Mastering the Art of Letting Gender Go

Would you, as a father, wear a dress so that your 5-year-old son felt less embarrassed about doing so?

If you’ve been online at any point in the past few weeks, then you probably know that I’m referring to the German dad who did just that for his little boy. The kid preferred wearing dresses and skirts when they were living in the liberal big city, but started to feel uncomfortable after moving to a smaller, more religious, more conservative community. So when he started to consider opting out of his fashion choices, his father decided instead to encourage him to be himself – by donning the dresses, too.

Then there’s the more mixed (and, apparently, untrue) rumor that Jay-Z had decided to stop calling women “bitches” after his daughter was born. On the one hand, he would have been giving up an abominably sexist male behavior. On the other, it would ostensibly have been done to protect his little baby girl – a very gendered response.

Alex Karydi's picture

7 “Unhealthy Parenting Behaviors” and how it’s affected you!

When I first began my career, it was working in a South African Orphanage for children with HIV/AIDS, ten years later after a career in the field of addiction, I find myself working with kids again. The deal with working with kids in a therapeutic setting is that caregivers and parents are included in the package.

There is nothing worse to me than seeing a parent that does not care or has lost the interest in doing what’s best for their child.  Unfortunately, that is not always the parents fault, kids do not come with manuals and life is not a simple flat road that we travel with ease.  I know they have been many time that my bad decisions have affect my child and made me a “shitty” parent in those moments.

All we can do as parents is learn to do better. Hopefully, this article will not only help parents but those individuals that are wondering what may have gone wrong in their family systems, and motivate some to restore some inner balance and peace.

Here are 7 “Unhealthy Parenting Behaviors” that may have been in your family system or that you are currently doing with your own children.  If you notice that you may be doing any of theses, it’s important to recognize them and perhaps even go talk to a therapist on how to change the behaviors into healthier ones.

Clarisse Thorn's picture

[litquote] S&M stereotypes, parenting, and community action

Originally posted at Clarisse Thorn: Pro-Sex Outreach, Open-Minded Feminism


The following quotation is from an essay that doesn’t just tear apart some awful BDSM stereotypes, but also makes a great case for coming together as a community and living our lives without shame … all in the context of parenting. It’s called “S/M Fetish People Who Choose To Parent”, and was printed in the anthology Speaking Sex To Power by one of my all-time heroes: the brilliant and inimitable Patrick Califia.

The state does seem to have a vested interest in preventing anyone who is sexually different from raising a child. Over the years, I’ve heard many stories of custody battles involving polyamorous people, pagans, transsexuals, sex workers, and members of the BDSM-fetish community, not just lesbians and gay men. The people who go through these battles usually do it alone, and they usually lose. But that story can change when there is enough publicity to generate community support.

In early 1995, members of the BDSM-fetish community in the US and Canada were appalled to learn that a couple in the scene had had their children taken away. The Canadian fetish magazine “Boudoir Noir” established a defense fund for the unlucky pair, known as the Houghtons. As we had for the Spanner defendants, the community banded together and raised enough money to allow Steve and Selina Houghton to hire a decent defense attorney. Selina ultimately pled guilty to a disorderly conduct charge, and her husband to one count of endangering the welfare of a minor, a Class E misdemeanor. They were also ordered to continue to receive family counseling …. Although they did not receive jail sentences, their privacy and home life had been badly damaged by the intrusive actions of the police. When the Houghtons got their kids back, they moved suddenly, disappearing from the scene, probably to protect themselves from further persecution.

EvilSlutClique's picture

Well Played, Jennifer Lopez

There are a couple of good quotes in J.Lo's new interview with The Advocate.

