had after he saw a picture of my son wearing a pink tutu at his daycare. I thought it was awesome that he knows how to have fun on his own without my input at all times. He also wears my work shoes at home. To be honest, they are lot more fun to wear than my husband’s work boots, which he likes to wear too. Kids minds are open, adults are the ones that make the get narrow with time.

  19. Bec says:

    Ooo, does it really count as outing? So we now know that a little boy named Boo* wanted to dress as Daphne and his mom, Cop’s Wife*, butted heads with a bunch of overgrown mean girls about it.

    * somehow I doubt those are their real names.

  20. Agreed, commenters! She’s an amazing mom and showing us just what it means to advocate on behalf of our kids.

  21. Gretchen Powers says:

    Ridiculous! Isn’t Halloween all ABOUT being outrageous, anyway? What a bunch of biddies. Their little butch whatevers are going to be the biggest closet-cases later. It’s karma!

  22. Kevin says:

    My sisters were hobos for Halloween when they were five. They had facial hair and all. They are now intheir forties and are not lesbians. ANd if they were 1. It hwould have had NOTHING to do with crossdressing at age five and @. who cares.


    We live in CANADA and I am a gay male and also a parent, I would not care if my child would want to dess up like a girl, I would say go for it, Don’t we tell our child to be happy and do the right thing?? It seams that most of the parents that are say that its wrong are living in the 1800′s not 2010. I can say that its cool that they mother had asked the child and the little one said YES. Hell I am a Drag Queen and for most of the parents out there, there are more Str8 people that do Drag and like it and that are not GAY!

  24. Wanda says:

    Geez. Not everyone wants to be on the GAY is GREAT train. And no, I’m not PHOBIC about it.

  25. [...] you know that whole NerdyApple story that hit the Internets just after Halloween, wherein a mom defended her son’s freedom to dress up as Daphne from [...]

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