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Hi. I mean NO offense by this post; I hope none will be taken.
But it may contain some ignorance; enlighten me! I am asking this here because I strongly want to know your thoughts on this.
I am totally open minded and tolerant, feel outrage when I see or hear someone making ridiculous homophobic statements, and have myself had several female sexual partners. I was very young, though, and do not feel that I am gay. Just stating these facts so you don't think I am a bigot.
But I am feeling what may be homophobia in regards to my son. Don't get me wrong. If he is gay I will love him as much as I do now (which is a lot!) and I will still think he is just as wonderful and amazing.
What I want to know is, do you feel that being homosexual is always something that a person is born with, or do you feel that anyone can be "made" gay or be influenced that way? My sister is a staunchly conservative christian, and has quoted several excerpts to me from books, which state people are "made" into homosexuals. I think these particular books are crap, and I always thought people were born one way or another. But I do wonder sometimes whether my son will have issues because of sleeping with his mother, bathing w me (he is not yet three and this is the only way to get him in he bathtub), and extended nursing. And also I fear that he will have gender identity problems. because people are always mistaking him for a girl. He has long curls a la Shirley Temple. I do not want to cut them, because they are gorgeous, and he does not want me to cut them. I did speak to him recently about this and asked if it bothers him when people call him a she, and I told him that it is because he has long hair...I told him there is nothing wrong w it and that a lot of guys wear their hair long, but if he is uncomfortable w being mistaken for a girl that he might think about cutting it...he does not want to cut it. People OFTEN describe my son as "pretty," or "beautiful," and I haven't ever heard anyone tell him he is handsome. This is stupid stuff for me to worry about, I know. But last night at a Christmas party, my aunt looked him in the face and said "You should have been a girl, yes, you should have been a girl because you are just too pretty." And this frightened me badly; not because of homophobia I don't think, but I just think this could confuse him, when someone told him that he should have been a girl.
Anyway, long post, sorry, and I really apologize if I have offended anyone with my ignorance or fear. I do not fear my son being gay. If that is who he is, then great....I want him to always be who he is and I will love him whoever he is. But I don't want to influence him in that direction, as I am sure it can be a hard road. So, do you think that the issue of homosexuality is always 100% nature, or is nurture a factor sometimes? Is it ever a choice someone makes?
Thank you for your thoughts and your time in replying to this.
 

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I believe its mostly nature that determines our sexuality. Most gays grow up in "straight" homes but yet there gay despite much influence about how "wrong" it is. Showering with your 3 yr old or letting him wear his hair long will not make him gay. He could love pink and wear a tu tu all day and still be straight. If he is gay you wont know it for several more years but chances are he is not so stop worrying! If he is, who cares? At age 3 your son probably does not even notice gender differences.
 

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It sounds like what you're most concerned about is gender identity, not homosexuality. That is, confusion about his boy/girl male/female -ness, which is rather distinct from hetero/****/other sexuality.

Being perceived as a girl isn't going to make him feel like a girl if that isn't how he's inclined in the first place. It might make him more comfortable with the fluidity of gender, which is entirely a good thing! My brother, for instance, was dressed as a toddler in pink and lacy clothes half the time (long story), has the most AMAZING eyelashes (and has been told so repeatedly), performed in drag for the church talent show, self-identifies as a feminist, and still is completely comfortable as a straight adult male. Growing up with fluid concepts of gender (such as, for your son, being told he's "pretty" rather than "handsome") is not going to make him something he's not - but it will make him an awesome and open person!

As for the nature/nurture question, it's SO much more complicated than just one OR the other. Each influences the other, in the most dynamic and amazing way. And if you're ok with your son being gay (if that's how it turns out), what does it matter what "caused" it? I think the love that you show him, now and in the future, is much more important that deciphering where he got each and every character trait he may (or may not) exhibit.

It sounds like you're doing an awesome job, mama!
 

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I understand what you're saying. I think gender identity is murky, and I've been made to think about it more, than previously , since my son is getting older. I see him as having a strong spirit, and don't see the male/female split so much, except when people label him,
like he became interested in trains and trucks, more becasue he could get something to move and do cool stuff, and different times someone would approvingly comment on what a boy he is (assuming that I had the same preconceptions about what a boy is supposed to do)
and because he is jsut a nonstop ball of energy- running around, climbing, loves to be outside - they also describe this as a very boy way to be- like he has fulfilled what it means to be a boy, like he got programmed correctly ...
This bothers me, because he does not do those things thinking it is being male, thus different from mama and other females. He is just experiencing the world... just as he likes trains, he likes dollhouses, and he loves music, to read, to sing, to dance, to draw, loces to wear necklaces, etc.....
And we've also gotten tons of comments on his long eyelashes, and a few people have also said he should be a girl since he is so pretty (which is a whole other rant- that women are held up to higher standards about their appereances and should take the time, surgery, and expense to uphold the masquerade of feminity.... I am moslty sleep deprived (notice all the typos
) so I look tired- that is whats going on in my life now- why should I be judged about my appearance- because it never seems to matter a s much for men-


He is unfortuately learning about gender identity by this junk. (and of course all the ads, and media culture around us constantly bombarding everyone..) All I can do is not reinforce those stereotypes and let him unfold as a whole person, and maybe he will be interested in girls, boys, or both... who knows>? Anything is fine with me, as long as he is happy and healthy. I think it is mostly nature, but most of us could be invloved with both genders if we followed our hearts more.... I mean love can happen between many people of same or oppisite genders and those people may not consider themselves into the cateorgories laid out- its not always so black and white... there is just more stigma and homophobia than I realized lately (esp. after this last "election" and how moral values (gay marriage) determioned a lot of how people voted
) ~ I am not implying that you all are exemplyfying this- just making my observation of the state of things
I cosleep and breast feed, but I thnik that will give my ds a healthy respect and understanding of women and he will not be sexist or demeaning to women becasue we are so close and I do try to place gender expectations on him , and I try not to enertain the stereotypes we are burdened with... I think cosleepign and extended breasfeeding, and that close bond with mama with help him in later life have good healthy intimacy with whoever he cares about, men or women. i can't really control how he defines his sexual orientation, so why worry about it. I am who I am, he is who he is.
don't know if that made much sense- i need sleep! and a good vacation (in my dreams only so far )
 
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