Do you keep the gay audience in mind when working on a new album? To be honest, yes, I really do. I love dance music and I know that’s very big in the club culture and in the gay community, so I feel like you can’t not think about them. I also think about whether or not they’ll want to impersonate me. [Laughs] I’ll be like, “Is this outfit any good? Would any drag queen want to put this on? No? Then forget it — it’s not worth it.” [The Advocate via Queers United]

The mental image of Jennifer Lopez thoughtfully applying the Drag Queen Standard to all of her costume choices is pretty funny. We're thinking of adopting it ourselves, honestly. Just take a minute to imagine the world we would live in if more people stopped to ask "would any drag queen want to put this on?" before they stepped out the door.

arvan's picture

"Dad, I've been meaning to ask you: What's a 'slut'?"

(Image courtesy of Married to the Sea)

I was in the kitchen with our cis-gendered daughter of nine years age, a few weeks back.  She was eating her dinner and I was reading a post by Rabbit White.  Striking up a conversation, she asks me:

"Dad, I've been meaning to ask you - What's a 'slut'?"

Now, there's an ice breaker.  Of the many lessons my daughter teaches me ongoingly, perhaps the most noticeable is that the critical moments in our lives and relationships show up with no notice, no plan and no place to hide.  Intimacy, relatedness and honesty don't pussyfoot around.

So, I closed the laptop and looked at her.  I told her that it is an insult used on women, by people that want women to feel small, shameful and bad for being human and to tell women that they are not good.  I said that all mammals have sex and that humans are mammals.  I told her that in many cultures, women are insulted for a great many things, treated like property and denied the right to enjoy many (if not all) freedoms that men have. 

I said that I know some women who embrace the word themselves, to claim the right to enjoy their own lives as their own terms. 

letseatcake's picture

What About The Children?? Polyamorous Parenting

I’m not sure about you other poly parents (wait, do those even exist?), but one thing I hear over and over again is, “I guess being open is cool, but I feel sorry for the kids.”  In f

arvan's picture

Survey of Donor-Conceived Youth and Adults with LGBTQ Parents


We have assembled the following survey intended for donor conceived youth and adults who have one or more LGBTQ identified parents.  Over the years the Donor Sibling Registry (DSR) has gathered information from a myriad of families, but we believe predominantly more heterosexual.  We think the issues for LGBTQ families are both similar and quite different. The results of this survey will be used to both better understand and to begin to construct resources that are designed to meet the needs of our families.  Our goal is to provide an accurate reflection of experiences and to assist families in having meaningful dialogue related to the challenges specific to our community.

Please note that this survey tool was designed by members of the DSR who are also identified as LGBTQ.  Two are also licensed therapists.


A NOTE TO PARENTS: This survey is designed for mature school aged youth and above. Please review the questions to make sure that they are age appropriate for your child. Some of the questions deal with potentially difficult topics for families. Again, our goal is to understand our children’s experiences so that we can design and provide better resources for families as we go forward.

If you only have one parent, please answer questions for Parent B (bio parent).

PLEASE NOTE: Many questions will allow more than one answer.

We appreciate your time (should take no more than 15 minutes).

Thank you!

The Donor Sibling Registry

Take the Survey Here.

Wendy Kramer


arvan's picture

What's Virgin Mean?

I saw this video today and had to laugh.  This woman is asked about the word 'virgin' by her daughter.  What ensues is a demonstration to what happens when our discomfort with the topic of sex overrides our ability to ask questions and listen to other people. 

EvilSlutClique's picture

The Secret Life of the American Teenager

[This blog entry was previously published at]

While I was making fun of the One Million Moms for their protest against The Cougar, I mentioned their previous campaign against The Secret Life of the American Teenager. Even though their complaints are a little bit old news, it's still considered an active issue on the OMM site and The Secret Life's new season starts tomorrow. So since we just love to make fun of them anyway, here's my take on it.

An increasingly popular TV show titled "The Secret Life of the American Teenager" combines anything and everything a mother tries to protect her children from viewing and rolls it into one soap opera for teens.

ABC Family is responsible for showing such racy content, when instead it should be adhering to its name by airing family-friendly content.

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